Critiques of Faulkner’s Sound and Fury Essay

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Critiques of Faulkner’s Sound and Fury

After reading through a large chunk of criticism, it seems clear to me how David Minter, editor of our edition, hopes to direct the readers’ attentions. I was rather dumbstruck by the number of essays included in the criticism of this edition that felt compelled to discuss Faulkner and the writing of The Sound and the Fury seemingly more than to discuss the text itself. Upon going back over the essay, I realized that Minter’s own contribution, “Faulkner, Childhood, and the Making of The Sound and the Fury,” is a prime example of such “criticism of the text” that focuses on the author, his creation of the text as a process, and the author’s self-professed opinions of the text. I have a number of
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Unfortunately, Andre Bleikasten’s “The Quest for Eurydice” devotes a sizeable portion of its time to discussing these very issues I grew weary of. But once you get past this, I found Bleikasten’s essay rather interesting. Admittedly, the essay struck me mostly because it discusses a number of ideas and theoretical approaches I am currently entrenched in for another seminar that focuses on hauntings and phenomenality. On page 422, he says “these curious children, confronted with the mysteries of sex and death, are the fictive delegates of that supreme voyeur who is none other than the novelist. He too wants to see and know. Just as we, his readers, do.” In effect, Bleikasten creates a chain of voyeurism, for as the Compson sons look up and watch their sister in the tree, Faulkner watches the sons, and the reader watches along with Faulkner, so that we are watching the watched watcher.

Then Bleikasten moves on to a discussion of Caddy, whom he calls “a blank counter, an empty signifier, a name in itself devoid of meaning and thus apt to receive any meaning” (423). In this manner, Faulkner designifies the signifier, which becomes nothing more than letters on a page. Yet ironically, for Benjy,

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