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Faulkner and Print Culture$
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Jay Watson, Jaime Harker, and James G. Jr. Thomas

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496812308

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496812308.001.0001

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“A Literary Criticism of Neurotic Literature”: The Saturday Review of Literature and Faulkner’s Sanctuary

“A Literary Criticism of Neurotic Literature”: The Saturday Review of Literature and Faulkner’s Sanctuary

Chapter:
(p.77) “A Literary Criticism of Neurotic Literature”: The Saturday Review of Literature and Faulkner’s Sanctuary
Source:
Faulkner and Print Culture
Author(s):

Sarah E. Gardner

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496812308.003.0006

This essay explores Henry Seidel Canby’s mediation of Faulkner’s Sanctuary to the middlebrow readers of his magazine, the Saturday Review of Literature. If Canby’s audience needed protecting from that which disturbed and provoked, then Faulkner’s novel about bootleggers, drunkards, murderers, lynchers, prostitutes, and “predatory” debutantes demanded to be quarantined. Sanctuary stood at the center of a larger conversation about recent trends in American literature, serving as the whipping boy for what was seen as the Depression Era’s penchant for perversity on the one hand and as the antidote for the cloying sentimentalism and romance of genteel southern letters on the other. Canby might not be able to shield his readers from what he deemed the literature of the perverse, but he could certainly arm them with the latest theories in order to help them make sense of a changing literary landscape.

Keywords:   Henry Seidel Canby, Lawrence Kubie, Psychoanalysis, Sanctuary, Saturday Review of Literature

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