Logo
Logo

Goldsmiths - University of London

An Aesthetic Consciousness: An Existentialist Reading of William Faulkner’s Fiction

Heller, Maya. 2017. An Aesthetic Consciousness: An Existentialist Reading of William Faulkner’s Fiction. Other thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

[img]
Preview
Text (An Aesthetic Consciousness: An Existentialist Reading of William Faulkner’s Fiction)
ECL_MPhilThesis_HellerM_2017.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This thesis presents an existentialist reading of William Faulkner’s early fiction (1925-31). Moving away from a regionalist perspective the thesis argues that Faulkner’s work can be viewed as part of a universal and aesthetic exploration of the human condition. By focusing specifically on Jean-Paul Sartre’s early philosophy (1930s-40s) and the concepts of consciousness, the duality of being: being-in-itself (the world of objects) and being-for-itself (human consciousness), the thesis investigates the way in which consciousness operates ontologically in Faulkner’s prose. It argues that a decidedly existentialist consciousness can be traced in Faulkner, one in which a linked relationship between imagination and reality lays bare the fragility of the
characters and a sense of displacement in Faulkner’s fiction.

Within the context of existentialism, the thesis also emphasizes the importance of the artist figure within Faulkner’s writing. As the embodiment of existential action and choice, the artist in Faulkner’s fiction reflects a sense of liberation and freedom. In this context, the existentialist reading re-examines the way the artist’s sense of reality hinges on the interaction between human consciousness and the world of objects, between Faulkner’s representation of art (text, painting and sculpture) and form and technique
(fragmentation and multiple perspective).

Item Type: Thesis (Other)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00020118

Keywords:

Existentialism, Sartre, Faulkner, Cubism, Modernism, As I Lay Dying, Sanctuary, Mosquitoes, Elmer

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature

Date:

31 February 2017

Item ID:

20118

Date Deposited:

27 Mar 2017 14:31

Last Modified:

12 Jul 2018 14:29

URI: http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/20118

View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)