資料彙整   /   作家  /  William  Faulkner  威廉.福克納
William  Faulkner
威廉.福克納
圖片來源:http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/faulkner/faulkner.html
主要文類:Novel
資料提供者:Kate Liu/劉紀雯;Dr. Joseph C. Murphy
關鍵字詞:stream of consciuousness;Introduction to Literature 1998

許書銘
July, 2010
威廉福克納
William Faulkner
 
零、引言
一、生平簡介
二、重要作品介紹
三、影響
 
 
. 引言
        福克納同伍爾芙(Virginia Woolf),喬哀思(James Joyce),普魯斯特(Marcel Proust)等作家皆為現代主義文學大師,也是二十世紀英美文學非常重要的一位作家。不過福克納並不是那麼廣被人肯定與稱許的,因為其文字風格艱澀難懂。閱讀福克納的作品,經常見到一個句子半頁那麼長還停不下來(也不知道在說甚麼),要不然就是一個章節只有短短一句:我媽媽是一尾魚,常讓讀者完全摸不著頭緒,也讓一些讀者生氣的指責福克納,說根本不知道他在寫甚麼東西。
        筆者亦發現一有趣現象,即在網路上甚至有名為I Hate William Faulkner的社群,而更有趣的是裡頭的成員大多是海明威(Earnest Hemingway)的愛好者,他們在社群討論區寫下如:「我不想知道一個南方智障的故事」,或是「我媽媽並不是一尾魚」的留言,另外,最常見的留言為:「還我海明威!」。然而這個現象並不是完全無跡可循,福克納海明威同樣被視為美國的現代主義文學大師,不過兩者的文字風格相差甚遠。如剛剛所提,福克納的筆觸艱深難懂,明明只是講一個非常簡單平常的事情卻要用上十幾行來完成一個句子,而海明威用字精闢簡潔,乾淨俐落,此為兩者最顯著的差別(海明威也曾表示過一點都不欣賞福克納的風格,不過福克納倒是曾將海明威的作品改編成電影過)。儘管遭受到許多的批評,福克納於1949年榮獲諾貝爾文學獎,並被認為是美國現代主義文學大師。
 
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一、生平介紹
        威廉福克納於1897年九月出生於密西西比州新奧爾巴尼市 (New Albany, Mississippi),是家裡的長子。福克納四歲的時候全家搬到牛津鎮,幾乎一生都居於此處。在福克納的眾多作品中,讀者可以見到美國南方與密西西比州如何影響福克納,其中的主題有南方人對南方舊有秩序的懷念,也有南方人的幽默,墮落等等。同樣地,想到美國南方文學第一個指標也就是福克納。
        福克納一生並沒有正式地完成學業,他高中沒有畢業,於1919進入了密西西根大學(福克納是因為曾入伍過所以才得以進入大學),不過由於本身並不愛讀書在第二年就離開了校園。如同海明威,他們都沒受過正式的教育,而他們的學習都來自自身的閱讀。福克納一心想進美國空軍,不過因為身高太矮而被軍方拒絕。後來福克納假報身高,並且把自己的姓由FalknerFaulkner,好讓自己的姓氏更像英國人一點(在軍中的時候福克納甚至特意操著英國口音),而Faulkner這個姓也一直跟著他(不過也有另外一說,即福克納第一次出書的時候出版社不小心多加了一個u,他也欣然接受)。福克納起先在加拿大多倫多接受軍事訓練,不過訓練還沒完成戰爭卻也已經結束了。即使事實證明福克納從未真正的出征過,不過待他回到家鄉牛津鎮時,倒是到處拿軍中的事來說嘴,好似真的有打過仗似的;福克納甚至跟其他人說他因為打仗而腦中有一塊銀板卡在裡頭。
       福克納於大學時期便在校刊發表了不少詩作與短篇故事,也在進大學的第一年發行了第一首詩:L'Apres-Midi d'un Faune”。經歷三學期之後,福克納休學,不過依然為校刊寫作。後來經過友人Stark Young(當時為小說家)介紹,福克納到紐約一家書店當助理,而這書店主人又引介福克納認識文學前輩Sherwood Anderson(即Winesburg, Ohio中譯《小城畸人》作者)的夫人。福克納從來沒有長久穩定的一份工作,更確切的說,他幾乎很少很認真地作一份工作。福克納亦在郵局工作過,不過卻是惡名昭彰的成天遊手好閒,無所事事,經常把客戶的信件稿丟了就算了,更經常被人看到在上班時間同朋友打牌。附帶一提,福克納曾經當過童軍團指導老師,不過到最後被要求辭職,原因是因為他嚴重的酗酒問題。福克納的酗酒問題為眾人所知,他連到要領諾貝爾文學獎之前都還在酗酒。除了酗酒之外,福克納也熱愛馬術,不過經常摔馬(有些福克納專家開完笑說是因為福克納實在太愛喝酒了)。
        從現在看來,福克納無疑是個文學巨人,然而,他的文學路並不是那麼樣的順遂。在出版小說之前,福克納第一個作品是詩集 The Marble Faun1924年出版,不過並沒有受到注目。在此其間,福克納搬至紐奧良並加入了由 Sherwood Anderson, Hart Crane, Ernest Hemingway, Edmund Wilson等人所組成的文學社交圈。 1925年,福克納完成了第一本小說Soldier's Pay也透過Anderson的介紹將小說出版。之後福克納到歐洲旅行,福克納曾待在義大利以及巴黎,他對巴黎的描寫讀者可以在他之後的小說Sanctuary裡頭看到。另外,在巴黎福克納也常光顧一間喬哀思常去的咖啡廳,不過福克納表示因為自己害羞的個性使他從來不敢去跟喬哀思打招呼。
        在Soldier's Pay之後,福克納陸續出版了Mosquitoes (1927), Flags in the Dust (1973才出版), Sartoris (1929),不過這些書始終都沒讓福克納出名。在寫 Sartoris時,福克納同時著手寫他後來最為人所知的代表作The Sound and the FuryThe Sound and the Fury是一本福克納完全依循並滿足自己創作慾望而非依照出版社方向、也非迎合市場口味的書。這本書使福克納聲名大噪,而在The Sound and the Fury之後更有As I Lay Dying, Light in August, Absalom,Absalom! 等大作問世。 這些小說都是環繞著美國南方,而福克納更創造了一個叫做Yoknapatawpha的小鎮,許多福克納創作的故事都在此地發生,也有許多人名不斷的重複,例如短篇故事“Barn Burning”中的Snope家族的故事後來也寫成了一個三部曲: The Hamlet , The Town, The Mansion。還有The Sound and the Fury的康普森家族成員也在 Absalom, Absalom!中出現。依照創作年代排列有:Sartoris, The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Sanctuary, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom!, The Unvanquished, The Hamlet, Go Down, Muses, Intruder in the Dust, Knight's Gambit, The Town, The Mansion, The Reivers。短篇小說則有:“A Rose For Emily”, “Spotted Horses”, “Dry September”, “That Evening Sun”, “Shingles for the Lord”, “Barn Burning”
        附帶一提,類似這種創作概念的作家與中文作品有:蘇童的香椿街還有西西的肥土鎮,他們也都表示是受福克納影響。另外,除了文學小說之外,福克納也寫偵探小說, Knight's Gambit即一例。在寫完 The Sound and the Fury與完成 As I Lay Dying這段期間的同時,福克納在1931年出版了其頗受爭議的一本小說: Sanctuary,除了內容驚聳動人之外,福克納亦曾公開表示他寫這本書完全是為了商業利益考量,完全稱不上甚麼藝術創作,不過有趣的是許多福克納愛好者或專家表示剛開始雖然都抱著極度排斥的心態閱讀 Sanctuary但後來都驚呼這本小說實在也不輸其他福克納作品。 Sanctuary也的確大賣,使得福克納更受到讀者的注意。
       福克納於1949年獲得諾貝爾文學獎,福克納也將一部份的奬金拿來成立一個文學獎項,即Pen/Faulkner Award of fiction。福克納亦得過兩座普立茲獎(Pulitzer Prize)。福克納晚年於維吉尼亞大學當駐校作家,在一次摔馬事件沒幾年後,於1962年六月因心臟病發逝世,死於密西西比。
 
