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Victorian Vision in Mississippi: Tennysonian Resonances in Faulkner's "Dark House/Light in August"

Martin Bidney
Victorian Poetry
Vol. 23, No. 1 (Spring, 1985), pp. 43-57
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40002488
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Victorian Vision in Mississippi: Tennysonian Resonances in Faulkner's "Dark House/Light in August"
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Abstract

Like Victorian pilgrim-poets, Faulkner's characters in "Light in August"-Joe Christmas, Lena Grove, Joanna Burden, and Gail Hightower-are seekers or seers who experience threatening isolation, a difficult journey, and a problematic or elusive transcendence. All these aspects of their experiences are clarified through pervasive Tennysonian resonances and parallels. "In Memoriam" is the Tennyson work most richly echoed in Faulkner's novel, but reminiscences of "Ulysses," "Tears, idle tears," and "The splendour falls" from "The Princess," and the "Song" beginning "A spirit haunts the year's last hours" also play a revealing role. The wanderings or searches of Faulkner's solitaries are not fully comprehensible outside the context provided by Tennyson's spiritual journeying.

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