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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: 17 October 2018

Thomas Sutpen’s Geography Lesson: Environmental Obscurities and Racial Remapping in Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!

Thomas Sutpen’s Geography Lesson: Environmental Obscurities and Racial Remapping in Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!

Chapter:
(p.97) Thomas Sutpen’s Geography Lesson: Environmental Obscurities and Racial Remapping in Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!
Source:
Faulkner's Geographies
Author(s):

Ryan Heryford

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496802279.003.0007

This essay charts the geographic relationship between William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County and the imagined placement of Thomas Sutpen’s Haiti, as well as the historical relationship between Sutpen’s 1824 voyage to the island, and the 1936 publication of Absalom, Absalom!, less than two years after the 1914-1934 US occupation of Haiti. Additionally, I will investigate the literary representations of both Haitian and Mississippian environments as they are incorporated within, or dismissed from, a broader ‘Southern’ ecology. In tracing out these geographic, historical, and environmental terrains, this paper will try to deconstruct a Faulknerian map of the ‘Hemispheric South,’ arguing that this map was conceived and coordinated along post-Enlightenment racialized ontologies and an emergent vision of 20th century US imperialism.

Keywords:   William Faulkner, Haitian Revolution, 1914-1934 US Occupation of Haiti, Environmental Imperialism, Literary Geographies

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