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As one of the preeminent scholars of southern literature, Noel Polk has delivered lectures, written journal articles and essays, and discussed the rich legacy of the South's literary heritage around the world for over three decades. His work on William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Walker Percy, and other writers is incisive and groundbreaking.
His essays in Faulkner and Welty and the Southern Literary Tradition maintain an abiding interest in Polk's major area of literary study: the relationship between the smaller units of construction in a literary work and the work's larger themes. The analysis of this interplay between commas and dashes, curious occlusions, passages, and characters who have often gone unnoticed in the critical discourse--the bricks and mortar, as it were--and a work's grand design is a crucial aspect of Polk's scholarship.
Faulkner and Welty and the Southern Literary Tradition collects Polk's essays from the late-1970s to 2005. Featuring an introduction that places Faulkner and Welty at the center of the South's literary heritage, the volume asks useful, probing questions about southern literature and provides insightful analysis.
Faulkner and Welty and the Southern Literary Tradition 3
How Shreve Gets in to Quentin's Pants 22
Faulkner in the Luxembourg Gardens 31
Testing Masculinity in the Snopes Trilogy 44
Reading Blood and History in Go Down, Moses 68
Faulkner and the Commies 82
War and Modernism in A Fable 95
Water, Wanderers, and Weddings: Going to Naples and to No Place 133
The Landscape of Alienation in "Old Mr. Marblehall" 163
Domestic Violence in "The Purple Hat," "Magic," and "The Doll" 176
The Ponderable Heart 186
Works Cited 199