Light in August Essay - Suggested Readings

William Faulkner

Suggested Readings

Brooks, Cleanth. “The Community and the Pariah.” William Faulkner: The Yoknapatawpha Country. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1963.

Feldman, Robert L. “In Defense of Reverend Hightower: It Is Never Too Late.” College Language Association Journal 29, no. 3 (March, 1986): 352-367.

Inge, M. Thomas, ed. The Merrill Studies in “Light in August.” Columbus, Ohio: Charles E. Merrill, 1971. Good collection of articles on Christ imagery and symbolism, myth and ritual, and the “Frozen Moment,” which clarifies Faulkner’s use of contradictions like movement and motionlessness. Also includes reprints of contemporary reviews.

Karl, Frederick R. William Faulkner, American Writer: A Biography. New York: Ballantine Books, 1989. An interpretation of Faulkner’s life revealed with psychological, emotional, and literary precision. Focuses on the strengths on which Faulkner relied in his growth as a great American writer of the twentieth century. Includes an excellent bibliography, chronology, and notes.

Kazin, Alfred. “The Stillness of Light in August.” In Faulkner: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Robert Penn Warren. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966.

Lewis, Wyndham. “William Faulkner (the Moralist with a Corn Cob).” In Men Without Art. New York: Russell & Russell, 1964. Analyzes Faulkner’s fatalism and melodrama in major novels. Uniquely argues that Faulkner is not a good or acceptable writer, but that, instead, he is just a flash in the pan. Accuses Faulkner of being old-fashioned, too romantic, and one of the “psychological” school.

Millgate, Michael, ed. New Essays on “Light in August.” New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987. Includes a very good introduction, a clarification of the structure of the novel, an analysis of women, sexism, and racism in Light in August, and an exploration of “the difference between enduring and prevailing,” an analysis of Faulkner’s Nobel Prize speech about humanity’s endurance as it is revealed in Light in August.

Pitavy, François L., ed. William Faulkner’s “Light in August”: A Critical Casebook. New York: Garland, 1982. A critical collection of the best available scholarship on Faulkner’s novel and a discussion of the genesis of the book as well as a superb annotated bibliography. Includes analysis of themes such as “God the Father and Motherless Children,” “Other Competitors for the Cross,” and various symbols, myths, voices, and style.

Vickery, Olga W. “The Shadow and the Mirror: Light in August.” In The Novels of William Faulkner: A Critical Interpretation. Rev. ed. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1964.