Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner (AMST 246)
Professor Wai Chee Dimock begins her discussion of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying by orienting the novel to the Great Depression in the South, as focalized through such famous texts as Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Once this macro history is established, she reads the narrative techniques of As I Lay Dying through two analytic lenses. First, she draws on Bakhtin's notion of social dialects to underscore the language that indexes poor whites as a Southern type. Second, she marshals Frank Kermode's idea of narrative secrecy to show how two secrets in As I Lay Dying -- Dewey Dell's illegitimate pregnancy and Jewel's illegitimate birth -- are gradually revealed to the reader through Faulkner's multiple narrators, each a speaker of a socially codified dialect, and each a practitioner of narrative secrecy in his or her own right.
00:00 - Chapter 1. The Odyssey and As I Lay Dying
04:34 - The Chronology of As I Lay Dying
09:51 - The Great Depression and Poor Whites
12:37 - Bakhtin and the Social Dialects of the Novel
15:38 - Chapter 5. Kermode and the Genesis of Secrets in As I Lay Dying
20:26 - Chapter 6. The Speaking Voice and Moral Responsibility of Poor Whites
30:01 - Chapter 7. Dewey Dell's Short Term Secret
38:09 - Chapter 8. Darl, Jewel, and Dewey Dell's Deep Rooted Secret
38:24 - Chapter 9. Dewey Dell's Portrait of Her Brothers
43:26 - Chapter 10. Vardaman and the Speech of Children
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu
This course was recorded in Fall 2011.
Tagged under: Faulkner,Great Depression,Now Let Us Praise Famous Men,Walker Evans,Bakhtin,Odyssey,epic tradition,social dialects,poor whites,Kermode,narrative secrecy,Dewey Dell,Cash,Jewel,Vardaman
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