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二、重要作品介紹
I. The Sound and the Fury (1929) 中譯《癡人喧囂》或《聲音與憤怒》  
 

      《聲音與憤怒》並非福克納第一本小說,但想到福克納第一個想到的大概就是《聲音與憤怒》這部小說了。《聲音與憤怒》後來被視為福克納最成功最完美的小說,而福克納本人也表示《聲音與憤怒》是他自己最鍾愛的作品,因為它是個「最華麗的敗筆」(most splendid failure)。如前文所提,《聲音與憤怒》的出版並沒有馬上造成廣大的迴響,但在幾年後卻成為了現代主義文學以及意識流手法小說的一大代表作。

        《聲音與憤怒》由四個章節(即三兄弟的敘事以及聚焦於女管家Dilsey的第三人稱敘事)拼湊而成,故事是在描寫美國南方權貴家庭康普森家族(Compson)的沒落,內容主要縈繞著康普森家族的女兒Candace (Caddy)以及其三個兄弟大哥Quentin, 二哥Jason,以及小弟Benji四人之間的關係。據福克納表示他原先只想寫Caddy的故事而已,故事就是一個女孩穿著污漬的內褲爬上樹去偷看喪禮,而她的兄弟們連她爬上樹的勇氣都沒有,就只能在樹下望著她。福克納表示,原本他只打算用一個兄弟來述說這個女孩的故事,後來發現一個不夠,又加了一個。寫完第二個部份的時候,福克納仍然覺得這個女孩角色實在太美麗、太令他著迷了,於是福克納又增加了第三個兄弟來說這個故事。到最後,福克納發現他需要一個人再來把這整個故事再清楚說一遍,於是這部小說總共有了四個部份,即四個敘事者依序為小弟Benji,大哥Quentin,二哥Jason,最後則為重點在管家Dilsey的第三人稱敘事,也是四章裡頭唯一一個非第一人稱敘事的章節。 
欲將 《聲音與憤怒》這本小說的故事情結寫成一段一段以概述之,筆者認為頗為困難,因為《聲音與憤怒》本身結構特別,除了敘事者不斷轉換外,另有一困難為因福克納運用意識流手法使得故事真正的先後時間性在小說是被徹底打亂的,尤其是開頭第一張小弟Benji的部份,由於Benji是個弱智者,對於時間的現在與過去完全無法分辨,初讀小說者或許會大大受挫並惱怒想放棄。本文除了先解説故事整個脈絡與大意外,四個敘事者將分開概述,也會配合整個故事的時間作為輔助說明。另外,筆者亦會在最後加上一個時間的總整理表,給想閱讀本小說者參考用。
        《聲音與憤怒》講的是美國南方康普森家族的故事,前面三段由康普森家族的三兄弟敘事。他們的故事都環繞的它們的姊妹 Caddy 大哥Quentin深愛著妹妹 Caddy,而因為 Caddy長大後變得淫亂,而Caddy後來的懷孕使Quentin徹底心碎並陷入瘋狂,並於1910年投水自殺。CaddyJason的關係相較之下非常緊張,Jason因為Caddy的淫亂而失去原本Caddy先生給他的銀行工作,也因此深恨著Caddy,對Caddy的女兒Miss Quentin更是苛刻不已。康普森家族在內戰之前在當地是有名望的家族,其祖先亦是當地的開墾者。而在內戰之後康普森家族逐漸沒落,財產也跟著慢慢殆盡。康普森爸爸是個大酒鬼,並且又經常講一些莫名奇妙,似是而非的言論,而這些言論也都深深影響著大哥Quentin
        在《聲音與憤怒》堪稱經典的一景即為三個兄弟在童年時望著樹上的內褲沾到泥巴的Caddy,而沾到泥巴的內褲就象徵著Caddy的不貞,也被視為康普森家族的衰落。就表面上來看,康普森家族的恥辱與殞落來自Caddy的淫亂,還有Benji的智能障礙,但實際上,這個家族幾乎除了黑人女管家Dilsey之外,沒有半個是正常的。如前文所提,康普森爸爸是個酒鬼,康普森媽媽則是成天自怨自艾的憂鬱症患者,她病到根本無法照顧自己的四個小孩,一切只能依賴Dilsey。大哥Quentin非常聰明但一生卻跳脫不出對妹妹的愛,在讀哈佛的第一年要結束時就投水自殺,而在Quentin過世一年後康普森爸爸因為酗酒而死亡。二哥Jason是個極端的憤世者,待人又極微刻薄,心裡除了錢之外甚麼都不在乎。在Caddy生下女兒之後,因為無力扶養所以把小孩Miss Quentin留在康普森家裡,當然,照顧Miss Quentin的責任又落到Dilsey身上。Caddy每個月都會固定給Jason錢讓他照顧Miss Quentin,不過見錢眼開的Jason總會把那些錢暗槓下來,對待Miss Quentin更是刻薄。在故事的最後一天,1928年四月二十八日,Miss Quentin偷了Jason的錢並從家裡逃走,Jason氣憤地出門找她(當然沒找到),而其他人則跟著管家Dilsey到教堂去作復活節禮拜。
   
