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15. Faulkner -- As I Lay Dying

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Published on Apr 5, 2012

Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner (AMST 246)

Professor Wai Chee Dimock concludes her discussion of As I Lay Dying with an analysis of its generic form. Using Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter to anchor her discussion of the American literary tradition, she argues that As I Lay Dying continually negotiates the comic and the tragic genres as we shift from one perspective to another: one character's comic gain is often another's tragic loss. She traces the losses and gains of Cash, Jewel, and Darl throughout the novel, showing how their new "balances" by the end reconstitute the Bundren family and draw lines of kinship around the "haves" and "have nots" among family members.

00:00 - Chapter 1. As I Lay Dying and the American Tradition
05:48 - Chapter 2. Tragedy in The Scarlett Letter and As I Lay Dying
12:29 - Chapter 3. The Comic Dimension of the Fish
18:42 - Chapter 4. The Comic Economy of As I Lay Dying
24:47 - Chapter 5. Cash as a "Have Not"
32:09 - Chapter 6. Anse as a "Have"
34:29 - Chapter 7. Jewel's Broken Kinship with Animals
39:48 - Chapter 8. The Reconstitution of Kinship
43:12 - Chapter 9. Darl as a "Have Not"

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://oyc.yale.edu

This course was recorded in Fall 2011.

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