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Faulkner and Material Culture$
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Joseph R. Urgo and Ann J. Abadie

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617037122

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617037122.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Dematerializing Culture: Faulkner’s Trash Aesthetic

Dematerializing Culture: Faulkner’s Trash Aesthetic

(p.48) Dematerializing Culture: Faulkner’s Trash Aesthetic
Faulkner and Material Culture

Patricia Yaeger

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter describes how objects that can be considered as trash or detritus have become objects of aesthetic ecstasy for centuries. It is not until the twentieth century, however, that a fascination with formlessness, with the random shapes of object-decay embodied in trash, waste, or detritus, gained a wide-ranging aesthetic stature. This ethos of rubbish sublimity, of repeated encounters with a trashy sublime, extends to film as well as poetry and painting. As an example, the chapter presents Citizen Kane, the archetypal twentieth-century American movie. Citizen Kane creates a moment wherein “trash” has weight and uses it as its climax and epiphany. The movie shows its audience the poignancy of one object that cannot be traded in, but also makes this uniqueness more poignant as the sled turns to ash.

Keywords:   trash, detritus, aesthetic ecstasy, formlessness, rubbish sublimity, Citizen Kane

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