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25. Faulkner, Light in August (continued)

Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner (AMST 246) Professor Wai Chee Dimock concludes her discussion of Light in August and the semester by mapping Faulkner's theology of Calvinist predestination onto race. Using Nella Larsen's novel Passing as an intertext, she shows how Joe Christmas's decision to self-blacken expresses his tragic sense of being predestined, of always "coming second." Moving away from tragedy, Dimock reads Hightower's delivery of Lena's baby as inhabiting a liminal space between tragedy and comedy, as Faulkner gives Hightower a second chance at meaningful communal agency. She finishes by reading Lena Grove and Byron Bunch's courtship as the comic end of Light in August. Warning: This lecture contains graphic content and/or adult language that some viewers may find disturbing 00:00 - Chapter 1. "Passing" in Light in August 06:12 - Chapter 2. Joe Christmas's Redoubled Double-Consciousness 10:01 - Chapter 3. The Symbolic Pattern of Lighting a Match 18:07 - Chapter 4. The Racialized Predestination of Joe Christmas 22:52 - Chapter 5. Joe Christmas's Lack of Agency 29:43 - Chapter 6. Hightower as the Midpoint Between Joe Christmas and Lena Grove 33:28 - Chapter 7. Giving Hightower a Second Chance 39:38 - Chapter 8. The Wisdom of Crowds 43:52 - Chapter 9. Faulkner's Use of the Kindness of Strangers as a Multitude 46:23 - Chapter 10. Faulkner on Marriage Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: This course was recorded in Fall 2011.
Length: 48:32


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