The Sound and the Fury
Publication Date: December 1993
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"Backgrounds" begins with the appendix Faulkner wrote in 1945 and sometimes referred to as another telling of The Sound and the Fury and includes a selection of Faulkner's letters, excerpts from two Faulkner interviews, a memoir by Faulkneris friend Ben Wasson, and both versions of Faulkner's 1933 introduction to the novel. "Cultural and Historical Contexts" presents four different perspectives on the place of the American South in history. Taken together, these works by C. Vann Woodward, Richard H. King, Carolyn Porter, and Robert Penn Warren provide the reader with valuable contexts for understanding the novel. "Criticism" includes seventeen essays on The Sound and the Fury that collectively trace changes in the way we have viewed this novel over the last four decades. The critics are Jean-Paul Sartre, Irving Howe, Ralph Ellison, Olga W. Vickery, Cleanth Brooks, Michael Millgate, John T. Irwin, Myra Jehlen, Donald M. Kartiganer, David Minter, Warwick Wadlington, John T. Matthews, Thadious M. Davis, Wesley Morris and Barbara Alverson Morris, Minrose C. Gwin, Andre Bleikasten, and Philip M. Weinstein. A revised Selected Bibliography is also included.
About the AuthorWilliam Faulkner was an American writer, Nobel Prize laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner. A prolific writer, Faulkner is best known for his novels and short stories, including The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, which are set in fictional Yoknapatawpha County, and the Snopes trilogy which includes The Hamlet, The Town and The Mansion. Along with Mark Twain, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and Harper Lee, Faulkner is considered one of the most important writers of Southern literature and is known for his experimental style, including the use of stream of consciousness. Faulkner died in 1962.
David Minter is Libby Shearn Moody Professor of English at Rice University. He is co-editor of The Harper American Literature and The Columbia Literary History of the United States. He is author of Heirs of Changing Promise: A Cultural History of the American Novel, 1890 1940; William Faulkner: His Life and Work; and The Interpreted Design.