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Faulkner and the Novelistic Imagination Hardcover – June 1, 1985

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The main thing we know reading Faulkner is that we don't know the main thing. . . . Yet Faulkner keeps pointing our attention to the very main thing that we don't know.

Working from that premise, Parker shows how Faulkner's orchestration of dark secrets with delayed revelations creates the suspense through which we must understand his novels. In each work "something" happens. Something so terrible--betrayal, incest, brutal rape, murder--that it has been repressed or cloaked in secrecy. What that something is, or how Faulkner reveals it or hides it critically shapes our understanding of his art and achievement. Parker's study not only illuminates the special difficulties of reading Faulkner, but also suggests a great deal about the theory of fiction in general, and about how we read and interpret other complex works of modern or American fiction.

"Rarely have I experienced such joy in reading about Faulkner as I have had from Parker's study. Parker writes with such vitality and such authority that one learns from him firsthand what Barthes means when he speaks of 'the pleasures of the text.' He has refined difficult patterns of response into exciting, lucid, and often original observations and come up with a significant new way to understand Faulkner's canon." --Arthur F. Kinney, author of Faulkner's Narrative Poetics

"I am much taken by the entire study, but I must single out the chapter on Sanctuary. I am delighted to see such a persuasive, excited account of its narrative technique. This is the one segment that actually made me go back to the novel with renewed zest and appetite for teaching it." --James H. Justus, author of The Achievement of Robert Penn Warren

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