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"I am now like the gambler": Erotic Triangles and Game Theory in William Faulkner's Pylon and If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem

"I am now like the gambler": Erotic Triangles and Game Theory in William Faulkner's Pylon... “I am now like the gambler”: Erotic Triangles and Game Theory in William Faulkner’s Pylon and If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem by Jeremey Cagle Shortly after beginning his tenure as writer- in- residence at the University of Virginia in 1957, Faulkner was asked where he had learned psychology. The question, posed by a student in the psychiatry depart- ment, was a logical one considering Faulkner had just finished describ - ing what he felt constituted irrational human behavior. The answer was the sort of playful prevarication one comes to expect with Faulkner: he said that he learned everything he needed to know about psychology by the characters he wrote and by playing poker (Faulkner in the Univer- sity 268). Although Faulkner’s answer seems evasive, as does his point of mentioning his unfamiliarity with Freud during the same response, Faulkner’s suggestion that poker was useful in the creation of his art — art in which one finds strata of complex human social behavior and diver - sity — is perhaps more truthful than initially suspected. In this essay, I would like to augment existing scholarship on Faulkner’s more neglected, non- Yoknapatawpha novels, Pylon (1935) and If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

"I am now like the gambler": Erotic Triangles and Game Theory in William Faulkner's Pylon and If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 43 (2) – May 26, 2011

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

“I am now like the gambler”: Erotic Triangles and Game Theory in William Faulkner’s Pylon and If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem by Jeremey Cagle Shortly after beginning his tenure as writer- in- residence at the University of Virginia in 1957, Faulkner was asked where he had learned psychology. The question, posed by a student in the psychiatry depart- ment, was a logical one considering Faulkner had just finished describ - ing what he felt constituted irrational human behavior. The answer was the sort of playful prevarication one comes to expect with Faulkner: he said that he learned everything he needed to know about psychology by the characters he wrote and by playing poker (Faulkner in the Univer- sity 268). Although Faulkner’s answer seems evasive, as does his point of mentioning his unfamiliarity with Freud during the same response, Faulkner’s suggestion that poker was useful in the creation of his art — art in which one finds strata of complex human social behavior and diver - sity — is perhaps more truthful than initially suspected. In this essay, I would like to augment existing scholarship on Faulkner’s more neglected, non- Yoknapatawpha novels, Pylon (1935) and If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: May 26, 2011

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