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J. E. BUNSELMEYER Universityof Massachusetts HE VISION at theheart Faulkner's of worksis of lifeas a process I of accretion, overwhelming of connectedness. This vision is embodied thesyntactic that in narration style characterizes Faulkner's and marksphraserhythms "Faulknerian." as as Worksas different The Hamletand Lightin Augustsharea syntactic thatequates style eventsand ideas,past and present, piling up clauses; the style by transforms individualexperience linkingit to everything an by around it. Stylistic analysisidentifies the dominantfeaturesof Faulkner's characteristic as well as the variations stylethat in style create differences tone, rangingfrom comedy to thoughtful in contemplation. Specifically, speechact theory and transformational analysisof grammatical into the ways by patterns yield insights which narrative creates toneand point view. of syntax The communication pointof viewis,perhaps, basic"transof the action" of literary and ordinary language.' In literary narratives, an events related are from evaluative viewpoint (forexample, the in tellable talesimposed upon dinner guests).In Towarda SpeechAct Theory Literary of Pratt considers evaluative this Discourse, attitude as inherent "the literary in becausethe authoror speechsituation" a is but of speaker "notonlyreporting also verbally displaying state affairs, his inviting addressee(s) to join him in contemplating it, to evaluating and responding it. His pointis to producein his it, hearers onlybelief also an imaginative affective not but and involvementin thestate affairs is presenting an evaluative of he and stance towardit."2In Faulkner'stales,the evaluative stancevariesfrom with a character's comic detachment empathy to contemplation;
T 1 JohnSearle, Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy Language (Cambridge, of Eng.: Cambridge Univ. Press,I969), p. I7, discusses speechas an active transaction. 2 MaryLouise Pratt, Toward a SpeechAct Theoryof Literary Discourse(Bloomington: p.
Indiana Univ. Press, I977),
American Literature, Volume 53, Number 3, NovemberI98I.
Duke University Press.
werephrased thesimple tense.Narrative Styles Faulkner's 425 these in differencestoneand point viewarecreated different of by syntactic styles.: Wesleyan Univ.4 Faulkner's In narration contemplation of these stylistic features cluster together. doubledmodifiers.. 4 RichardOhmannin Shaw: The Styleand the Man (Middletown. wayofevaluat"a ing events placingthemagainstthe background otherevents by of which might happened. comparisons that explicitly evaluate whatis bywhat is like. through comparisons. Press. "The Transformation Experience Narrative in of Syntax. and appositives. have but did appositives.. marked manyof the syntactic and is by features noted Labovin theevaluative by sections natural of narratives. features cluster that inFaulkner's contemplative passages are: negatives." as . forming foregrounded patterns 3 WilliamLabov. 388). inviting evaluation the relationship an of between attributes."Language and theInnerCity(Philadelphia: Univ. they in when past evaluation built was intothenarration. syntactic in which the style a taleis toldalters way events the and characters evaluated. which not"(pp. were that events merely reported. which so lengthy so numerous theoriginal are and that nounis lostsight as it is amplified absorbed all thethings of and it by stands andcanbeequated for with.." the introduce evaluation.380-8I). Conn. providing Labov's in words. Narration differs themere from of intent and recountingevents-in in style-as Labovhaspointed He found when out.I962) arguesthat "We orderexperience we orderlanguage. actis amplified. p. doublemodifiers which "bring a wider in range simultaneous of events" (Labov. which define what bywhat notandinvite is is judgement of both through comparison. negative comparisons.was through it "departures from basicnarrative syntax.3 it of Thus. 37I-73 and 388. often or doubled tripled." through syntactic transformations that "suspend action. of Pennsylvania Press. or-clauses. literature's closest The foregrounded kin. draws readers theprocess into of thought evaluation. it or-clauses thatembed consideration alternative the of forms action of orperception invite and evaluation through juxtaposition. The stylistic features mark contemplative all inherthat the tone ently involve evaluation because present they syntactic relationships. are Faulkner's contemplative which style.I972). transform and experience byframing in a point view. pp. Thesesyntactic have a tendencies in common "modeof ordering" an experience.
