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Since it is not only the narrator who tells a story but also the reader themself another aspect is of considerable importance here. As he himself once put it, bitter Bierce detested " Instead, they only witness the hallucination of such an escape taking place in the character's unconscious mind which is governed by the instinct of self-preservation. In retrospect we see that the title—if taken literally—from the outset provides the readers with the information that there will not be any change of scenery at all because simply an occurrence at that bridge is announced.

The plot device of a long period of subjective time passing in an instant, such as the imagined experiences of Farquhar while falling, has been explored by several authors. Bierce's story highlighted the idea of subjective time passing at the moment of death and popularized the fictional device of false narrative continuation, which has been in wide circulation ever since then.

Guy (Faulkner County)

Notable examples of this technique from the early-to-mid 20th century include H. John Shirley 's short story "Occurrence at Owl Street Ridge" about a depressed housewife is modeled after Bierce's story and Bierce plays a minor role in it. The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode " The Inner Light " featured a similar plot where Jean-Luc Picard experiences an entire lifetime on an alien world in the span of a few minutes of objective time. The episode " Playtest " centers around Cooper as he tests a revolutionary video game that causes him to confuse the game with reality.

Similar to Bierce's protagonist, it is revealed at the end that the entire sequence of events has taken place in the short span of his death. It isn't remotely political. The story's irregular time sequence and "blink-of-an-eye" twist ending has inspired numerous works, including:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A Rose For Emily and Other Short Stories

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William Faulkner

Short Story Criticism , volume Retrieved Robert C. Evans ed. Retrieved 13 February The Seattle Times. NY Times. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 23 October The Guardian. Escape and Suspense. Archived from the original on Adam Young Blog. Works by Ambrose Bierce. Learn how to enable JavaScript on your browser. NOOK Book. Not only readable but downright enthralling. William Faulkner was a literary genius, and one of America's most important and influential writers. His Faulkner is an extremely talented, obsessive artist plagued by alcoholism and a bad marriage who somehow transcends his limitations.

Parini weaves the tragedies and triumphs of Faulkner's life in with his novels, serving up a biography that's as engaging as it is insightful.

Michael Hoffman is a filmmaker known for creating complex and layered stories with great attention to detail and character. The Last Station is his most recent film. A writer and academic, he is best known for his novels and poetry.

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Creek House by Faulkner Architects preserves boulders on steep site

He is the author of the novel The Last Station , which is now a major motion picture from Sony Classics. It's not even past. His novels, from the outset, are obsessed with what T. Eliot once referred to as "significant soil," but the outward details of place quickly become inner details as Faulkner examines the soul of his characters through the prism of their observations, their rootings and branchings, their familial and social as well as geographical contexts.

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Place, for Faulkner, becomes a spiritual location from which he examines a truth deeper than anything like mere locality. Faulkner saw himself as taking part in a great process, moving through history and, in an intriguing way, creating a counterhistory of his own. He would focus in his fiction on a parallel universe based on the "real" universe of Lafayette County, Mississippi. Faulkner's invented region, Yoknapatawpha County, was named after an actual stream that ran through Lafayette County, the name itself meaning, according to Faulkner, "the water runs slow through flat land.

Not surprisingly, this prosperous class regarded the abolition of slavery as a threat to their way of life and joined forces with those who believed in secession. Their allegiance to the Old South was, for the most part, unwavering. In Faulkner's fiction, the Sartoris clan would stand in for this class, the planter class, and their failure over generations is one of his most compelling themes, counterpointed by the implacable emergence of the Snopes clan, representing the greedy, unscrupulous white folks who come from the outlying country and who form a kind of counterpoint to the Sartoris clan, although it is somewhat misleading to regard this dialectic in a simplistic fashion, since there are admirable Snopeses and selfish, inconsiderate members of the Sartoris family.

The Civil War came as a tidal wave, sweeping over northern Mississippi with a vengeance. The aftershocks of this horrific war reverberated through the decades, and Faulkner's characters might be considered survivors of an original trauma, often unspoken, absorbed and transmogrified in their own lives and relived as other kinds of trauma. Even World War I, which obsessed Faulkner, was in a sense an extension, for him, of the original war, which destroyed families by pitting brother against brother, father against son.

Faulkner plays out some of these conflicts in A Fable , a late novel set mostly on the western front, and in many stories. It is in the nature of things for violent acts to repeat themselves, even though the original source of the violence is lost to view. In many ways, Faulkner's writing is about uncovering these hidden sources of disruption, about following their echoes and unconscious reenactments down the decades.

Lafayette County was indeed a representative county, even without Faulkner.


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As Don H. Doyle notes, "Quite apart from Faulkner's unique contribution to the history of this county and region, Lafayette County, Mississippi, stands on its own as a southern community whose history can reveal much about the larger past of which it is part. Mississippi, at the western border of the Old South, occupied a liminal territory on the wilder edge of frontier society. It was, as a result of its position, more dynamic, less predictable, and therefore appealing to a writer's imagination, a place where he could explore the "human heart in conflict with itself," as he said in his Nobel address in Stockholm in December Faulkner examined a wide range of social classes, each struggling for survival in a county that fell between piney hills and richly fertile river valley.

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During Faulkner's childhood, the lower ranks of society were dominated by sharecroppers and "poor white trash," who course vividly through his fiction. Faulkner would write about them frequently, and with sympathy, although not with the same passion or inwardness that he reserves for white characters. Forty percent of the white families in Lafayette County owned slaves before the war, as Doyle notes, with half of these families owning five slaves or fewer.

A few families owned more than a hundred slaves, but this was exceptional.

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The slaves themselves made up roughly half of the county's population. Nearly a century later, the balance between the black and white population remained roughly the same. His book pays eloquent tribute.