Professor Wai Chee Dimock discusses Jason’s section of The Sound and the Fury with reference to Raymond Williams’s notion of the “knowable community.” Jasons’s narrative is characterized by the loss of that knowable community, by his pointed rage against his family and servants, as well as his diffuse anger against larger, unknowable entities like the “New York Jews,” Wall Street, Western Union, and the United States government. Professor Dimock reads this anger as a harbinger of the modern condition: a threatening world in which strangers and impersonality reign supreme. In her reading, she shows Faulkner expressing qualified sympathy for Jason, whose loss of a utopian model of community is represented with sadness and pathos in the final sections of the novel.
Warning: This lecture contains graphic content and/or adult language that some users may find disturbing.
This course examines major works by Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner, exploring their interconnections on three analytic scales: the macro history of the United States and the world; the formal and stylistic innovations of modernism; and the small details of sensory input and psychic life.
Warning: Some of the lectures in this course contain graphic content and/or adult language that some users may find disturbing.