Faulkner himself had an eye for art and a flair for artistic phrase; he received and painted as a new guy. And Picasso’s (along with his modern Georges Braque’s) cubist task resonated with him. Starting roughly after Picasso’s revolutionary Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in 1907 and closing about 1912, Picasso and Braque mainly produced paintings now categorized as analytic cubism, representing a topic from multiple views at the same time. In-may of 1912, Picasso glued some oilcloth, imprinted with a pattern of woven chair caning, onto a canvas he'd painted with a still life. Synthetic cubism—the incorporation of discovered objects in a work to generate a modernist collage—was created. (It died two years later.)
Some experts argue that Faulkner intentionally modeled the structure of their early in the day works, like The Sound therefore the Fury and As I Lay Dying along analytic-cubist outlines. in the same way Picasso and Braque fragment their canvases so as to capture the topic from many views at once, Faulkner shifts their narrative vocals in one character to a different, surrounding the land from all edges while interrupting its circulation. But little interest happens to be paid to whether Faulkner will continue to locate the cubist trajectory in the subsequent work (or, place differently, whether cubism remains a helpful interpretive framework for Faulkner’s mature fiction). Ended up being he a synthetic cubist, also?
Current conclusions consistently shed light on this. In later on novels such as Absalom, Absalom! and decrease, Moses, Faulkner excerpts texts—such as letters, plantation ledgers, and diaries—which he presents as compiled by characters within the realm of their fiction. In 2010, Sally Wolff-King, a teacher at Emory University, made a surprising advancement: the ledger that Faulkner showcased prominently in go-down, Moses is heavily predicated on, and in some sections, almost exactly the same as, a real plantation diary—the journal of Francis Terry Leak, a nineteenth-century plantation diary also called the Leak papers. Wolff-King writes many brands, dates, activities, and anecdotes from the Leak documents remain unchanged in Faulkner’s book.
The reason why Faulkner, whom seemed to delight in talking about his imaginative procedure, chose to keep this source under wraps stays not clear. But Wolff-King provides the lacking piece towards literary cubist problem: Faulkner’s splicing of discovered historic texts into his imaginary narrative is analogous to Picasso’s gluing an oilcloth to his illusionistic painted canvas—both gestures can be viewed forms of artificial cubism. Faulkner, then, produced uncomfortable literary collage.
The idea of Faulkner’s engaging in literary artificial cubism isn’t merely a concern of semantics, hinging on abstract concept. Instead, it is a litmus test for exactly how modern we may understand Faulkner’s strive to have been—and is. And also the concern of Faulkner’s relevance should indeed be relevant, especially as their letters take a seat on the auction block.