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“My Son, My Son!”: Paternalism, Haiti, and Early Twentieth-Century American Imperialism in William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!

“My Son, My Son!”: Paternalism, Haiti, and Early Twentieth-Century American Imperialism in... “My Son, My Son!”: Paternalism, Haiti, and Early Twentieth-Century American Imperialism in William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! by Sara Gerend Over the last ten years critics have focused increasingly on the role of the Caribbean in William Faulkner’s fiction. According to John T. Matthews, this recent interest in the West Indian component of Faulkner’s works has served to uncover long-neglected connections between “new world histories and experiences” (239). For example, sev- eral critical studies have centered upon the complex relationship between the U.S. South and the island of Haiti in Faulkner’s 1936 modernist novel Absalom, Absalom!, reconfiguring the imaginative geography of Faulkner’s South as a kind of Caribbean rimlands. In “Absalom, Absalom!, Haiti and Labor History: Reading Unreadable Revolutions,” Richard Godden reads the Haitian dimension of Faulkner’s narrative as a direct and powerful comment upon the practice of southern slavery in nineteenth-century America. Godden argues that the Haitian slave rebellion of 1791 and the subsequent establishment of the Western hemisphere’s first black inde - pendent nation in 1804 transformed Haiti into U.S. slaveholders’ worst nightmare; in Absalom, Absalom!, Haiti shadows Faulkner’s plantation South as a haunting threat “synonymous with revolution” (686). The Haitian presence in Faulkner’s novel has also been http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

“My Son, My Son!”: Paternalism, Haiti, and Early Twentieth-Century American Imperialism in William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 42 (1) – Jan 27, 2010

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

“My Son, My Son!”: Paternalism, Haiti, and Early Twentieth-Century American Imperialism in William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! by Sara Gerend Over the last ten years critics have focused increasingly on the role of the Caribbean in William Faulkner’s fiction. According to John T. Matthews, this recent interest in the West Indian component of Faulkner’s works has served to uncover long-neglected connections between “new world histories and experiences” (239). For example, sev- eral critical studies have centered upon the complex relationship between the U.S. South and the island of Haiti in Faulkner’s 1936 modernist novel Absalom, Absalom!, reconfiguring the imaginative geography of Faulkner’s South as a kind of Caribbean rimlands. In “Absalom, Absalom!, Haiti and Labor History: Reading Unreadable Revolutions,” Richard Godden reads the Haitian dimension of Faulkner’s narrative as a direct and powerful comment upon the practice of southern slavery in nineteenth-century America. Godden argues that the Haitian slave rebellion of 1791 and the subsequent establishment of the Western hemisphere’s first black inde - pendent nation in 1804 transformed Haiti into U.S. slaveholders’ worst nightmare; in Absalom, Absalom!, Haiti shadows Faulkner’s plantation South as a haunting threat “synonymous with revolution” (686). The Haitian presence in Faulkner’s novel has also been

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 27, 2010

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