Unresolved Tensions: William Faulkner's The Unvanquished as a Short-Story Cycle

Irene Visser
2018 English Studies: A Journal of English Language  
This essay argues for a wider recognition of The Unvanquished as a short-story cycle and for a new appreciation of its generic features of simultaneous fragmentation and unity. For much of its critical history The Unvanquished was misinterpreted as a short story miscellany or as a bildungsroman. Reading it as a short-story cycle allows an acknowledgment of its inherent tensions and discontinuities without urging a resolution that would elide or eclipse them, as has frequently been critical
more » ... been critical practice. Presenting first an overview of the conflicted critical history of The Unvanquished, and demonstrating Faulkner's deliberate use of hybrid forms, the essay then focuses on the distinguishing features of three stories to explore the tensions between their disparate plot movements and the volume's underlying unity. The essay's central argument is that it is due to its hybrid formality that The Unvanquished presents a unique contribution to Faulkner's oeuvre of the 1930s.
doi:10.1080/0013838x.2018.1519168 fatcat:jl4y4ukk3zbrjgrjk5jn3wgxmq