in Differencesthetoneand styles comedy contemplation of and arenicely illustrated theopening by passages thetwosections of of "Was. comic The passages marked a very are by different syntactic that style doesnot suspend action. Stacking separate intocoordinate actions syntactic structures the eliminates evaluation in In inherent subordination.5Faulkner's In prose. 'Uncle Ike. 26I. RobertW. Freud even thought that contemplation interfered thecomic with affect. right-branching style His comic speeds flow action. 6 5 SigmundFreud. any appositives a widower now and uncleto halfa county father and p. rather the but pushes onward piling indiit by up vidualevents. ed. this interference is quiteliteral thelevelof syntax.JamesStrachey. I940). his conat for templative breaks theflow action embedding style up of by evaluation.426 American Literature that absorb reader theprocess thought engage the in of and himin anevaluative ofview. the Thesecontrasting of patterns syntactic expansion create differing of comedy conthe tones and templation. "Was."trans. point Faulkner's comedy free these is of stylistic features. at a time. Moses (New York: ModernLibrary."Jokes and the Comic. syntactic creates more or This style a distanced comic perspective thenarrated on events. Corrigan(San Francisco:Chandler. right-branching move to the kernels from action thenextso rapidly there no pausefor one to that is evaluation contemplation. and Form. are one as thesentence grows theright. viewpoints The of comedy and contemplation differ.' seventy and past nearer eighty heever than corroborated more. PP. style up the minimizes each event and creates a distanced attitude toward action. Comedy:Meaning in WilliamFaulkner. the of by heaping deeds." in Go Down.I965). Faulkner's comic passages. 3-4- . The first section presents contemplative the introduction to Isaacand to thematic on perspectives thepastand possession. actions accumulated. appositive doubling IsaacMcCaslin. quality two the the styles isthe share "Faulknerian" sense ofcrowded accumulation."6 Thesepassages illustrate central both also that to is styles a kindofsyntactic accretion suits thematic oflife comthat a view as posedof interconnected of relationships layers between times and people.
doubling welcome livein one roomofitas he had during to comparison hiswife's timeorsheduring timeor the her or-clauses of sister-in-law herchildren and the during rest hisand after. one ofthese widower :-a these twenty appositives in all his lifehad ownedbutone objectmore negative and in thanhe couldwearand carry hispockets doubling hishandsat one time.easehergoing negatives or wishesmortmain possession dying chancery not. in histimethe the negative thenand of whichsomehad thought bequestor. evenseenbyhimself. of McCaslinEdmonds. notand and withstanding inheritor./or-phrase notsomething had participated or even the the remembered except from hearing.to humor appositive butwhichwas nothis./comparison earth were. airand weather whichhiswife's bungalowin Jefferson cheapframe adj. or-clauses to and desired since whoownedno property never negatives as the was no man'sbutall men's. appositive 427 . or-phrases it his himself holding for wife's merely whatever. cl. lightand neg. his years senior bornin I850 and sixteen doubling hisown father whenIsaac. listening appositive his cometo himthrough from cousinMcCaslin and and hence. rather brother onlychild. to acquiesceto. in he neg. that appositive somestillthought shouldhavebeenIsaac'ssince adj. triple and marriage whichhis father on gavethem their clauses wifehad willedto himat herdeathand which he had pretended accept. grandson Isaac'sfather's appositives yet by sister so descended thedistaff.But Isaac was not negative who years. byhiseldercousin. triple to hiswas thenamein whichthetitle theland clauses had first the from Indianpatent beengranted of and whichsomeofthedescendants his father's slavesstillborein theland.an beingnearseventy his than was born.who livedstillin the doubleadj. appositives who had livedin itwith sister herchildren and himsincehiswife's himself holding death. and thiswas thenarrow whichhe leanmattress ironcotand thestained in usedcamping thewoodsfordeerand bearor forfishing simply or becausehe lovedthewoods.will or her.Narrative Styles Faulkner's to no one. negative in thiswas notsomething participated or negative but or-clause/neg.
legends grow. (McCaslin of one. The actof apposition move the surfacestyleeven further the relationships. old appositive havethesyntactic to Isaac to make (excepttorefuse act)."In Faulkner's surfacesyntax. there nomeaningful for ." (McCaslinwas) "grandson Isaac'sfather's (McCaslin was) "the inheritor".(Isaac was) "a widower". and decreases individuation emphasizes others. which reinforce thematic the and point of structure punctuation. of the the time. Thus. that untilthey inundate consciousness. is noverb. The lastparagraph an appositive thepreceding beginswitha pronounthathas no anteand the secondparagraph back Such pronouns usuallyrefer cedent:"thiswas not something.grandson. olddays. is the and of between subject theaction theverb lostsight In the action for is there first paragraph. to is last The entire paragraph an appositive thepreceding qualify continually appositives the within paragraph numerous each often connection the and until separating subject verb and equate. in thatthere fewisolated or and are actions actors life'slegends." the surface into bothIsaac and McCaslinare transformed linesintothepassage. to (Isaac was) "uncle to half a county". paragraph allow forinconclusive Such syntactic structures identity.(Isaac was) "father no sister"." is but here the only referent Isaac's appositional to something. and after. of. syntactic as of actionintoa network equated for McCaslin'spotential individual of The over-allstructure the passage has the same relationships. matrix. each have no individual effect: individual the sections to dependsfor meaningupon its relationship what comes before to is one. whichall implytheir to relationship descendant). appositives direct.In the deep diminishing structure: (Isaac was) "past seventy". one. onlyeight In (McCaslin was) "the bequestor.428 AmericanLiterature out than and comparisons cousin. active statements intotherealmof thepassive and awayfrom such as "McCaslin bequeathed. Appositives and thus effect deletingagentspresentin the deep structure of actorsand eventsin the surfacestyle. to are or viewthat there no clearbeginnings endings events. by was) "descended the distaff". into is McCaslin's action of bequeathing transformed McCaslin's absorbs apposition the and identity inheritor bequestor. all the othernouns theirnames can be equated with (widower. uncle.a bit at a time. ratherhisfather either.the two themes: establishes vast numberof appositives through style. for existence.
