William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!: A Narrative of Inexhaustible Word and Unfathomable Past

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Author: Djamila Houamdi
Email: houamdi.dj@gmail.com
Published: December 1, 2018
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijl.7.1.06

Citation: Houamdi, D. (2018). William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!: A Narrative of Inexhaustible Word and Unfathomable Past, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijl.7.1.06


Abstract

The purpose of the present paper is to cast light on William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! in terms of its linguistic and communicational woes. A proliferation of research has been done on the novel, yet little heed has been paid to the verbal underpinning of its narration, which is associated with certain social and cultural interrogatives. Faulkner, who avows to be telling the same story repeatedly (the story of the Old South), voices through his literary work the anxieties and uneasiness he feels towards language. Long taken for granted as a mere tool of articulation, language proves to be an entity that is neither fully exhaustible nor communicates a message that is readily fathomable. The textual analyses of the characters’ narrative language and their relation to it mirror the author’s own meditations over the “word” and his endeavor to bring the reader into that arena of verbal and mental wrestling. Communication thus becomes an ongoing struggle, with the self, the word and the world, one that might be dreadful or futile but never escapable.

Keywords

communication, language, William Faulkner, the Old South