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Book Faulkner and Southern Womanhood by Diane Roberts (1995-08-31)

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Faulkner and Southern Womanhood by Diane Roberts (1995-08-31)

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    Diane Roberts(Author)

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  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • Diane Roberts(Author)
  • The University of Georgia Press (1726)
  • Unknown
  • 3
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Review Text

  • By A customer on October 24, 1997

    This book is exquisitely written, fascinating--I highly recommend it not only for the Faulkner scholar, but for anyone (like me!) who is interested in his writings. Roberts' writing remains free from pretentious jargon, unlike so many scholarly works, and the ideas posited are original, thought provoking, and just plain INTERESTING!

  • By S. H. Wells on November 7, 2001

    Diane Roberts attempts to tackle the enormous topic of Faulkner's female characters. Roberts divides her study into six sections (Confederate Woman, Mammy, Tragic Mulatta, New Belle, Night Sister, and Mothers) focusing on a type of character. Roberts asserts that she "found it useful to recover some of these stereotype, or stock characters, to read Faulkner as a product, as well as producer, of the multifaceted place (and metaphor) called the South" (xi). Further, each of the six sections is further subdivided into a portion that demonstrates the context and representation of the archetype and into other portions that discuss the role of the archetype in Faulkner's fiction. Faulkner and Southern Womanhood's organization makes it a useful tool for scholars with a variety of pursuits. Students interested in a particular character type can look at individual chapters in Faulkner and Southern Womanhood, since Roberts's chapters read well as stand alone essays only rarely referring readers back to other chapters of the text. The introduction of Faulkner and Southern Womanhood clearly delineates the structure which Roberts will follow throughout her book as well as mentioning the school-of-thought which influences her study. Roberts defines the six archetypes which she chooses to interpret in terms of Mikhail Bakhtin's use and explanation of classical and grotesque bodies. While Roberts does employ theorists, including Bakhtin, Derrida, and Cixous, to greater and lesser degrees, she maintains a prose style free of the opacity to which abstract literary theory lends itself. The combination of literary theory and language accessible to lay readers increases the range of students who might find Roberts's work useful and interesting. Roberts uses the archetypes to "show how the models held up for women to measure themselves against come into play in Faulkner's fiction" (xiii). Faulkner and Southern Womanhood does not hunt for stereotypes so much as it finds echoes of stereotypes in Faulkner's corpus. Roberts demonstrates that though the stereotypes are shadows of Faulkner's characters, Faulkner is subverting the social order that constructs stereotypes to control women by deploying these dehumanizing stereotypes in his own fiction in a manner that demonstrates the paradoxical and false nature of the stereotypes.


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