" lived no "who "which wife's his life.but also Isaac who refuses and ownership who a frame a story providesnarrative for about menwhowouldpossess and owneachother.and point that be for thus of actions people and do can the and presents point viewthat each The of surroundreplace other." clauses to redefine hasgone continually what before light thepast." the of Like theapposithis tives." his had "andwhich had he The pretended accept. in of The or-constructionsexpand also descripin tion anevaluative "which used direction: he in woods camping the fordeerand bearor forfishing simply or he because lovedthe woods"."holding himself welcome livein oneroomofit as he to hadduring wife's orsheduring time thesister-in-law his time her or andherchildren during rest hisand after. adjective the are clauses a kindofdoubling." still."Isaac's repeated relationship his house is thathe will to .but thosewho thinkhe should." had "which wife willed. use by to Isaac"owned property never no and desired since earth to the was notownit. by which embeds theaddeddetails themiddle thesentence. by is ing things extended Faulkner's of negatives identify.Narrative Styles Faulkner's 429 The overwhelming of relationshipsreinforced other maze is by and clauses and elements style-by of numerous or-phrases adjective of by theredefinitionthings their by opposites.Definition reality relationshipswhat of or by they notpulls are whodo not. thestrings by like ofadjective the stretches reader's clauses.notjustMcCaslin owned landand participated in the theannualrace. through negation." father given."Isaac still and hishomearequalified many by suchclauses: "whoin all his "whoowned property.and those no man's. all into of between and verb-ifthe process apposition not subject of has intothereader's consciousness twiceas manythings once: notjust at Isaac who ownsno land. Thisredefinitionnegation. consciousnessthesyntax. for further about they keepgiving information thepreceding clause: "that which somehad thought and somestillthought then should havebeenIsaac'ssince was thenamein which title the his the to landhadfirst granted been from Indian the and some patent which ofthedescendants hisfather's of in slaves bore theland. Liketheappositives. process defining things other. theimportant about relationship thestory thing his to he tells that doesnotowniteither is he since didnotparticipate he in it. syntactic construction further from initial leads away the starting to all thethings might substituted it.
sentence each clause follows. In contrast thecontemplative that to tone opens first the section of "Was.ratherthan embeddingappositives and adjectiveclauses betweensubjectsand verbs. clauses of nearlyequal length. . of fast is which grows toward the right. the of in syntax.theyheardUncle Buddycursing and bellowing thekitchen. lengthy in The sentence clearbecause kindof transformation is the employed to join elements right-branching.The few participial in phrasespass unnoticed the generalforegrounding the rightof The separateactionsare equated by the branching syntactic style.whatever in preceded it: "Whenhe and UncleBuckranback . reader is As the moves through the tionof thisseries separate. . ." The percep- The syntax the creates rhythms which move reader the through the bizarre around house. heavy the and The embedding of reaches limits whatthemindcan contain the and makesthe reader through feel. . alsocreates point viewthat race the it the of theraceand thecharacters involved it arebizarre. thenthey saw them the and heard cross hallagainintoUncleBuddy's room them runthrough UncleBuddy's roomintothekitchen againand this time it sounded thewholekitchen like had chimney comedownand Uncle Buddy bellowing a steamboat like and blowing thistimethefoxand the dogsand five sixsticks firewood came ofthekitchen or of all out together with UncleBuddy themiddle them in of hitting everything sight at in with stick. thefoxand and dogscameout of the in then kitchen crossed hall intothedogs'roomand they and the heardthem runthrough dogs'room the intohisand UncleBuck'sroom.The rightseparateindependent a achieves rhythmic to branching powersuitable a raceand is appro- . actions due to thesyntax. numbing sense a world which numerous connections interrelationships leastas realas and are at action. and they heard themrun .430 American Literature eliminated subject verbaltogether."thesecond section begins with comic the creation action. . they heardUncleBuddy cursing. thentheysaw themcrossthe hall. then the fox and the dogs came out . . . of Thestyle the of narration dramatically: shifts 2 When he andUncleBuckranbackto thehouse from discovering that Tommy's Turl had run again. timeand logic. . another It wasa goodrace.
