By William Faulkner

ISBN-10: 0307792129

ISBN-13: 9780307792129

The full textual content of Faulkner's 3rd novel, released for the 1st time in 1973, seemed along with his reluctant consent in a miles lower model in 1929 as SARTORIS.

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Additional info for Flags in the Dust: The Complete Text of Faulkner's Third Novel, Which Appeared in a Cut Version as Sartoris

Example text

Why should he want to see God, he wonders, when God appears in “faces of men and women I see” (245)? Having dispatched theology, Section 49 anticipates the objection that, unlike God, the 40 Poetry before the Civil War self is limited by the boundaries of life and death. “And as to you Death, and you bitter hug of mortality, it is idle to try to alarm me” (245). ” The stink of the corpse yields “the white roses sweet-scented and growing” (245). In Sections 50 and 51, Whitman completes the transcendental sweep of the poem, dramatizing the poet at the edge of understanding, the limits of language.

Divine am I inside and out,” he says, building steam toward a litany of admiration for the body’s beauty: “If I worship one thing more than another it shall be the spread of my own body, or any part of it” (211). His egalitarianism extends to the despised or neglected parts of the human body as much to every constituent of the body politic. He portrays the body as both a metaphorical landscape (“shaded ledges”) and the means for cultivating the land (the phallus appearing as a “masculine colter,” that is, the blade of a plough) (211–12).

He tells a family story, how his mother in her youth was visited by a Native American woman whose “wonderful beauty and purity” made the white girl long for another visit, which never happened (547). The swimmer, the general, and the mother in her youth variously represent the experience of personal loss, with the poet giving vent to the elegiac strain that he would powerfully realize in poems published in the 1860s. In “The Sleepers,” the poet is intent on resolving the sense of loss, on rising with the sun at the end of the poem healed and restored by the descent into 44 Poetry before the Civil War darkness and exposure to the fearful side of his fantasies.

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Flags in the Dust: The Complete Text of Faulkner's Third Novel, Which Appeared in a Cut Version as Sartoris by William Faulkner


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