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Absalom, Absalom

Author: Faulkner, William

Genre: Fiction

Year: 1990


In a torturous modernist narrative generated by a wide array of characters, letters, and conversations, ‘Absalom, Absalom’ unfolds as a complex attempt to reconstruct imaginatively the history and genealogy of the Sutpen family. The narrative frame shifts insistently from the interior thoughts of Quentin Compson, studying at Harvard in 1909, across the events surrounding Sutpen's arrival in Jefferson, the savageries of the Civil War, the anxieties of Reconstruction, and the continuing legacies of racial miscegenation. Yet the genealogies produced in this text are not merely familial in nature, for in his trip to Haiti and his subsequent return to Jefferson Sutpen gradually uncovers the ideological structures of a European model of imperialism which has been effaced from the surface of an American national consciousness that understands slavery as its own peculiar institution

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