applying satirically onlyto thebumbling not hunt of thefoxand dogsbutalso to theequally bumbling semi-annual hunts Buck Buddy TurlandofSophonisba a husband. sharethe patterns "Faulknerian" quality accumulating of things equal weight: of neither syntax pattern grants grammatical priority certain to individual actions others. indethrough right-branching pendent clauses. The difference tonebetween first second in the and sections of "Was"-between contemplative the introduction the comic and tale-is due to thedifference between evaluative the embedding of appositives. is by repetitive structure"Was. as parallels equates and events." as to and "circle. Their entrapmentcodes by from pastis further the suggested the by Buck havegiven settings: and Buddy over unfinished house the big tothenumerous slaves they pretend possess haveno realuse to and to for."Such variation phrase in on attention the focuses rhythm short which repeated thevery of thestory.Narrative Styles Faulkner's 43I priately broken theironic. on top of the one .Hubert as ownedtwoseparate the plantations covering samearea of ground. 8). hunter Buck the The and hunted further are equatedby the similarity the animal of metaphors express dehumanization entrapment that the and of both-for when example." "bay" Turl(p. right-branching Yet bothsyntax actions. doesthe so patterning theparallel of hunts: Buck's Turl and Sophonisba's for a for husband-both andTurlheadfor woods. adjective and clausesand the accretion of quick.Sophonisba pretends dignity insisting others the that by call ramshackle Warwick: "when wouldn't it Warplantation call they she wick. for The sense connectedness actions. alsoexpressed thecircular. a is sentence."The hunt a recurrent enacted of is ritual toconfirmsocial a codethat outdated. of and for for The pilingup of separate actions. an of rather equated events significance. wouldn't seem know even to were what about they talking and it wouldsound if sheand Mr. Uncle Buck's "gnarled thrust neck forward likea cooter's" hebegan "flush. negatives. action contemplation characters' over In or the and readers' minds must sort through accumulation related. story ended itwas is the is as Just thesyntax begun. of ofall past which is conveyed thesyntactic by styles. by "It staccato generalization: wasa good race. end as at kindofrefrain. creates galloping a rhythm thatreduces each individual deedto blurred insignificance. andpresent.
"TheBear. at which others presume lastnameentitles to." Sound theFury. I939)." .432 AmericanLiterature other" 9). Brace. discrepancy between names the exists the of and characters their Buckand Buddy reality. TheReivers illustrates. 2 on "Symbols. waysin the of the whichwordsfrom worldwhich"was" continue determine a to perceptions. the of from in analysis passages Light August. esp.whichsanction possession which and categorize "Tomey's Turl's arms were that supposed be black to but were quitewhite" 29) differently Buck's Buddy's. title.Eventhearchaic his him stage props the to ritual hunt example. Hayakawa coined the terms "maps" and "territories"in Language and Thought in Action (New York: Harcourt. absence a sir-namethesemantic of is symbol his enslavement. from and Obviously. I LayDying. Turl is named. likea race Tommy's horse. I. proves of He twicea yearthathis own enslavement enslaves also those whopretend ownandnamehim. thestructure the in the the and of actionof "Was. (for Sophonisba's sending Buck the redribbon from around throat) her underline absurdityliving the of by socialcodesof thepast. influence actions."as well as in its syntactic styles. of or it conveys the entrapment ofman anaccretion relationships. to In theframe story Isaac rejects pretensions ownership. A similar (p. not (p. The encoding of present reality anachronistic by verbal "maps"7 from pastis the reflected thesetting. and Theophilus Amodeus. Dolezelpoints in Statistics Style: out and "The overall character of is forth the style called of by degree presence absence) a certain of (or modeof expression. ch. names. "Was" examines semantics racism. tries Sophonisba to liveup to hersand fails. hismother's as his issue. rather thanby itsexclusive (or complete use 7 S. Whether the narrative syntax "Was"is comic contemplative. eschew their anachbirth ronistic names. difference The between narrative andtones duetoa is styles in difference the degree concentration stylistic of of as features. enslave and people. The and As The and Hamlet. in "Was"the As narrative styles maybe mixed a given in work:there contemplative are in passages comic novels as TheReivers comic such and in about passages novels such and subjects as dying burying arenotordinarily that considered comic. in of The comic and contemplative are present styles throughout Faulkner's as following works.
