In this fourth edition of his celebrated critical study, Mr. Howe analyzes all of Faulkner's works, emphasizing the themes that run throughout the novels and stories. "Mr. Howe is a shrewd critic....He has a good many observations that should help readers in going through the novels."-Alfred Kazin.
Here is a book that will be received with gratitude by readers who want to take headway in Faulkner's world but feel they need some guidance in their journey. The first section of the book is devoted to a discussion of Faulkner's social and moral themes, essentially his roots in and attitudes toward the South, its past, present, and future. Here is "The World of Yoknapatawpha", in which Faulkner tests the myth of the South, the myth of a defeated homeland which retreats from the troublesome present and the unavailable future into a glorious though constantly (for Faulkner) more questionable past. In the second portion of the book the author goes into more detailed analysis of the major portion of Faulkner's work. This is surely no definitive work on Faulkner - it will probably evoke comment from thinkers who feel differently about the artist's work or who feel that the book requires supplementation, but it is a thoughtful book which, honors (with some reservations) the artist and encourages the examination and enjoyment of his writing, thereby fulfilling Mr. Howe's concept of criticism. Howe feels that Faulkner's greatest strength (and contribution) lies in his capacity ?? enrich American literature with a direct and forceful utterance of universal and deep octions; that his limitation lies in his intellectual lack, to date, of the "capacity or a high order of comment and observation". (Kirkus Reviews)