Faulkner's Media Romance

ISBN : 9780190077808

Julian Murphet
298 Pages
156 x 156 mm
Pub date
Jan 2020
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This book treats William Faulkner's major fiction-from Flags in the Dust through to Absalom, Absalom!-to a searching reappraisal under the spotlight of a media-historical inquiry. It proposes that Faulkner's inveterate attraction to the paradigms of romance was disciplined and masked by the recurrent use of metaphorical figures borrowed from the new media ecology. Faulkner dressed up his romance materials in the technological garb of radio, gramophony, photography, and cinema, along with the transportational networks of road and air that were being installed in the 1920s. His modernism emerges from a fraght but productive interplay between his anachronistic predilection for chivalric chiches and his extraordinarily knowledgeable interest in the most up-to-date media institutions and forms. Rather than see Faulkner as a divided author, who worked for money in the magazines and studios while producing his serious fiction in despite of their symbolic economies, this study demonstrates how profoundly his mature art was shot through with the figures and dynamics of the materials he publicly repudiated. The result is a richer and more nuanced understanding of the dialectics of his art.


Introduction: Modernism and the Absent Event of Romance
Chapter 1. A Folklore of Speed
Chapter 2. Affect and Spatial Dynamics in Flags in the Dust and The Sound and the Fury
Chapter 3. Currents of Consciousness
or, my mother is a graphophone
Chapter 4. The Negative Plate, or Absalom, Absalom! and the camera's voice

About the author: 

Julian Murphet is the Director of the Centre for Modernism Studies at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is the author of four books, most recently Multimedia Modernism: Literature and the Anglo-American Avant-Garde (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

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