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Faulkner the Storyteller, Faulkner the Storyteller, 0817314377, 0-8173-1437-7, 978-0-8173-1437-8, 9780817314378, , , Faulkner the Storyteller, 081735350X, 0-8173-5350-X, 978-0-8173-5350-6, 9780817353506,

Faulkner the Storyteller

Quality Paper
2006. 288 pp.
978-0-8173-5350-6
Price:  $34.95 s

A study exploring the role of event and plot in William Faulkner’s fiction.

Faulkner the Storyteller addresses the role of event and plot in Faulkner's fiction and the creation of an implied teller behind the tale. Novels like The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom! are often thought of as canonical modernist texts antagonistic to traditional notions of plot and storytelling. Blair Labatt, however, argues that Faulkner's fiction, regardless of its modernist gestures, is filled and driven by sophisticated manifestations of plot—willed challenges, structural targets, gambits, designs, engagements, and battles—a language of competition and conflict and a syntax of events.

Labatt examines Faulkner's short stories, such as "Mountain Victory," "That Evening Sun," and "Barn Burning," and the architecture of the Snopes Trilogy (The Hamlet, The Town, and The Mansion), and finds that Faulkner's deployment of cause and effect is central to his narratives. Labatt also explores how Faulkner's use of plot creates an implied voice that lends a humorous element to his story's twists and turns that often brackets and encloses the pathos of his characters.


Blair Labatt is an independent scholar living in San Antonio, Texas.
"[Faulkner the Storyteller] offers a fresh view of Faulkner's oeuvre, one that places the Snopes Trilogy at the center of his aesthetic project and not in the margins where too many critics have relegated it. It has the potential of reviving formalist studies of Faulkner, which have been over-run recently by other schools of criticism."--Joseph Urgo, author of Faulkner's Apocrypha: A Fable, Snopes, and the Spirit of Human Rebellion.

2005 Choice Outstanding Academic Book, sponsored by Choice Magazine