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Research Article

A Feeling you Cannot Name

Clocks and Time in William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and Cormac McCarthy’s Suttree

Marco Petrelli    La Sapienza Università di Roma, Italia    

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abstract

This essay is devoted to a thematic comparative analysis of William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and Cormac McCarthy’s Suttree. Focusing on the recurring watch motif, the aim is to show the evolvement of a pivotal issue in Southern US literature: the troubled relationship with (social) time and history. The comparison is triggered by some passages in which McCarthy clearly rewrites Faulkner’s novel. Quentin Compson, the narrator from the second section of The Sound and the Fury, is obsessed with the passing of time – a fixation which is embodied in the watch that his father gave him. Cornelius Suttree shares the same obsession about time and clocks, and, just like Quentin, he is also tormented by an ambiguous relationship with the Southern aristocratic society he is part of. The Sound and the Fury and Suttree are hence tied together in their critique of the social neuroses of the South through the depiction of a biased sense of time.

Keywords: Cormac McCarthy. William Faulkner. Time. Southern Gothic.

Language: it

Submitted: April 9, 2016   Accepted: July 5, 2016   Published: Sept. 30, 2016  

permalink: http://doi.org/10.14277/2499-1562/AnnOc-50-16-23

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License