The world of William Faulkner is seen from a new perspective in Thomas Hines's imaginative and many-faceted study. Hines assesses the impact of the built environment on Faulkner's consciousness and shows how the architecture of the writer's fictional county of Yoknapatawpha reflects the actual architecture of Oxford, Mississippi, and neighboring areas. Over 110 distinctive photographs, in both color and black-and-white, beautifully complement the text, making this book both a reading and viewing pleasure.
Much has been written on the role of nature in Faulkner's work, but architecture and the built environment--the opposite of nature--have been virtually ignored. Arguing that nature and architecture are of equal importance in Faulkner's cosmos, Hines examines the writer's use of architectural modes--primitive, classical, gothic, and modern--to demarcate caste and class, to convey mood and ambience, and to delineate character. Hines provides not only another way of understanding Faulkner's work but also a means of appreciating the power of architecture to reflect what Faulkner called "the comedy and tragedy of being alive."
Hines's gifts as an architectural historian and photographer and his intimate knowledge of Faulkner country are evident throughout this handsome book. Combining cultural, intellectual, architectural, and literary history, William Faulkner and the Tangible Past will take Faulkner lovers, as well as lovers of architecture, on a fascinating tour of Yoknapatawpha County.