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Faulkner's Geographies$
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Jay "Watson and Ann J. "Abadie

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781496802279

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2016

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496802279.001.0001

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date: 22 October 2018

Designing Spaces: Sutpen, Snopes, and the Promise of the Plantation

Designing Spaces: Sutpen, Snopes, and the Promise of the Plantation

(p.17) Designing Spaces: Sutpen, Snopes, and the Promise of the Plantation
Faulkner's Geographies

Scott Romine

University Press of Mississippi

This essay argues that the plantation emerges a key site in Faulkner’s imagined geography of Yoknapatawpha County. For Thomas Sutpen in Absalom, Absalom! and Flem Snopes in the Snopes trilogy, the plantation offers the promise of a secure, coherent position with a social order. Such fantasies collapse, however, as space proves irreducible to intention and design. Attempting to manipulate the signs of the plantation order, Sutpen and Snopes find that the plantation is never quite inhabitable, and their respective attempts to enter into and command a social order end in disarray. Through an analysis of these two major characters, this essay argues that their careers are symptomatic of fantasies of stable geographies and coherent fictions of space that operate throughout Faulkner’s fiction.

Keywords:   Plantation, Imagined geography, Space, Absalom, Absalom, Snopes trilogy

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