  i.                    1928年四月七日:
        此篇的敘事者為小弟Benji,是個重度智障者。福克納將此篇放於第一篇必有其用意。一為因為Benji的智力殘缺使得Benji沒有分辨今昔的能力,於是在這頭章,其實故事很多重要的事情都會出現在Benji的敘事裡頭。另外,把智障Benji的敘事放在第一個實也是呼應其書名The Sound and the Fury,福克納是借典於莎士比亞的馬克白(Macbeth)裡頭就有一個白癡在說故事
           此段讀來甚是困難,時間錯亂的不得了,筆者的建議是將三個黑人幫傭當作時間先後的一個依據,即最早的Versh,接下來的是 T.P.,也就是前者的小孩(當 T.P. 出現時,Benji估計大約十五歲),最後就是 Luster了,他出現的時候也就是敘事當下的時間而非回憶,即Benji三十三歲的時候也就是在1928年復活節的前一天,這段的主軸也就是LusterBenji同在以前康普森家足的高爾夫球場上到回家的時間而已,而內容卻涵蓋了快要三十年之間發生的事情(即從Benji有記憶以來的事情)。另一個辨別方法是,閱讀時遇到斜體字時需多當心,停下來想想那段文字是在說甚麼時候,還有是誰說的。
        一開始的景象為Benji與康普森家幫傭Dilsey的孫子Luster一起在康普森家的草原尋找Luster遺失的他原本要去看表演 的二十五分錢。這片草原再遠些就是高爾夫球場,這些土地原本都是屬於康普森家族的,不過因為要給付大哥Quentin到哈佛上課的學費所以就將土地給賣了。Luster帶著Benji一起找被打到遠處的高爾夫球好拿來賣給那些打球的人,這樣它就可以攅夠錢去看表演了。在這同時,小弟Benji (其實也不小,畢竟都三十三歲了,只是他是家裡最小的弟弟) 突然哭了起來,原來是聽到球員在叫桿弟CaddieBenji認為他們就是在說他姐姐Caddy。接著Luster要帶著Benji跨欄杆,而這也讓Benji想起多年前姐姐Caddy同樣也幫助他跨過那個欄杆(被釘子卡到衣服)。
            從本章讀者可以得知,在康普森家族真正愛著並關心Benji的只有兩人,一個就是姐姐Caddy,另一個則為康普森家中的幫傭Dilsey,另一方面,刻薄的二哥Jason一心只想趕快把Benji送到精神病院。在這段回憶裡,Benji也想到那年 (1902)他母親與叔叔Uncle Maury在家中爭論,而Uncle Maury與康普森家的鄰居Mrs. Patterson偷情,Uncle Maury總是利用BenjiCaddy送信給Mrs. Patterson。康普森媽媽不想讓Benji出門去,表面上是說外面很冷怕他著涼,但實際上是因為康普森媽媽覺得讓Benji出門很丟臉。Benji的智能障礙一直讓除了真正關愛他的人(即姐姐與黑女人幫傭)之外的人被認為是家族的恥辱Benji的媽媽甚至讓覺得他的出生是一種懲罰,也因為在Benji還很小的時候智能問題尚未被發現而到大了發現的時候,Benji的媽媽決定將他的名字從跟Benji的叔叔一樣的Maury改為現在的Benji
          在這段敘事裡頭,Benji憶起的事情非常多也很煩瑣,不過大部份都是圍繞著他姐姐Caddy的回憶。讀者在讀的時候將會發現Benji會不斷的重複Caddy smells like trees這句話,這段話出現的時候也是Benji回想起姐姐Caddy心裡的話,而我們也可以發現,當Caddy貞操不在的時候Benji就會開始大哭,這現象最早的源頭就是Benji與其他兄弟看到Caddy內褲的污漬時候。後來Caddy結婚的時候Benji因為回想起之前 (1905年,Caddy1910年結婚) Caddy回家帶著滿身的香水味而讓他因此大哭,因為Benji聞到的不只是香水味,當然還暗示了他聞到了Caddy的不貞,即使Caddy將身上香水味洗去Benji仍然繼續哭嚎。在本章的最後,Benji最後的追憶片斷為1898Caddy弄髒內褲那天,在他們回家後Dilsey安排小孩們上床睡覺而Caddy並沒有洗去內褲的污漬就去睡了。
           裡頭還有一個故事裡的另一事件,就是Benji想起以前因為嚇到正在下課的女學生們,因為女學生們的爸爸誤以為Benji企圖侵犯他們,於是把他閹割了,不過這事件在此章並不特別明顯,到了最後在Jason的敘事才得以明朗。
          最後,從本章我們可以整理出Benji所鍾愛的三個東西,一為康普森家族原有的大片土地,即後來被變賣掉來支付哥哥Quentin去哈佛的學費的那塊,二為他姐姐Caddy,三則為火光,在本章中我們可以看到Benji看到火光時就會停止哭泣,相對的,火光被奪走他便會開始哭鬧。
   
