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Compelled to Believe: Historiography and Truth in "Absalom, Absalom!"

Colleen E. Donnelly
Style
Vol. 25, No. 1, Narrative Studies (Spring 1991), pp. 104-122
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42945886
Page Count: 19
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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.
Compelled to Believe: Historiography and Truth in "Absalom, Absalom!"
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Abstract

In the past decade much has been made of whether Absalom, Absalom! is meant to be read as a truthful account of the Sutpen dynasty or not. Only by a closer examination of the language of the text may we understand how the thematic questions about the illusive nature of history and the truth of storytelling are woven into the text. Such attention to the language and to the interplay of different narrative types shows how the text itself compels us to read it as history while at the same time constantly bringing to the foreground the speculative nature of the endeavor.

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