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As I Lay Dying (Norton Critical Editions) - Study Notesby William Faulkner
Synopses & Reviews
This Norton Critical Edition is based on the 1985 corrected text and is accompanied by detailed explanatory annotations.
"Backgrounds and Contexts" is divided into three sections, each of which includes a concise introduction by Michael Gorra that carefully frames the issues presented, with particular attention to As I Lay Dying's place in Faulkner's literary life. "Contemporary Reception" reprints American, English, and French reviews by Clifton Fadiman, Henry Nash Smith, Edwin Muir, and Maurice Coindreau, among others, along with Valery Larbaud's never-before-translated preface to the first French edition of the novel. "The Writer and His Work" examines Faulkner's claim to have written the novel in six weeks without changing a word. It includes his comments on the book's composition along with his later thoughts on and changing opinions of it, sample pages from the manuscript, his Nobel Prize address, and the little-known short story in which he first used the title. "Cultural Context" reprints an essay by Carson McCullers and an excerpt from James Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men along with other materials that address questions of Southern Agrarianism and the Southern grotesque.
"Criticism" begins with the editor's introduction to As I Lay Dying's critical history and scholarly reception. Eleven major essays are provided by Olga W. Vickery, Cleanth Brooks, Calvin Bedient, André Bleikasten, Eric Sundquist, Stephen M. Ross, Doreen Fowler, Patrick O'Donnell, Richard Gray, John Limon, and Donald M. Kartiganer.
A Chronology and a Selected Bibliography are also included.
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Long been recognized not only as one of William Faulkner's greatest works, but also as the most accessible of his major novels.
About the Author
William Faulkner (1897-1962) is the Nobel Prize-winning author of The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, among other works.Michael Gorra is the Mary Augusta Jordan Professor of English at Smith College, where he has taught since 1985. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation and, for his work as a reviewer, of the Balakian Award from the National Book Critics Circle. His books include The Bells in Their Silence: Travels through Germany; After Empire: Scott, Naipaul, Rushdie; The English Novel at Mid-Century; and, as editor, The Portable Conrad. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
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