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Meet William Faulkner

This course will focus on the work of William Faulkner, who helped initiate the so-called Southern Literary Renaissance with the publication of classic American novels including The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom! and The Hamlet

While Faulkner was a writer-in-residence at the University of Virginia in the late 1950s, a questioner asked him which of his novels the uninitiated reader should read first, to which he answered: The Unvanquished. Students in the course will read and discuss Faulkner’s first published short story, “A Rose for Emily”, the novel, The Unvanquished, followed by the reading of his more sophisticated novel, As I Lay Dying.

* Students are expected to provide their own copies of the novels discussed in class.

Jean Wampler Cash is Professor Emerita of English, having taught at JMU for 37 years and retiring as a full professor of English. Her area of academic specialization is the Literature of the American South, with particular emphasis on fiction writers of the 20th century. She is the author or co-editor of five books, including biographies of Flannery O'Connor and Mississippi novelist, Larry Brown. During her years at JMU, she taught numerous seminars on the life and work of William Faulkner.


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