he wouldplacehis stomach for acquiescent foodwhichit did not seemto desire need. the act for of Christmas asheweighs strangeness experience: the ofhis He layready sleep. to the It was as though comparison now and at lasthe had an actual doubleadj. doubleadjectives. into thing The words describe process wellas thecontent thought. point view. negation.It was strange the or in sensethathe coulddiscover neither derivation nor motivation explanation it. example." or falling neg. daystoward or either or-phrases short overshooting."8 The degree embedded of or evaluation thedegree of foregroundingright-branching creates of actions in differences narrative Of course." The Soundand theFury.The many embeddings onlyreflect contemplative not the style mindor actas a "mirror themind. clauses.He foundthat nor for he was trying calculate dayoftheweek. Elsevier. "A Framework for the Statistical Analysisof Style. "TheBear. explicit and comparison. (New York:Modern Library. LubomirDolezel and RichardBailey (New York: American ed. there mixedtones are between comedy andcontemplation. 3I7. for without without sleeping."in Statistics and Style. and theprocess evaluation presented thesamesyntactic that of is in style begins first the section "Was"andfrom same of the empathetic point of view. somewhat This binary distinctiontheendsof of Faulkner's narrative continuumintended clarify variation is to how in syntactic contributesvarieties toneand differences style to of in In Lightin August.without appositive/neg. . tone. IO-II.I969). 4. effect The of these in the transformations narrative syntax toengage reader is the in thoughts Joe inthe ofevaluation. which an imply 8 LubomirDolezel. pp. of Thatnight strange a came hismind.9 they involve reader sorting also in the through relationships between elements the embedded orthrough apposition.1975). and urgent needto strike theaccomplished off somepurpose act. I932)." use Chomsky's of of to phrase. Reflections on Language (New York: Pantheon. p./doubling comparison negative or-clause negatives doubling/neg.Narrative Styles Faulkner's 433 suppression). p. the as of The syntactic defines style states thinking feeling what of and by they lackthrough foregrounding the of negatives. to as seeming needthesleep. 10 Light in August 9 Noam Chomsky.
qualities: (Labov..The viewpoint inherent opposite-the and is of is thought a process relating connecting builtintothe style. of (regardless themotivaareabsent connections suchexplicit that By be afterward).-a corridor wreckage destruc- appositive doubling apposithrough into the Syntactically. definite for appositive of man:-thelong legend corn-cribs comparison likea living pigs of and down rifled shoats grown and appositives broken and bodily the into woods calves carried andeven doubling negative double adj.p. big had square miles a that an areaalmost hundred in designation a a earned himselfname. . phantom.widowered theold bear. childless and indomitable. bearis transformed a legend is of the apposition.For example. inherited. and outreft Priam ofhisold wife of and absolved mortality-old 11 "The Bear. ofthe desire need. comparative and of and and sense timelessness its and days acts.434 AmericanLiterature the them against background" "by of thoughts placing evaluation the explanamotivation. alone. 388) and invite evaluations sleepand hunger. and of devoured. point view. bringing that and tions explanations might given of in both intoconsciousness whatis andis notpresent theprocess contemof a the style thought. pp. ever He hadalready then.. . . syntactic conthat passages present other style The samenarrative marks in the of and the templation creates sameeffect engaging reader an the a of evaluative stance. legend hisactions transformed tion. bear continually a he with: is for he defined all the things stands andcanbeequated by and out indomitable invincible of an old dead "an anachronism. of and a epitome apotheosis theold wildlife. 380) ofabsent of the presents point view the the Through negatives. solitary. events" of range simultaneous in also nouns "bring a wider of p. he tion back beginning before wasborn.byfurther is The and of into corridor wreckage destruction. derivation. I92-93. that need to ordertime. time. (Labov. or-clauses."in Go Down. contemplation an involves attitude bear and of wilderness ofthe ofthemeaning the of and the toward both process theobject contemplation. doubling adjectives plation. syntactic invites point viewtoward and of and The comparisons. Moses. passage tion. without having foot with trap-ruined one seen the oldbear it.
gave I of mausoleum allhope and comparison Quentin. mortal)and thus not not implies evaluation what is.toobig it but for dogswhich the tried bayit . which through sped. on curtains of the When shadow thesash appeared the I and and seven eight o'clock then was itwasbetween the It intime again. wasGrandfather's when and Father ittomehesaid.Narrative Styles Faulkner's 435 lived hissons.it is "notevena mortal beast."The bear'sactionis introduced a clausedescribing as further appositive the (corridor). malevolent. syntax of into both patterns separate subjects verbs." all The appositives the extend relationship between are the bear thepast and and backtoPriam. minimizes syntactic which style or them apposisubjects absorbs by tion theperfect for is style establishing narrative the that perspective theprocess lifeis lessa process individual of of action thanof the contemplationintricate and of relationships interconnections.give the you it'srather that doubling desire. . obscure and and direct connections between and agents events. is not (not fast. whichran .is "notmalevolent justtoobig. reader the senses doesnot but knowthecause events subject thesentence) for (the of until A last.Other sentences patterned thesame are with inverted syntax: "thedoomed wilderness. Often order subject verbis the of and reversed. the bear. through .Liketheappositives. theactor comes last. notfast rather theruthless irresistible but with and deliberationa of the locomotive. further obscuring conventional syntactic connections and involving reader theprocess sorting the in of through parts the ofthesentence significance:corridor wreckage destrucfor "a of and back tion the beginning before boywasborn. negatives an of it the bring additional layers meaning consciousness." The negation extends awareness whatthebearmight the have of but been. . excruciating-ly you apt willuseittogainthereducto of absurdum all human fit can your experience which individual .it as are by it with speeds fast rather theruthless irresistible "not but and deliberaof tion a locomotive". . bear itslegend also The expanded they defined negation: has notbeenseen. Quentin's contemplation timeand its relationship action of to with concludes an explicit statement a point viewthat also of of is in syntax latent the that into patterns transform experience evaluation. shaggy tremendous shape." old Likethe characters. . toobigforthevery to country which was itsconstricting scope". hearing watch. .
