Reading Joycean Comedy and Faulknerian Tragedy: Exploring the Significance of Location, Literary Influence and the Possibilities of Heroism with Leopold Bloom in Joyce’s Ulysses and Quentin Compson in Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom!
Date of Award
Honors Thesis (Open Access)
Colby College. English Dept.
Cedric Gael Bryant
Laurie E. Osborne
The distinct similarity between Joyce’s and Faulkner’s philosophical concerns (the affirmation of life in spite of its myriad difficulties), and the striking disjuncture between their aesthetic approaches (comedy for Joyce and tragedy for Faulkner), is where my interest in this project began. I sought to explore the lives and works of both writers in order to get a sense of how two artists could attempt to convey a similar message through such different means. The first thing I explore is a number of similarities between Joyce’s and Faulkner’s personal worlds (particularly their intimate connections to location) and their sources of literary influence (of particular interest here is the possibility of Joyce’s influence on Faulkner). Second are the ways in which Joyce came to comedy and Faulkner came to tragedy as the organizing principle of the worlds they went on to create. Finally, I explore the ways in which Joyce’s and Faulkner’s projects are carried out with the characters of Leopold Bloom and Quentin Compson, and the ways in which these characters embody a number of qualities of the classical hero in spite of the manifold difficulties that come with living in the modernist world.
Faulkner, William -- 1897-1962, Joyce, James -- 1882-1941, Criticism and Interpretation
Recommended CitationCummings, Colin R., "Reading Joycean Comedy and Faulknerian Tragedy: Exploring the Significance of Location, Literary Influence and the Possibilities of Heroism with Leopold Bloom in Joyce’s Ulysses and Quentin Compson in Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom!" (2009). Honors Theses. Paper 321.
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