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William Faulkner: The Yoknapatawpha Country Paperback – December 1, 1989

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Recognizing that the creative and imaginative center of Faulkner's art is Yoknapatawpha County, Brooks examines the merits of each of the works set beyond these boundaries and explores how these writings complement Faulkner as an artist. He sheds light on the literary sources that influenced Faulkner's early work and the technical innovations and general themes Faulkner was to develop in the later writing.

About the Author

Cleanth Brooks(1906--1994) was born in Kentucky, and educated at Vanderbilt, Tulane, and Oxford where he was a Rhodes scholar. He began his teaching career at Louisiana State University in 1932. To many minds, Brooks is the archetypal New Critic, the man whose catch phrases, critical studies, and college textbooks epitomized New Critical ideas, practice, and pedagogy.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: LSU Press; Reprint edition (December 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807116017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807116012
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #499,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you are engaged by Faulkner's works and seek the insights of a guide through Billy's Yoknapatawpha country, look no further. Through the decades this is my most trusted Faulkner companion. While I am not a scholar, I have been reading and rereading Billy's works and more than any other author (I've been reading for 50 years) I feel an affinity for his books, to the point I have subscribed to email lists populated by Faulkner scholars.

So, while many scholars have approached Billy's works, none (in my humble estimation) surpass Cleanth's insights.

Dedicated to Robert Penn Warren, it contains 13 essays devoted to Faulkner's major works, and three offerings on qualities of Faulkner's works. The writing is clear and accessible, not at all cluttered with the multi-syllabic gibberish that characterizes so much scholarship.
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Format: Paperback
It was probably 1974 that Cleanth Brooks gave me my copy of this book. I was one of a crew working on the trees at his house outside New Haven, Connecticut, and at the end of the job he joined us while we cleaned up. I had recently read "Absalom, Absalom!", and knowing that Brooks was an expert on Faulkner I somewhat presumptuously said something to the effect that I had been highly impressed by it. That sparked a brief conversation, the details of which I forget, which is just as well inasmuch as I probably would now be embarrassed by whatever I said. I must have somehow conveyed that I intended to read more of Faulkner, because at the end of our chat, Brooks said, "Let me see if I can find something for you", and he went back into his house to emerge a few minutes later with what is now my copy of this book.

It turned out to be almost forty years before I returned to Faulkner. Over the past year I have read eight of Faulkner's major novels, including, once again, "Absalom, Absalom!". It has been one of the most rewarding reading projects of my life. After reading a novel, I would read the relevant chapter in WILLIAM FAULKNER: THE YOKNAPATAWPHA COUNTRY, which invariably enhanced (although to differing degrees) my understanding of the novel. Even a careful and sophisticated reader would miss some of the intricacies of Faulkner's stories without a guide such as Brooks's. On top of that, for the most part Brooks's interpretations and critical commentary are reasonable; his are not nearly as fanciful as those found in many readers' guides written by academics, and I don't recall ever feeling that one of his comments was utter BS. Moreover, Brooks's knowledge of Faulkner's oeuvre is prodigious.
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I have not yet finished reading this book, as I only got it two days ago, but so far it is everything I supposed it would be. Mr.Brooks's prose is lucid and effective, and his critical judgments are restrained but insightful. If I were recommending a single book to a first-time Faulkner reader, I think it would be this one. As I said, I am not finished with the book and it could go downhill catastrophically in later pages, but I think that is about as likely as an August blizzard in Oxford, Mississippi. Mr. Brooks was one of the great literary critics of the 20th century, and this book seems to me as good as anything he ever wrote. I have no idea why I never got around to reading it before now, but I'm glad finally to have begun doing what I should have done thirty years ago. No one who wants to understand Faulkner will find this book a waste of his/her time.
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William Faulkner: The Yoknapatawpha Country
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