Light in August (1932) is one of William Faulkner’s most important, most challenging, and most widely studied novels, demanding to be approached from many angles and with a variety of critical and scholarly skills. Here five distinguished critics offer just such a range of approaches, discussing the novel in terms of its composition and its place in Faulkner’s oeuvre; its structure and narrative techniques; its relation to the religious, racial, and sexual assumptions of the society it depicts; its presentation of women and handling of gender-related issues; and the social and moral implications of the ‘hero’ status accorded to a figure like Joe Christmas. Each contributor has had a double ambition: to write clearly and directly, thus making the volume accessible to the widest possible audience, and to write freshly and originally, so as to enhance - even for those thoroughly familiar with the existing criticism - understanding and appreciation of Light in August itself and of Faulkner’s work as a whole.
The American Novel
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