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Faulkner and Whiteness$
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Jay Watson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781617030208

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617030208.001.0001

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date: 19 October 2017

Passing as Miscegenation

Passing as Miscegenation

Whiteness and Homoeroticism in Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!

Chapter:
(p.75) Passing as Miscegenation
Source:
Faulkner and Whiteness
Author(s):

Betina Entzminger

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617030208.003.0004

This chapter explores the relationship between whiteness and homoeroticism in William Faulkner’s novel Absalom, Absalom!, in which two paired male relationships combine the sexual taboos of homosexuality and miscegenation. It offers a reading of the novel similar to that of Deborah McDowell for Nella Larsen’s Passing, in which she analyzes the connection between passing for white and passing for straight. The chapter examines the strategic substitution of breaches in whiteness for breaches in heteronormativity in the homoerotically charged affairs of young men, and how anxieties about racial identity serve to screen anxieties about sexuality rather than being triggered by them. It also considers Faulkner’s use of narrative to suggest a blurring of social boundaries and binaries, including those of desire.

Keywords:   whiteness, homoeroticism, William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!, homosexuality, miscegenation, racial identity, social boundaries, desire

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