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Faulkner and Money$
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Jay Watson and James G., Jr. Thomas

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496822529

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496822529.001.0001

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What Price a “Cheap Idea”?: Money, Sanctuary, and Its Intertexts

What Price a “Cheap Idea”?: Money, Sanctuary, and Its Intertexts

(p.122) What Price a “Cheap Idea”?: Money, Sanctuary, and Its Intertexts
Faulkner and Money

Richard Godden

University Press of Mississippi

In declaring Sanctuary (1931) "a cheap idea," "deliberately conceived" to make money, Faulkner announced the novel's preoccupation with circulation ("Maybe 10,000 of them will buy it"). The essay focuses on how, in writing for money, Faulkner wrote through money, doing so when "more and more of the aspects of living are coming to be strained through the bars of a dollar sign" (Middletown, Robert and Helen Lynd [1929]). Following Marx's account of the logic of circulation, whereby the commodity (here, the novel), "thrown into the alchemist's retort of circulation," must "shape-shift," "changing its skin" in order to "transubstantiate" into price, the paper tracks how Faulkner explores the monetization not only of his subject (Temple Drake's rape and exchange) but of his self-conception as author.

Keywords:   Commodity, Circulation, Labor, Marx, authorship

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