Submerged stories: the evolution of William Faulkner's snopes trilogy

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O'Callaghan, Eoin Martin
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University College Cork
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While few twentieth-century writers have attracted as much critical attention as William Faulkner, there remain aspects of his work that have been neglected: his ‘Snopes’ stories of the 1920s and 1930s, and his Snopes Trilogy, written in the 1940s and 1950s, have been particularly ill-served by critics. This thesis examines the evolution of The Hamlet (1940), The Town (1957), and The Mansion (1959), collectively known as the Snopes Trilogy, and into which Faulkner incorporated elements of those earliest stories, including “Spotted Horses” (1931) and “Lizards in Jamshyd’s Courtyard” (1932). The composition of these novels is, this thesis argues, shaped and defined by a triangular relationship between place, race (specifically, whiteness) and genre, and analysis of this thirty-year-long process may be used to trace Faulkner’s evolving conception of Yoknapatawpha County and the ‘poor white’ Snopes family. The methodology for this thesis utilises close textual study, archival research, and theories of place, whiteness, and genre in order to re-evaluate the Snopes fiction, arguing for the significance of the trilogy within the Faulkner canon.
William Faulkner , The South , American literature , Short stories , Snopes trilogy
O'Callaghan, E. M. 2019. Submerged stories: the evolution of William Faulkner's snopes trilogy. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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