  ii.                  1910年六月二日
           這段是大哥 Quentin生前最後一天的獨白。同上個章節Benji的敘事,Quentin的敘事大部份亦是環繞著妹妹。即使這段獨白的時間一下子跳到上個敘事的十八年前,讀者其實還是可以在本章中找到一些前後呼應的地方。章節的一開頭是Quentin在哈佛大學宿舍醒來,並縝密地計畫著自殺,於是Quentin一整天就到處遊蕩。QuentinBenji的敘事有許多可比較之處,兩者雖同樣都在追憶Caddy不過我們可以發現,Benji追憶的多為童年時期,而Quentin追憶的多為青少年時期的(並且多以斜體字呈現,讀者在閱讀時可多加注意),當然從Quentin的追憶嗅出Quentin對貞操的執迷,他甚至想騙他爸爸說他跟Caddy亂倫來掩蓋Caddy的淫亂。另外,讀者也會發現與Benji相較之下,Quentin所反覆思考的東西是比較哲理且抽象的,而Benji較重於感官上的回憶,例如氣味。Quentin反覆思考的事情有關於時間的,榮譽的,罪惡的,當然還有在他腦中一直揮之不去的貞操
           Quentin受爸爸的思想很大,爸爸的憤世態度以及虛無主義精神也都不斷在Quentin的腦海中。在Quentin騙爸爸說他跟妹妹亂倫時,爸爸蠻不在乎,還說貞操是男人發明的東西。另外,在本章開頭很重要的一個主題就是Quentin想戰勝時間,他甚至以為他只要把手錶打破,聽不到鐘針的走動聲,就可以忘卻時間所帶來的傷痛(如康普森家族的沒落)。當然,福克納會一直讓讀者讀到時鐘與手錶的目的,也是在強調並討論時間與記憶的重要性。讀者另外可以注意到的是Quentin影子亦是十分著迷,文中會不斷的出現shadow,而這shadow也同樣可以影射到康普森家的沒落;並且前兩者,即手錶的滴答聲,還有影子,這兩者也都呼應本書之借典於馬克白的書名《聲音與憤怒》。而最後,Quentin從時間的大牢裡逃脫的唯一方法就是自殺。
          另外,我們也可以知道是Caddy不斷成長的性慾與性徵讓Quentin痛苦得無法自拔,而他同樣也無法接受父親聲稱女人的貞操很純粹不過是男人所發明的那種看法,另外,這貞操的問題也呼應著當時美國南方對於女性既有的要求,認為貞操是高尚的不應該隨意被破壞或剝奪。當然,我們讀到的應當不只是QuentinCaddy之情而已,而似乎有種更難以言喻的情愫在裡頭,(他甚至問Caddy要不要跟他一起自殺,也在路上跟蹤一個神似Caddy的女孩)。Quentin即使面對面跟Ames這個他所痛恨並讓Caddy懷孕的人也幾乎無能為力,也在路上認錯人亂跟人打架。
          本段的文字堪稱本書最難懂,也是福克納作品中很常被拿來研究的一段。福克納設了一個有趣的局,讀者可以發現Quentin雖然為康普森家族中最聰明的孩子,也是比較讓人喜歡且同情的角色,但仔細閱讀後,會發現Quentin的敘事是最不可依賴的一個,甚至要比Benji的更不可靠
   
  iii.                1928年四月六號
         這段是二哥Jason的敘事,與前兩章相比閱讀起來簡單許多,因為Jason講的大多是當下發生的事情,而這種簡單的,直線式的敘事也剛好反映出Jason的頭腦與哥哥Quentin相較之下來的簡單,也呼應了Jason的腦中除了錢跟對家人多多的不滿之外,幾乎沒有別的。在此章開頭的第一句(也是非常有名的一句): “Once a bitch always a bitch” 也很明白的顯示出二哥Jason刻薄的個性。當然,這章較有條理又較清晰的敘事,也讓故事許多疑點與模糊不清的事件明朗化,最主要的三個為弟弟Benji的被閹割,Quentin的自殺(在第二章並沒有清楚描繪其死亡),以及Caddy的離婚。
           Jason是康普森媽媽最疼愛的孩子,而在大哥Quentin死後,Jason更是得扶養家裡老老少少。因此,他心中滿是怨恨與抱怨,讀的時候我們更可以發現Jason總是百般挖苦,總是說一些,「至少我沒有喝酒喝到自己醉死」,或是「至少我沒有要家裡賣掉土地好讓我去哈佛投水自殺」之類的話。這段敘事的場景非常簡單,大多就是在顯現JasonMiss Quentin的不睦與彼此緊張的關係(Jason甚至要拿皮帶抽她), 以及Jason怎麼樣私藏Miss Quentin的養育費。而在這個階段的Miss Quentin的年紀,也大抵跟在Quentin的敘事中所回憶的Caddy差不多,都是進入性的成熟期,而讀著也可以發現,Miss Quentin似乎遺傳了媽媽淫蕩的個性,也在外面跟男人濫交。 在本章除了看到Jason對自己的姪女Miss Quentin是多麼刻薄之外,他對一個Luster這幫忙照顧Benji的黑人小孩也極盡刁難與刻薄所能,因為在第一章的時後我們就知道Luster要去看表演的票不見了,而Jason有一張不但不願意便宜的賣給他,更把票給燒掉。
          經常有人說《聲音與憤怒》的前三章都是用意識流手法完成的,不過筆者對此相當懷疑,因為如前文所說,Jason的敘事是非常直線式的,並且當他回憶到以前的事情的時後並不會帶給讀者太大的困擾,換句話說,Jason敘事中的當下與過去並不是如意識流手法一般,將大腦中任何片斷的記憶都寫下來,而是較有秩序的。
   
  iv.                 1928年四月八日。
          此章是本書唯一用第三人稱寫成的敘事,即一全知的敘事者,也可以說是福克納自己的敘事(也有學者認為這段是福克納給Caddy的敘事,因為Caddy身為故事一重要中心卻沒有自己的敘事),而焦點多放在康普森家的黑人女管家Dilsey身上。此章的主軸有兩個,一為Jason因為發現錢被姪女Miss Quentin偷了而氣憤地一路去找她,二為Dilsey帶著其他康普森家族的人到教堂參加復活節禮拜,而在教堂時聽到牧師的一席話讓Dilsey對康普森家族的沒落有所體悟。
           在Jason去追尋Miss Quentin的過程,Jason在路上欲找一個地方的警長幫忙,但警長認為Jason並沒有足夠的證據而拒絕幫忙。Jason繼續開車去找Miss Quentin而他相信Miss Quentin的情夫就在Luster要去看的表演的團體 之中,Jason生氣地要守門的老人讓他進去並問他關於Miss Quentin情夫的事,結果激怒了守門人並打了一架。Miss Quentin的成功脫逃象徵著康普森家族男人的無能,除了在無法管住Miss Quentin跟他媽媽類似的女人之外,還有Benji的智能不足,Quentin的偏執,康普森爸爸的酗酒問題與不切實際,以及Jason的苛刻個性,都是康普森家族的陰影
         然而,Dilsey的堅毅性格使得康普森家族的悲劇並不那麼悲慘,也給讀者對於康普森家族最後一線希望,至少Dilsey還有能力讓家裡剩下的人聚集起來一起參加復活節禮拜。而關於復活節禮拜,福克納當然不是隨隨便便選一個日子或節日而已,而是復活節背後再生的意涵。此章的最終,也是本書的最後,畫面再度被帶到智障Benji身上,原本還是在車上哭鬧的Benji看到窗外的路邊街景跟他童年時舊有的秩序都一樣,Benji於是停止哭泣。Benji的平息也許就為康普森家族的悲劇打上個問號,也做了個緩衝,暗示著也許還有一線希望。
          此章作為最後一章還有一個重要性,就是它是最客觀在描述康普森家族的悲劇性沒落,也可以說是與第一章Benji的那種客觀性做前後呼應。另一方面,第三第四章,相對來說,寫的都是敘事者自己內心的聲音,當然就比較不客觀了。
   
