Thursday, July 1, 2010

Faulkner the Modernist

Many of Faulkner's major works focus on rural lives which are based on his own personal southern upbringings. The town of Mottson is not a metropolis, but is the typical southern farming lifestyle. In “As I Lay Dying,” the humorous dark story of the poor white Bundren family travel from farm to town to bury the mother figure or female head of the family, Addie. Faulkner uses modernism to tell and explain the impact of the socio-cultural era called modernity which is the process of modernization and industrialization in the rural South (Hubbs 463). Faulkner makes it clear that rural modernism is not a geographic logic but a large sociopolitical importance. Rural modernism explains the conflation of the urbanization and the modernization by revealing how the country is used as a representation against which urban modernity is defined. The novel's engagement with rural life during the modern era in the south redefines the relationship of Faulkner's work to the literary and political aspects of the Depression-era, exposing the social import of rural obsolescence and even suggests the rethinking of modernism. Hubbs’ states, “Recognizing rural modernism brings Faulkner's works further into the fold of modernism writ large by explicating the ways in which ostensibly un- or even anti-modern textual elements--slow-moving wagons and sweating farmers--work in the service of the modern” (469).

Hubbs, Jolene. "William Faulkner's Rural Modernism." The Mississippi Quarterly 61.3 (Summer 2008): 461-475. Literature Resource Center. TCC Library, Ft. Worth, TX. June30, 2010.

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