Writer in the Faraway Country

  • John Pikoulis


Sartoris (1929) is rightly considered by many to be a seminal work but fewer would agree that it is a remarkable achievement in its own right, one that brings Faulkner suddenly into command of his art. As his earlier work shows, a way of giving convincing expression to youthful emotion had eluded his grasp until, with this book, the myth of the South came to activate his imagination, grounding his feelings in a context and suggesting a method that could do justice to them by being indulgent and indirectly critical at one and the same time. While, therefore, Sartoris is subordinated to Bayard Sartoris and works for him in the arrangement of light and dark, the movement of the seasons, the disposition of the characters and the atmosphere of ‘glamorous fatality’, it also allows us to see him more dispassionately as a man at war with himself, one who is a child both of the old South and the new and an embodiment of the conflicts between them.


Secret Message Male Artist Aged Widow Romantic Poetry Unfavourable Impression 
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    Faulkner in the University, eds Frederick L. Gwynn and Joseph L. Blotner (Charlottesville, Va., 1959), p. 285.Google Scholar
  2. 9.
    In 1926, the yar before Sartoris was written, Faulkner elaborated his view that ‘you don’t commit suicide when you are disappointed in love. You write a book’—a book in which your hero commits suicide. (Faulkner, A Biography, Joseph Blotner (LOndon, 1974), p. 228.)Google Scholar
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    Louis D. Rubin, Jr., The Faraway Country (Seattle, Washington, 1963), p.70.Google Scholar
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    Anton Ehrenzweig, The Hidden Order of Art (London, 1967).Google Scholar
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    André Bleikasten, Faulkner’s ‘As I Lay Dying’ (Bloomington, Ind., 1973), p.91.Google Scholar

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© John Pikoulis 1982

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  • John Pikoulis

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