  時間表:
  1898Jason Compson III建造了康普森家族的別墅。這年大哥Quentin九歲,大姐Candace七歲,二哥Jason五歲,小弟Maury(即Benji)三歲。家裡的黑人管家及幫傭為RoskusDilsey小孩為Versh, Frony, 還有T.P
  1890Maury被發現是智障,於是被改名為Benjamin小名Benji
  1902:叔叔Maury吩咐CaddyBenji送情書給鄰居Mrs. Patterson
  1903:兩姐弟送信被Mrs. Patterson抓包。
  1905Caddy第一次使用香水(十四歲)惹得Benji大哭。
  1908:管家DilseyCaddyBenji不要再一起睡覺。又,CaddyBenji撞見   與其他男人接吻,Benji開始大哭後Caddy聞聲立刻離開那男人並去照顧BenjiCaddy用肥皂洗了自己的嘴巴並向Benji保證再也不會這樣。
  1909:康普森爸爸將土地賣掉以支付大兒子Quentin的學費。Caddy開始同Dalton Ames約會,並失貞於他。哥哥Quentin知道後要求Caddy與他(Quentin)同歸於盡,但卻沒勇氣真那麼做。後來Quentin又去找Ames但是打架也打輸,於是他決定告訴康普森爸爸說他跟妹妹亂倫, 不過康普森爸爸對此蠻不在乎,讓Quentin更加絕望。
  1910Quentin回家發現妹妹懷孕了,而Caddy並不告訴他孩子的爸爸是誰。在這年CaddyHerbert Hend結婚,Jason也因此得到銀行工作。在Caddy的婚禮上,Benji喝醉。同年五月Benji因在一學校門欄看女學生而嚇到她們,被誤以為要攻擊他們,後來Benji被去勢。六月時大哥Quentin自殺,而幾個月後Miss Quentin出生,而Caddy也被康普森媽媽趕出家門。
  1912:康普森爸爸因過度飲酒而死。Caddy偷偷觀看爸爸的喪禮卻被弟弟Jason發現,還把她責罵了一番。管家Dilsey則讓Caddy偷偷進家門去看弟弟Benji還有女兒Miss Quentin
  1928Miss Quentin自家中逃跑。
   
  最後,福克納因為認為四個章節無法清楚描述康普森家族的故事,而在1945年又加上附註,最先收錄於The Portable Faulkner 裡頭,裡面讀者可以發現在1940Caddy死去(不過寫的相當曖昧,讀者無法真正確定),附註裡頭也寫到Benji1933年被送到精神病院。附註裡頭也對Miss Quentin到底偷了多少錢做了討論,認為應該比七千元還多。
 
II. As I Lay Dying ,中譯《出殯現形記》或《正如我彌留之際》
        As I Lay Dying1930年出版,一本福克納聲稱自己只花了六個禮拜就完成的作品。與《聲音與憤怒》相比,雖然《出殯現形記》也是在講一個南方家庭的故事,不同的是,前者講的是曾經有錢有勢的康普森家族,而在《出殯現形記》中講的是貧窮的Bundren家族為母親Addie送葬那幾天的故事。此故事同《聲音與憤怒》都發生在Yoknapatawpha小鎮。《出殯現形記》亦堪稱意識流文學一大代表作有十五個敘事者,全故事共分五十九章,而最短的短到只有五個字:“My mother is a fish”
        故事的一開始,Bundren家的長子Cash就在媽媽Addie住所的窗戶外準備好了所有工具在做媽媽的棺材。在這同時,即使Addie病危,她另外兩個兒子DarlJewel卻要幫鄰居送東西,好賺那區區三美元。不過Jewel其實不願意同Darl一塊去,因為他擔心這樣回來媽媽早就死了。而Darl得目的也是如此,他不想讓媽媽的私生子,也是Addie最寵愛的Jewel,得以在媽媽死前還陪在她身邊。在這兩兄弟離去不久後,母親Addie就過世了。另一方面,在小女兒Dewey Dell一直陪在母親的身邊的時後,小兒子Vardaman聽了爸爸的話去捕魚,也捕了一條很大的回來,但也因為面對母親去世的重大創傷讓他分不清楚死的究竟是媽媽還是魚,於是他把兩者搞混了,才會出現福克納最有名(有褒有貶)的超短章節。
        在此同時,Dr. Peabody剛好抵達Bundren家來致意也來看母親Addie,導致小兒子Vardaman又再度混亂,認為媽媽是被Dr. Peabody害死的,於是小兒子氣憤的把Dr. Peabody的馬同馬車都給驅走了。到了下午時分,大兒子Cash也把棺材給完成了,不過到了晚上的時候小兒子Vardaman擔心媽媽在裡頭會呼吸不過氣,於是再棺材上鑿了兩個小洞要給媽媽透氣用。另一方面,女兒Dewey Dell由於未婚懷孕感到無比的焦慮而沒有多餘的心思為母親的死哀悼。過了幾天兩兄弟回來了,看到天上盤旋飛著的禿鷹,他們知道母親已經過世了。就在這個時候Darl滿是嘲諷的對Jewel說著風涼話,說至少他的馬還活著。
        其實早在多年前,Darl出生沒多久後,母親Addie就像他先生Anse要求說以後死了也要安葬在自己的家,Jefferson鎮。當然,基於義務Anse該按照遺志把Addie送回Jefferson鎮,但Anse到那兒別有目的,就是買一副假牙。更確切的說,除了兩兄弟DarlJewel之外,其他人都是醉翁之意不在酒;除了剛剛說得爸爸要一副新假牙之外,大哥Cash想要到那裡買色情書刊,妹妹想到那裡找醫生墮胎,而小弟Vardaman想買一組玩具火車。
        在出殯的第一天晚上,Bundren一家人待在當地一個有錢人家,而就在當晚他們要過的橋被溪流給沖斷了,於是一家人被強迫要橫溪而過。就在過溪的時後棺材也被沖走了,而Cash的腳傷加劇,他們的驢子也全被沖走。這時候鄰居 (也就是託他們送東西的Vernon Tull) 剛好看到就趕過來幫忙,也幫忙找Cash那些木材工具。他們找了一個專門治馬的醫生來幫Cash醫腳,自然是越醫越糟,搞得Cash直接昏倒。Bundren家族還是需要驢子來托運東西,爸爸Cash用他自己原要用來買假牙的錢還有小孩們存的錢跟Jewel心愛的馬來換。Bundren一伙子人繼續他們的旅途,到了Mottson,那裡的居民都對這支送葬的隊伍極度反感害怕。在Mottson,女兒Dewey Dell還是到處尋找墮胎藥,不過到了藥局的時後,老闆不但不願意賣她(老闆聲稱是因為道德上的關係),反而建議Dewey Dell結婚。後來Bundren家留在Gillespie的農莊,而Darl多疑的個性再加上他想把媽媽漸漸腐敗的屍體給燒掉,於是Darl放火燒了Gillespie的農莊。
        Jewel竭盡所能拯救農莊裡的動物們,也奮不顧身地去把媽媽的棺材給救出來,後來Darl偎著媽媽的棺材痛哭失聲。隔天Bundren一家人總算到達Jefferson順利埋葬了AddieBundren一家並沒有因為縱火而背叛刑,他們反而宣稱Darl精神崩潰瘋掉了,於是Darl就被留在該地的精神病院。在此同時,女兒Dewey Dell仍不停尋找墮胎藥,結果有家藥局願意賣給她,不過賣給她藥的人根本不是醫生,只是在藥局後面幫忙的男孩而已。對方要Dewey Dell用性服務來換墮胎藥,當然,對方給她的也不是墮胎藥。最後,Anse說服Dewey Dell把她僅有的十塊錢好讓他去買假牙,故事的最後一幕是Anse裝著新假牙帶著新的妻子見Bundren家的小孩們。
        從本書的結構,即每篇都短短的敘事的風格來看,我們可以說福克納不只是個小說家,更是個寫短篇小說的高手,甚至有學者認為,福克納就是個專門寫短篇小說的作家。
 
