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Interested Parties and Theorems to Prove: Narrative and Identity in Faulkner's Snopes Trilogy

Interested Parties and Theorems to Prove: Narrative and Identity in Faulkner's Snopes Trilogy Interested Parties and Theorems to Prove: Narrative and Identity in Faulkner’s Snopes Trilogy by Owen Robinson As readers of William Faulkner’s Snopes trilogy, we find our- selves considering both the life of Flem Snopes, and the comparable at- tempts of readers within the narratives to similarly interpret him, these in- terpretations having crucial effects on the respective positions of both Flem and Faulkner’s reader with regard to the texts. Each of these books takes a different narrative approach. The Hamlet (1940) is delivered by an authorial voice, though it is one that is frequently inhabited by the eager contributions of others, most notably V. K. Ratliff. As ever with Faulkner’s use of such a voice, its own position can never be taken for granted — it would be a mistake, for instance, to assume omniscience in any Faulkner narrative, however external the voice may seem. The Town (1957) apparently goes to the other extreme, being entirely constructed of the first-person accounts of Ratliff, Charles Mallison, and Gavin Stevens. These three also figure prominently in the narration of The Mansion (1959), but are joined here by an authorial voice in certain sections of the story — prominently those featuring two http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Interested Parties and Theorems to Prove: Narrative and Identity in Faulkner's Snopes Trilogy

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 36 (1) – Dec 30, 2003

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

Interested Parties and Theorems to Prove: Narrative and Identity in Faulkner’s Snopes Trilogy by Owen Robinson As readers of William Faulkner’s Snopes trilogy, we find our- selves considering both the life of Flem Snopes, and the comparable at- tempts of readers within the narratives to similarly interpret him, these in- terpretations having crucial effects on the respective positions of both Flem and Faulkner’s reader with regard to the texts. Each of these books takes a different narrative approach. The Hamlet (1940) is delivered by an authorial voice, though it is one that is frequently inhabited by the eager contributions of others, most notably V. K. Ratliff. As ever with Faulkner’s use of such a voice, its own position can never be taken for granted — it would be a mistake, for instance, to assume omniscience in any Faulkner narrative, however external the voice may seem. The Town (1957) apparently goes to the other extreme, being entirely constructed of the first-person accounts of Ratliff, Charles Mallison, and Gavin Stevens. These three also figure prominently in the narration of The Mansion (1959), but are joined here by an authorial voice in certain sections of the story — prominently those featuring two

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Dec 30, 2003

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