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The Dixie LimitedWriters on William Faulkner and His Influence$
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M. Thomas Inge

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496803382

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496803382.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 20 May 2022

“Dark Laughter in the Towers”

“Dark Laughter in the Towers”

Chapter:
(p.121) “Dark Laughter in the Towers”
Source:
The Dixie Limited
Author(s):

Terry Southern

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496803382.003.0024

This chapter reviews William Faulkner's 1929 novel As I Lay Dying, the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family's journey to a cemetery in Jefferson, Mississippi. Addie's husband and five children, carrying her body in a coffin in a wagon, encounter various difficulties along the way. The chapter first discusses humor in existentialist literature before focusing on the absurd in As I Lay Dying. It also considers protagonists in English fiction who all possess candor and a sense of the absurd, including Jimmy Porter, Sebastian Dangerfield, Charles Lumley, Billy Liar, and Larry Vincent. It argues that the “grotesque” in Faulkner is not ordinarily read as humorous because the highly personalized style tends to obscure it.

Keywords:   humor, William Faulkner, novel, As I Lay Dying, existentialist literature, absurd, fiction, candor, grotesque

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