III. Light in August 《八月之光》
        《八月之光》可以說是除了The Sound and the FuryAs I Lay Dying之外大家最常想到的福克納經典作品,本書於1932年出版。《八月之光》的故事主要環繞在主角Joe Christmas因為有黑人血統而使得自己對自己的身分認同感到混亂。另外的兩個主軸是Lena Grove尋找她肚中小孩親身爸爸的過程,另一為Hightower的故事。福克納對每個角色都會不斷追述其過往,使角色更立體,人性化,也不會讓任何角色看起來很單純的是好人或壞人(讀者也許讀到後面些,即Joe Christmas童年到青少年時期時會漸漸開始同情他)。
         故事開始於Lena Grove抵達Jefferson,而當時鎮上有一場大火,被燒的地方就是Joe Christmas的情人Miss Burden(與其說是情人不如說是性夥伴,讀者可以得知他們同住時瘋狂的做愛)的住所。Joe Christmas是個從小被遺棄的小孩,到育幼院的時後因為目睹裡面的工作人員在跟另一個醫生做愛而受到驚嚇,所以開始吃牙膏。育幼院那做愛被發現的女人害怕因此丟掉工作而威脅Joe Christmas說假若他敢說出去的話,她就要把他有黑人血統的事情說出來,並把他送到專屬黑人的育幼院去。之後這對偷情的男女不斷計畫要把Joe Christmas送到別的地方但都失敗(每次都被送回來)。
        後來Joe Christmas被收養,那時他正值青春期,由於對性的好奇,Joe Christmas成天跟妓女混在一起,也有一個妓女的女友。Joe Christmas的繼父看了很生氣,有次在酒吧撞見他們倆在跳舞打算過去修理兒子一番,結果反而被Joe Christmas用椅子砸死。Joe Christmas逃亡之路從此開始,他一路逃到Jefferson,他住在Miss Burden所有的小木屋。他們的性行為肆無忌憚,且年齡相差甚遠,但最後Miss Burden懷孕了,但Joe Christmas拒絕作任何回應。Joe Christmas後來與Lucas Brown同住並且形影不離,也私下賣酒給當地的人賺了很多錢。這些Miss Burden都默默接受,也一直在經濟上支援Joe Christmas。但Joe Christmas乖劣的個性讓他覺得Miss Burden不過想向他逼婚,於是動手殺了Miss Burden,並再度四處逃亡。 Joe Christmas最後被處以私刑並被去勢。
        《八月之光》裡頭討論私刑,種族,還有Joe Christmas與他室友Lucas曖昧不明的似同性戀的關係。本書同樣也用意識流手法,不過筆者認為不似The Sound and The Fury那樣難抓到敘事者(三個故事主軸的分割頗為明顯,時間點也不易混淆)。
 
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三,影響
        福克納的眾多文學作品使他影響許許多多的作家,如其它南方文學作家Flannery O' Connor, Harper Lee 以及其他眾多當代重要的文學家 Marquez (在自傳裡可以見到馬奎斯對福克納的讚譽與景仰,以及他深愛Light in August), Stephen King, Toni Morrison (許多作品都借典於福克納), Peter Carey, Don DeLillo, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, Cormac McCarthy…等等。福克納的文學絕對不是單單的南方小鎮的文學,而是可以讓讀者反覆思考人性,慾望,種族,現代性等議題的重要文學作品。
 
註:筆者認為若想熟悉福克納作品,可先從As I Lay Dying開始,先熟悉其意識流手法以及一些南方話的口語寫法。相較之下,As I Lay Dying的故事內容與另外兩者相比輕鬆,也詼諧許多(Light in August相形之下沈重,黑暗許多)。福克納最大的特點就在於可以將悲劇性與喜劇性融合的恰倒好處,也都意義深遠。許多學者認為Absalom, Absalom! 為福克納集大成的偉大作品,甚至比The Sound and the Fury難懂,可以等讀完大部份福克納主要作品後再拜讀。另外,若想讀福克納的短篇小說,可讀The Portable Faulkner,裡頭將Yoknapatawpha小鎮的故事都整理起來,讀來著實有趣,裡頭許多資料也都很寶貴,讀到長篇小說時都可以作連結。也有學者認為福克納的中篇小說The Bear中把福克納所講到的許多的主題都講進去了,福克納也是因此篇小說得諾貝爾獎(一般外文系不是選讀 “A Rose for Emily” 就是 “Barn Burning”,這兩篇當然為認識福克納作品以及風格很好的入門作品,但筆者認為還有許許多多精彩的短篇也值得讀者們去細細品味)。
 
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參考書目:
Day, Martin S. A Handbook of American Literature. New York: Crane, 1976.
Faulkner, William. The Sound and The Fury. New York: Vintage, 1994.
---. As I Lay Dying. New York: Vintage, 1994.
---. Light in August. New York: Vintage, 1998.
 
