9781501330742

Conrad, Faulkner, and the Problem of NonSense

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781501330742

  • ISBN10:

    1501330748

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-03-23
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Summary

Maurice Ebileeni explores the thematic and stylistic problems in the major novels of Joseph Conrad and William Faulkner through Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytic theories. Against the background of the cultural, scientific, and historic changes that occurred at the turn of the 20th century, describing the landscape of ruins bequeathed to humanists by the forefathers of the Counter-Enlightenment movement (Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, and Baudelaire), Ebileeni proposes that Conrad and Faulkner wrote against impossible odds, metaphorically standing at the edge of a chaotic abyss that initially would spill over into the challenges of literary production. Both authors discovered that underneath, behind, or within the intuitively comprehensible narrative layers there exists a nonsensical dimension, constantly threatening to dissolve any attempt at producing intelligible meaning.

Ebileeni argues that in Conrad's and Faulkner's major novels, the quest for meaning in confronting the prospects of nonsense becomes a necessary symptom of human experience to both avoid and engage the entropy of modern life.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

List of Abbreviations

Introduction
The Problem of Nonsense

Chapter One: The Question of Authority
Conrad's Cynicism
Beyond Cynicism
The Institution of Nonsense

Chapter Two: An Alternative Perspective on the Aims of Narration
The Real
Conrad's Neurosis in Narration
Textual Psychosis in Faulkner's Novels
A Psychoanalytical Diagnosis of Nonsense

Chapter Three: Conrad's Symptom
Lord Jim
Heart of Darkness
Under Western Eyes

Chapter Four: Faulkner's Sinthome
The Sound and the Fury
As I Lay Dying

Conclusion

Notes

Works Cited

Index

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