William Faulkner and the Negroes:
A Vision of Lost Fraternity
THE world of William Faulkner is neither social photography nor historical record; it is rather an appropriation from a communal memory, some great store of half-forgotten legends, of which Faulkner is the last, grieving recorder. No longer available to public experience, it seems still to live fresh and imperious in his mind, as the memory of the Civil War lives in the mind of the Reverend Hightower in Light in August: a tragic charade of the past. We are here confronted not with an imaginary world of which every aspect is carefully designed, but with a complicated story known in its essentials to the narrator but still unordered in his mind-a story of old, confused family records that can be unraveled only with difficulty. Behind the telling of this story there is always a desperate search for order, not merely as a strategy in narrative but also as an actual motive for composition.
About the Author