LLS Boston

Fall 2014:

Faulkner’s Masterpieces (LLS 167BOS)
Meets Mondays, 6:45 to 9:15 p.m.
Sept. 15 to Nov. 3
400 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, @ Goulston & Storrs

This course will assess Faulkner’s contribution to American literature by exploring three of his greatest novels: The Sound and the Fury (Norton Critical Ed), Light in August (Vintage International Ed), and Absalom, Absalom! (Vintage International Ed). We will focus especially on Faulkner’s formal experimentation and on his work’s understanding of racial distress.

Major topics:

  • Racial distress in America: what light does Faulkner’s work shed on it? What changes occur in his fiction once it begins to focus on miscegenation?
  • Faulkner as modernist: how and why might his work depart from traditional fictional procedures? What does it owe to innovations made by earlier modernist writers such as Conrad, Freud, Eliot, and Joyce?
  • How does “stream of consciousness” operate in The Sound and the Fury? What new field of representation does that technique provide?
  • The South as special/the South as microcosm: in what ways should Faulkner be seen as a regional writer?
  • Faulknerian tragedy: what is the resonance of defeat and failure in his fictional output?
  • Faulknerian time: how do his novels explore the pitfalls and possibilities of memory? How do they envisage the ways in which the present engages with/is shaped by the past?


The Professor:

Philip Weinstein, Alexander Griswold Cummins Professor of Literature. His teaching and writing are focused on modern literature. His latest book, Becoming Faulkner, was awarded the Hugh Holman Prize for the best book on Southern literature published in 2010. This will be his sixth course in the LLS program.