William Faulkner and Mortality: A Fine Dead Sound

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book is the first full-length study of mortality in William Faulkner’s fiction. The book challenges earlier, influential scholarly considerations of death in Faulkner’s work that claimed that writing was his authorial method of ‘saying No to death’. Through close-readings of six key works—The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, “A Rose for Emily”, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom!, and Go Down, Moses—this book examines how Faulkner’s characters confront various experiences of human mortality, including grief, bereavement, mourning, and violence. The trauma and ambivalence caused by these experiences ultimately compels these characters to ‘say Yes to death’. The book makes a clear distinction between Faulkner’s quest for literary immortality through writing and the desire for death exhibited by the principal characters in the works analysed. William Faulkner and Mortality: A Fine Dead Sound offers a new paradigm for reading Faulkner’s oeuvre, adding an alternative voice to a debate within Faulkner scholarship long thought to have ended.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2021

Publication series

NameStudies in Twentieth-Century Literature

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