The recurrent huntsin "The Bear" and "Was" are also parallel. of pile creating layersof consciousness. p. ofsound fury. negative They not are even The fought.I946). no is wonhesaid. field reveals only to manhisownfolly despair.Vintage. conquered. fought. giftof the watch. rpt. architectural structure theseworks. New York: Random. the actionprogresses a cyclical in fashion. nounsand modifiers have the same effect: transforming all of the event. 12 The Sound and the Ftury (I929.12 and The explicitcomparisons.The syntax the of emphasizes what cannotbe won. relationship of of The between the four points viewis parallel. and doubling of or-phrase.they on topofeachother." folly The closeness thisvisionof lifeto thepassage of in Macbeth that contains novel's the title reinforced thecloseness is by of Faulkner'ssyntactic styleand the styleof Macbeth'sspeechin despair: negative/appositive Life's a walking but shadow. is a tale is no It doubling Toldbyanidiot. poor a player doubling Thatstruts frets hour and his the upon stage appositive Andthen heard more. establishes pointof view thatis statedexplicitly and the in theconcluding coda: life'sactions reveal"to man" only"his own and despair. comparison needs better itfitted orhisfather's.intoan evaluation life. (V. negative butthat might you forget nowandthen a it for negative moment not and spend your breath all to trying negative conquer Because battle ever it. 93. This visionis reinforced only by the syntactic not of structures Faulkner'snarrative style. no than his or-phrase/neg. merely thecontemplative in bothis established but that tone a through nearly identical syntactic style thatsuitsthevisionof life a succession shadows as of signifying nothing. full and negative Signifying nothing. remembered. possessed.436 AmericanLiterature neg. .but also by the over-all. negatives. victoryan doubling and and is doubling of illusion philosophers fools.The four-part of structure The Sound and of the Fury is an extendedapposition that equates each character's evaluation thesignificance events.24-8) This is notto saythatFaulkner foundhis style well as his title as in Macbeth.give toyounotthat may I it remember you time. v.
evaluativestyleof contemplation. galloped theendof or It to theveranda and tookthe railing and soaredoutward. inherited fromhis father and his father's father-"that battleis everwon" and that"victory an illusion no is ofphilosophers fools. of whichends as it beginswithLena's meandering. around corner thehouseand up thesteps. theyare. The pilingup ofparallel actions equatesthedeeds and creates senseof accretion a and speed. Wall!" Eck roared.fromthe more distanced of perspective the spectator. are Faulkner's larger narrative structures ofa piecewith thesyntactic of structures hisnarrative Bothstructures style. third time horse the soared abovetheunwinking and theunbowed eyes and untouched and onto front head the veranda againjustas Ratliff.which also present as movement a circle. As in the second sectionof "Was. and hobgoblin floating. is preof but horses sentedin a right-branching that contrasts with the highly style embedded. In short. narrative the a creates comicperspective. right-branching syntactic style captures both the direction the actionsand the insignificance each of of individual motion." and This vision is shared by Faulkner'scomic novels. The Hamlet the cavorting the uncaught. He to and forthe his covering head withhis arms. Fromthepointof viewofvictims and losers. does the of structure Light in August. Because the comic has style little of embedding.The difference in thefocus: life in is the comicpassagesfocuson the foolishness the moments of when men believetheiractionscan resultin victory.thelinear. dropped thefloor.The boydid not move." Faulkner engages audiencein thedistanced his comicstance the syntactic In through styleof the narration. syntax The horseauction The Hamlet contains ancient in the comicconbetween test greedand gullibility. "Get to hellout of here. themoon. still thesock. bought-and-paid-for.such eventsare not funny. embody a repetitive visionof life'sevents whichis consistent withQuentin's contemplative evaluation.Narrative Styles Faulkner's 437 Just theover-all as so structure "Was" movesin a circle. ran carrying the of The horse whirled without breaking pausing. thesemoments. landed thelotstill in It in running crossed lot and the and galloped through wrecked and among overturned the gate the wagons . In characters direct their actions a linearfashion in towarda goal that is neverreached. right-branchingclausesand phrases the ofequal weight allowsone actionto supplant another rapidly.
