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Nature and Predestination in William Faulkner’s “Dry September”

Ginevra Paparoni    Università degli Studi di Milano, Italia    



William Faulkner’s Protestant culture, as well as his will to revitalize the Christian message, has a strong influence on his literary production. His work is not simply rich in images and motives related to the Protestant religious tradition: it expresses a vision of the world which is deeply influenced by philosophical concepts belonging to that tradition. These concepts, defined for the first time by Protestant reformers, have been repeatedly reformulated through history by different thinkers and artists in the language of their age. Faulkner’s view of the particular notions of damnation and predestination, underlying many of his works, plays a central role in the short story “Dry September”, where it is illustrated both in symbolical and realistic terms. Faulkner’s conception of predestination and damnation is very close to the one expressed by the tweentieth-century theologian Paul Tillich in his Systematic Theology. The affinity between Faulkner’s and Tillich’s view is not surprising. Indeed, the German theologian faced the themes which the American writer inherited from his Protestant ancestors in the light of the spirit of his same age, an age which experienced historical and cultural upheavals, such as the World War and the rise of psychoanalysis.

Keywords: Nature. Predestination. Faulkner. Dry September.

Lingua: en

Presentato: 08 Aprile 2016   Accettato: 05 Luglio 2016   Pubblicato: 30 Settembre 2016  

permalink: http://doi.org/10.14277/2499-1562/AnnOc-50-16-22

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