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Returning to Faulkner’s “Two Soldiers”

Returning to Faulkner’s “Two Soldiers” Returning to Faulkner's "Two Soldiers" by Shawn E. Miller William Faulkner's "Two Soldiers" (1942) is not the kind of story a literary critic is supposed to like. It has been called embarrassing, soupy, shameless, and crass (Fiedler 385); fluffy, inferior, stereotyped, and meretricious (Karl 661 ­ 662); and slick, offensive, gushing, and cute (Volpe 259) by people who matter. André Bleikasten has said it is "worse than the worst of [Faulkner's] novels" (21). Although this contempt has not always been utter (Edmond L. Volpe grudgingly allows that the story "does have redeeming qualities" [260]), and while other dismissals have been less cutting ("Two Soldiers" just is not "Faulkner's best work," according to Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr. ["Democratic Crisis" 82]), defenses of the story in recent critical history are only tepid (Diane Brown Jones's "it is not a failed story" [70] is about as far as anyone has been willing to go).1 Jones speculates that general disdain for "Two Soldiers" may explain why there has been no "critical discussion devoted explicitly to its text," a lack that engenders "interpretive remarks that paint broad strokes and offer little substantive explication" (69). Jones leaves unanswered the question of whether this void http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Returning to Faulkner’s “Two Soldiers”

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 44 (2) – Jun 10, 2012

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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
Publisher site
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Abstract

Returning to Faulkner's "Two Soldiers" by Shawn E. Miller William Faulkner's "Two Soldiers" (1942) is not the kind of story a literary critic is supposed to like. It has been called embarrassing, soupy, shameless, and crass (Fiedler 385); fluffy, inferior, stereotyped, and meretricious (Karl 661 ­ 662); and slick, offensive, gushing, and cute (Volpe 259) by people who matter. André Bleikasten has said it is "worse than the worst of [Faulkner's] novels" (21). Although this contempt has not always been utter (Edmond L. Volpe grudgingly allows that the story "does have redeeming qualities" [260]), and while other dismissals have been less cutting ("Two Soldiers" just is not "Faulkner's best work," according to Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr. ["Democratic Crisis" 82]), defenses of the story in recent critical history are only tepid (Diane Brown Jones's "it is not a failed story" [70] is about as far as anyone has been willing to go).1 Jones speculates that general disdain for "Two Soldiers" may explain why there has been no "critical discussion devoted explicitly to its text," a lack that engenders "interpretive remarks that paint broad strokes and offer little substantive explication" (69). Jones leaves unanswered the question of whether this void

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 10, 2012

There are no references for this article.