314). . as it reflexes can be conditioned a simplerepeated by pattern. I reckon that's whatthatTexas man meantby callingthembargains: thata man would need to be powerful unlucky everget close enough to to one of them to get hurt" (p. in such repetition comic becauseits is natureremindsman of the limitations mechanical placed on his and vitality mechanical bodily by forces.'4The repeated patterns thissyntactic parallelthe style of patterning the action. and that in an The comicoccasion Faulkner's novels often occasion is when 13 14 is repetition"and. rpt." equating of an feature the Thedominant stylistic in conjunction doesnotinvite that evaluation thesamewayas subor in ordinating which relationshipscausality conjunctions. style distinguished the The by a statistical countis notnecessary high"degree" right-branching.Littlejohn it hitting overthehead withthatwashboard thebackyard at in all thesametime.4nd itwas stillmissing everybody everytime. Bergson'sterms. The Hamlet(193I. The repetitive maybe style or overdone not going anywhere because"repetition funny merely is and like other for laughter partlya reflex belongsto comedy. . i68.New York:Random.13 the action:the two participial are phrases placed towardtheright.and on downthe and thestill intact in which one Henry's laneandinto road. p. I970). "The Mythosof Spring: Comedy" from Anatomyof Criticism rpt.but the the to comic stanceis implicit the preceding in sentences describing the repetitive movements thehorse. of of that to understanding the comictoneis conveyed a cohesion by of kind syntactic features a distinctly different thanthoseassociated with contemplation. p." Frye of points out. Ratliff's concludingcoda provides pointof view he wisheshis auditors adopt. . .mechanical repetition reminds of of Ratliff thereader theabsence thought getsmengulled. 1958). The same comic tone and styledominate Ratliff's re-telling theepisodeat thegeneralstore:"It was in my of roomand it was on thefront porchand I couldhearMrs. the rapid."-the horse runs as themen on time.438 AmericanLiterature wife stillsat.The principle repetition the of of is comic principleunderlying slapstickhumor such as the Marx brothers'. NorthropFrye. ."The foregroundingtheright-branching of is so of the heavy thefewembedded that elements notdeter flow the do (I957. ranon in "Was.the is one adjective clauseis insignificant. . . express "And . and . 308.New York:Atheneum. Vintage. and .
characters that in realize nogoalis ever achieved. (p. . TheReivers thinking ultimate the illusive is winning race. . sprangagain. 297). contemplative passages. wouldtoo-one neckback. little and a big one.so would we-one neckback (p. the repetitiveness the of 15 The right-branching syntactic captures actualmovement style the The Reivers (New York:Random. example. Two dim things. . Boon Hogganbeckat the in backwall ofthehouse. II5. .He gotsomething withhim. ifAcheron we had decided to stoptenfeetbefore wire. McWillie whippingfuriously now and Lightning like a responding one neck back. the the of for in two races TheReivers: in I cuthim as hardas I could.the littleone bawling "Boon Hogganbeck! Mister Boon Hogganbeck!Hellaw.Narrative Styles Faulkner's 439 In the action taken is without contemplation. through the kitchenand out into the back gallery.and he closed it again until his head was oncemoreat McWillie'sknee . emotional of the excess overrides that contemplation.following Boon.thecomic a goal toward perspective this hopeis present moment horse is-whenMillie the the announces: "Man standing the back yardhollering Mr. faltered." big We ran. themoon was nothighenoughyetto do It anygood." This syntactic is theperfect forraces-ofmenand horsesstyle style the because syntax captures sense motion. we had alreadymade McWillie a present two lengths I cut him again.Hellaw"and "Shut Shutup! Shutup!" conveys up! theexcitementthecharacters. . Hellaw" towardtheupstairs windows untilBoonoverrode bysimplevolume: him "Shutup! Shutup! Shutup!" It was Ned.exactly sixty milesan hour. the of the action as in "Was" and The Hamlet. 272-73).15 The amusing pointof viewis due to someextent theverbal to excess: repetition "BoonHogganbeck! the of Mister BoonHogganbeck!Hellaw. He broke. I962). . Vintage. thecomic passages In characters without act of futilities. if Acheronhad known any way to run charm. p. we of so went into the second lap two lengthsback and traveling now on the peeled switchuntilthe gap betweenhim and AcheronreplacedNed in what Lightningcalled his mind.werestanding the a one in middle of the back yard. was quite dark now. Whathe had withhimwas a horse. repetition similar The of phrasing thebeginning at andending the of passage this "He reinforces perspective: gotsomething with big him"-"What had with he himwas a horse.
