Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury: The Impasse of Southern History
Prof. Donald Kartiganer (University of Mississippi)
William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury is an experimental novel about the impossibility of rendering a true history of the South through any of the available modes of memory. Moreover, the novel celebrates this impossibility as a paradoxical triumph of the autonomous imagination. The attempt to recapture in language the figure of Caddy Compson is equivalent to the attempt to recapture the truth of the South. Caddy’s various depictions in the monologues of her brothers and her disappearance from the novel in the last section testify to the difficulty of achieving a valid historical vision, as well as to the opportunity of moving beyond it.