By Lothar Honnighausen
That Faulkner used to be a “liar” not only in his writing but additionally in his existence has stricken many critics. they've got defined his quite a few “false stories,” relatively these approximately army honors he truly by no means earned and warfare wounds he by no means sustained, with psychopathological imposture-theories. the disadvantage of this strategy is that it reduces and oversimplifies the advanced mental and aesthetic phenomenon of Faulkner’s role-playing.
Instead, this severe examine via essentially the most acclaimed overseas Faulkner students takes its cue from Nietzsche’s suggestion of “truth as a cellular military of metaphors” and from Ricoeur’s dynamic view of metaphor and treats the donning of mask no longer as an ontological factor yet as a question of discourse.
Honnighausen examines Faulkner’s interviews and pictures for the fictions they perpetuate. Such Faulknerian role-playing he translates as a style of organizing event and relates it to the crafting of the artist’s a number of personae in his works.
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Extra resources for Faulkner: Masks & Metaphors
LiG 77-78; 1954 interview). "William Faulkner, considered by many to be the greatest living American novelist. was the honored guest at the big outdoor supper given by Mr. and Mrs. Burks Summers . " (LiG 267-268; 1957 interview). " 41 Preludes The Faulkner mask emerging from Beale's interview of 1954 could not be more different from the image of the reactionary Faulkner in the 1931 New York Herald Tribune interview. In Beale's ingenious article on the disastrous 1957 interview, the central device is a specific kind of friendly and understanding irony with which she cleverly cloaks her annoyance at Faulkner's ugly mood.
The prominence and wide range of metaphors of masks and disguise in Smith's article confirm that, unlike many other interviewers, he was intensely aware of Faulkner's role-playing. "... I recalled the description of Bayard Sartoris who lived 'where the dusk was peopled with ghosts of glamorous and old things . ' The phrase 'glamorous fatality' seems at times to cloak Faulkner. But Faulkner is not walking about in a veil of heavy tragedy with the poison cup of Socrates in his hand. While to the critics Faulkner is a figure to be compared with the Russians and is termed a 'genius' and one who 'writes like an angel/ he gives the impression that he is much more interested in where the catfish are biting and how to keep rabbits out of his field peas" (LiG 10, my emphasis).
For instance, the slight advancement of the right foot should be noted, as well as the transfer of the cigarette from the right hand to the mouth, and, above all, the energetic turn of the head parallel to the right shoulder, with the cigarette underlining this effect; viewers also become aware in this way of the awkwardness of the unbent arms, which, in the cadet photo, draw attention to the unattractive tunic. By the same token, the unbent arms and the parallel running seam of the tunic elongate the figure, an effect supported by the walking stick and legs and echoed by the two flanking pillars of the pseudobaroque balustrade on the backcloth.