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參考網站
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Faulkner
http://www.olemiss.edu/mwp/dir/faulkner_william/index.html
http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/faulkner/faulkner.html
 
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William Faulkner
Joseph C. Murphy
 

 Life and Works
 Fictional Method and Style
 Modernism
 Faulkner and History
 William Faulkner's South

 
 
 
 Life and Works
 
 

The following biographical materials are available online:

A chronology of Faulkner's life and work:
http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/faulkner/chronology.html

Frequently Asked Questions:
http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/faulkner/wf-faq.html

A biographical sketch ( Mississippi Writers Page ):
http://www.olemiss.edu/mwp/dir/faulkner_william/

A biographical sketch and critical assessment ( Encyclopedia Brittanica ): http://www.britannica.com/nobel/micro/204_57.html

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 Fictional Method and Style
 
 

Few writers, even among modernists, experimented with such a range of methods and styles as William Faulkner. He continually tested new novelistic forms. The Sound and the Fury (1929) has four sequential narrators. As I Lay Dying (1930) raises the number to 15, presented not in sequence but as a series of 59 alternating fragments. The Wild Palms (1939) follows two distinct narratives alternating chapter by chapter. In terms of genre, too, Faulkner was eclectic: As I Lay Dying is a short aesthetic tour-de-force; Sanctuary (1931), a hardboiled thriller, pitched to the marketplace. Go Down, Moses (1942), something between a short story collection and a novel; Mosquitoes (1927) and Pylon (1935), satiric portrayals of New Orleans subcultures (literati and show aviators, respectively), The Reivers (1962), a light comic novel.

Edmond L. Volpe ( A Reader's Guide to William Faulkner. New York : Noonday, 1964) has argued that Faulkner, as a novelist, was essentially a short story writer: his novels assemble, by various methods, shorter narratives into novelistic structures. (This is Faulkner's strongest formal affinity with Willa Cather.) The Sound and the Fury began as a short story, but evolved into a novel as Faulkner viewed the same material from different perspectives. Light in August (1932) interweaves three main narratives of modest scope: Lena Grove's search for the father of her child; Joe Christmas's search for his racial identity; and Gail Hightower's search for reprieve from the ghosts of his personal and family history. The power of Light in August derives from the narrative and thematic intersections of these central characters' lives.

As a stylist, Faulkner's name is associated with exceedingly long, unwieldy sentences. In an interview, Faulkner said he wrote long sentences for two reasons. First, he was writing with “a foreknowledge of death,” and thus a pressure “to put the whole history of the human heart on the head of a pin.” Second, he explained, “a character in a story at any moment of action is not just himself as he is then, he is all that made him, and the long sentence is an attempt to get his past and possibly his future into the instant in which he does something.” Faulkner's did not use long sentences to catalogue objects or sensations, but to capture something similar to what Cather called “the emotional aura of the fact or the thing or the deed”—which for Faulkner included “the whole history of the human heart.” Thus, at the same time that Cather and Hemingway stripped down or “unfurnished” their writing styles to intimate what could not be precisely named, Faulkner used the opposite tactic—a superabundance of words—to dramatize that his language is, like theirs, evocative but imprecise. It has also been noted that Faulkner's overwrought sentences are oratorical—suggesting a narrator who is speaking freely and grandiloquently. Faulkner said of Southerners: “We need to talk, to tell, since oratory is our heritage.”

Faulkner's prolixity is so showy and demanding that readers tend to forget the other passages, just as numerous, where he keeps within a conventional or even simple sentence length. His writing styles are actually as various as his novelistic structures. For example, in Light in August, sentences like “The dogs would arrive on the early morning train,” and “It was a fast train and it did not always stop at Jefferson,” build to a more recognizable Faulknerian showpiece:
 
    It halted only long enough to disgorge the two dogs: a thousand costly tons of intricate and curious metal glaring and crashing up and into an almost shocking silence filled with the puny sounds of men, to vomit two gaunt and cringing phantoms whose droopeared and mild faces gazed with sad abjectness about the weary, pale faces of men who had not slept very much since night before last, ringing them about with something terrible and eager and impotent.
 
 

Another feature of Faulkner's style is his invention of portmanteau words (words formed by merging two existing words), for example, “fecundmellow,” “Allknowledgeable.” “droopeared.”

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 Modernism
 
 

On one level, Faulkner was a self-conscious modernist who took to heart the modernist credo “make it new.” An unrelenting experimenter, he sought, successively book by book, to expand on the innovative accomplishments of Conrad, Joyce, and Proust in the representation of time, space, and consciousness. Nowhere is this self-conscious artistry more apparent than in his statement that in As I Lay Dying he “set out deliberately to write a tour-de-force.... Before I began I said, I am going to write a book by which, at a pinch, I can stand or fall if I never touch ink again.” His dismissal of his bestseller Sanctuary as a bad book written to make money bolsters the image of Faulkner as a calculating writing who drew a clear line between high art and pulp fiction.

On another level, Faulkner seems less sophisticated. His favorite novel, he repeatedly said, was The Sound and the Fury, because it emerged intuitively rather than according to any plan. He liked to say he wasn't a literary man; in fact, he was largely self-educated (he never finished high school) and did not frequent literary centers. In interviews he often claimed to be innocent of the complex symbols and patterns that critics found in his work—though he allowed that those meanings might be there. He preferred to present himself not as an intentional symbolist but as “the carpenter trying to find the hammer or the axe that he thinks will do the best job.” One senses from his comments that Faulkner certainly understood the drift, but not necessarily every turn, of his most unwieldy sentences.