You knewsheis a is got The syntactic stylemakesthe actions swirlaroundeach other. ed. by age. were hitting. lackof thought whatmakes opportunism In the is the absurd thecharacters.Darl?" I said. 17. as reprinted in Comedy.16 of tendency "seizeon opportunities.. piling oftherepetitive for The up actions highlighted therepetition "and" and of specific is by of of who this to words. fact.. . New York: Random. fish youlethergetaway.The comic limitations no different those the recognized contemplation. Jovanovich. actors moving keep illusion of of is This illusion also at theheart theabsurdist comedy the in Deathandburying can bizarre funeral procession AsI LayDying. mules. narrates bizarre parody crossing the in limited contemplative abilities his other world.. her their legsrolling The mules their stiff stiff divedup againdiving legs catch darlcatch head her her slowand then Darl againand I hollering Darl dodged herintothebankdarland Vernon wouldn't and then help pastthemules. Brace. "The Great Dramatic Forms: Comic Rhythm. the for for when become only subjects comedy they provide occasion human theliving assert to what Langer calls"the vital feeling"-the more life. Vintage. they the back they Then put flag and 16 Suzanne Langer. Vardaman.AS .. I Lay Dying (1930.""17 but "Where ma. suchracesarecomicbecause in but a toward mere ofvictory. themother's as the and coffin swirl all in flood: off the Cashtried shefell andDarl jumped he but off going under went under andCashhollering catch andI hollering DeweyDell hollering to her and at me Vardaman Vardaman vardaman Vernon you you passedme and because was seeing comeup and shejumped he her intothewater again andDarlhadn't caught yet. "opportunism" or to of of unworthy theexpenditureenergy-merelygo totown to is of absurdist getnewteeth. Marvin Felheim (New York: Harcourt." from Feeling and Form (1953). inundating opportunity thought. 248 and 243. opportunismFaulkner's The comedy underlies thinks comic less"brainy" the"opportunism" than Langer greed..440 American Literature and to passages suggests nearly races repetitive doomed that all are from are be lostbya head."You never her. 143-44. His perception thisaccretion separate of of actions not so is in different Benjy's The SoundandtheFury:"Theytookthe from flag andthey out. 1957). is.I962). pp. pp." to to graba little the absurd when goalsbecome its becomes However. rpt. of course.
futilitywhich have the in the that Manyof theactions occupy comicscenes Faulkner's in engaged involved if become tragic thecharacters novels might they were in ifthestyle which oftheir insignificance. Press. they not of hend. of Faulknerian of Benjyare expansions the comicquality other in comprethey who characters areinvolved activities do notfully contemplated."18 of condition painand fear in right-branching the embodies lack of contemplation its rapid. on. In thissense. he hitand theother Thenthey and to ofthe (p.: Yale Univ.or can be equated of from style thenarration. relate. literally in idiot. 6. to (pp. the for between styleand toneaccounts the consistency consistency and narrative withdifferent formal structures between passages of voices different voice for persistence "Faulknerian" inthe ofthe the 18RichardB. and and he cannot connect.one Sewallpoints As involved evaluation. style but pretend reason share to in by they caught age andinheritance are because manarepathetic understand. . Richard presented "from the graduation is of critical aspect tragedy contemplation. of evaluation continual style marked a syntactic thatimposes by in to it. Therepetitiveness actions the andI went in are by is described emphasized thestyle whichthey described. the regardless comic of grows point view This is or of whether author a character doingthenarrating. went thetable. I959).Faulkner's Narrative Styles 44I went hit. Freud As to because backs"-perhaps and children idiots "hump and pathetic-at we which should of expenditure movement "we seean unncessary and carrying thesameactivity" "our out if spare ourselves we were which superiority wefeel sense a pleasurable ofthe laughter expresses Vardaman and in relation" another 254-55). while is notcomic an acknowledged it is in menwho this and Benjy VardaBenjy's ofmind. Conn. they notcauseand cannot did of theaccretion actions to lack connected their them directly is quality about The pathetic laughs the at nature reminds human us. The Vision of Tragedy (New Haven. plation. along fence" 23). in the represents epitome lackofcontemBenjy's syntax Of course. is precedes stands what byall that related it-by all that is or withit. contemplation out. p. evaluate events. The morecontemplative passagesare of accumulation actions. The contemplative to opposition it. Sewall. ofability think. is the of to condition suffering-which condition painandfear the of comicstyle Faulkner's contemplated.
and of of nerianthemes the interconnectednessall times. . further and derives fromqualitiessharedby the contemplative comi'c style styles. actions.which both presentan inundationof consciousness-by thatmarksFaulkner's accretion or thought by action. between and the contemplative comic stylesconveyrelationships Faulkthrough stylethepersistent reinforcing of layers experience.442 AmericanLiterature in sense of consistency Faulkner'snarrative A characters. peoples.The syntactic syntactic through experiences individual styles transforms narrative is Both a that connections create worldin whicheverything related.
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