Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner: Faulkner, Light in August (Lecture 22 of 25) Yale | Fall 2011

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Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner (AMST 246)

Professor Wai Chee Dimock focuses her introductory lecture on Faulkner's Light in August on the "pagan quality" of his protagonist Lena. She argues that Faulkner uses Lena to update the classic story of the unwed mother by fusing comedy with the epic road novel. In doing so, he also updates the Greek tradition of the kindness of strangers, drawing attention to it through certain stylistic markers, including the "switchability" between the protagonist and her supporting cast, the use of gerunds as a linguistic safe haven for Lena, and the allegorical naming of Byron and Burden as social types with scripted trajectories.

00:00 - Chapter 1. The Pagan Quality of Lena and Light in August
08:10 - Chapter 2. Updating the Story of the Unwed Mother as Comedy
16:17 - Chapter 3. Light in August as Faulkner's Epic Road Novel
21:12 - Chapter 4. The Kindness of Strangers
33:42 - Chapter 5. The Switchability of Lena as Protagonist and the Supporting Cast
36:09 - Chapter 6. Switchability Between the Weighty and the Mundane
39:19 - Chapter 7. Faulkner's Stylized Use of Gerunds
43:08 - Chapter 8. Allegorical Names and Types

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu

This course was recorded in Fall 2011.

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