Was Faulkner a sophisticated modernist or a naive genius? The truth lies somewhere in between. Indeed, his primitive stance as a “carpenter” satisfied a certain modernist nostalgia—lending his work an authentic, handmade quality—just as his hunting and equestrianism and antebellum mansion kept him in touch with elemental forces and historical traditions also essential to his modernism. Faulkner's life and work might best be seen as a balancing act between tradition and modernity: moving between Mississippi and Hollywood, horseback and airplane.

Like Willa Cather, Faulkner demonstrates in his fiction many of the qualities typically attributed to literary modernism:
 
   

* experimenting with narrative structures, temporal frameworks, narrative voices, and symbols;

* exploring inner consciousness as a major theme;

* adapting the abstract methods of modern painting to literature;

* embracing communities steeped in tradition and history (both Western and “primitive” traditions) as a relief from the upheavals and alienation of modernity.
 
 

As noted above, Faulkner developed a dense modernist style alternative to the simplifying style of Cather and Hemingway: while they cut back on language, Faulkner worked it up. Paradoxically, however, Faulkner and Cather shared a fundamental principle of language: that it evokes the truth but, no matter how many or how few words you use, cannot tell it directly.

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 Faulkner and History
 
 

History was Faulkner's great theme, the central obsession around which his technical innovations—stream of consciousness, temporal shifts, and multiple voices—take shape. In the famous words of his character Gavin Stevens in Requiem for a Nun (1951), “The past is never dead. It's not even past.” “[T]o me,” Faulkner remarked, “no man is himself, he is the sum of his past. There is no such thing really as was because the past is. It is a part of every man, every woman, and every moment. All of his and her ancestry, background, is all a part of himself and herself at any moment.” As a Southerner, Faulkner had a strong sense of belonging to a tradition that was separate from the Northern mainstream. The traditions of aristocratic families, of great plantations and slave labor, were part of the South's cultural memory, as was the stamping out of these traditions after the South's humiliating defeat in the Civil War. This history was also, particularly, part of Faulkner's family memory, blending with his earliest personal recollections of childhood. Faulkner was brought up on stories of his great-grandfather Colonel William Clark Falkner, a Civil War veteran, politician, and popular romantic novelist, author of The White Rose of Memphis. As an adult, Faulkner settled into and refurbished a pre-Civil War mansion in Oxford, Mississippi.

Most of Faulkner's fiction is concerned with history—with representing how time passes, blends, and recurs. Even in a short story like “A Rose for Emily,” with its shocking revelation that old Emily kept a corpse as her bedfellow, Faulkner seems more interested in arranging layers of history than in telling a sensational tale. Even narratives principally concerned with the present, or with the relatively recent past of a single lifetime, can supply complex ancestries for characters: consider Joanna Burden's and Gale Hightower's family backgrounds in Light and August ; and the historical appendix “Compson, 1699-1945,” that Faulkner supplied for The Sound and the Fury 15 years after its original publication. The Compson chronology suggests an important point about Faulkner's novelistic and historical consciousness: the novel is a formal pattern that materializes within a much broader stream of history—a history implied by the novel's action and shape but always open to further articulation. Faulkner's most elaborate historical accomplishment is Absalom, Absalom! (1936), which explores the consequences of Thomas Sutpen's brutal pursuit of a family dynasty before and after the Civil War, as reconstructed by four narrators seeking the meaning of the story. This novel not only delves most deeply into Southern history, but it is the most emphatic in dramatizing how modern people construct and interpret history to suit their present interests. In contrast to Cather's migrant characters, who struggle to keep hold of a fleeting past, Faulkner's characters are typically overwhelmed by the accretion of history over generations lived in the same place.

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 William Faulkner's South
 
  Most of Faulkner's novels are set in northern Mississippi, in a county he invented and called Yoknapatawpha, after the river that forms its southern boundary. (The name apparently comes from two Chickasaw Indian words that mean “split land”: Yocana and petopha. Faulkner, though, said Yoknapatawpha means “Water flows slow through the flatland.” The Yoknapatawpha River is the river that floods in As I Lay Dying.) A hand-drawn map printed in Absalom, Absalom! (1936) (later updated for The Portable Faulkner in 1946) depicts the county and provides some facts in a key: the area is 2,400 square miles; the population, 6,298 whites and 9,313 Negroes, for a total of 15,611. (Faulkner identifies about 600 of these people by name in his fiction.)
 

Faulkner's Map of Yoknapatawpha
County, 1936. He signed the map
“William Faulkner, Sole Owner & Proprietor.”
Source:
http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/
faulkner/glossaryy.html#Yoknapatawpha_map

 
  Faulkner's apocryphal county is patterned on his native Lafayette County. The county seat, Jefferson, resembles Faulkner's hometown of Oxford in many particulars—but without Oxford 's University of Mississippi campus. The most iconic of these particulars, appearing repeatedly in Faulkner's fiction (most memorably in The Sound and the Fury ) is Oxford 's courthouse square with the statue of the Confederate soldier.
 

Courthouse Square, Oxford, Mississippi. Photograph by John B. Padgett
Source: http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/faulkner/townoxford.html

 
 

According to Faulkner's accounts, Yoknapatawpha County 's original inhabitants were Chickasaw Indians. White settlers began arriving around 1800. Several families—with names like Sutpen, McCaslin, Compson, Sartoris—developed large plantations and became the county's elite. These pioneers were typically from second-rank families in Virginia or the Carolinas, the older Southern states on the East Coast; they came West aggressively seeking the aristocratic privileges that had been denied them at birth. Non-affluent rural families also figure prominently in Faulkner's fiction, among them Snopes, Armstid, Bundren, Quick, and Tull.

Faulkner developed Yoknapatawpha as a region that is at once profoundly local, typically American, and universal. The characters and places that recur in his novels give the county a narrow, provincial, even gossipy feel. Yet these characters and places comprise many formative elements of American culture—including race relations and frontier settlement—alongside their more provincial Southern manners. (Like Willa Cather's Nebraska, Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha is a frontier in his earliest depictions of it; some of his founding families, like Cather's own family, had emigrated from Virginia.) But Yoknapatawpha transcends American culture. By the time he received the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1950, Faulkner was able to speak as a universal writer and declare:
 
    I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.
 
  These “old verities and truths of the heart” Faulkner extracted from his fictional square of Mississippi, where he portrayed them with a complexity and ambivalence befitting a particular, living place.
 

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