Эссе: Critical Essay by Paul Rosenzweig

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Английский язык
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... While Faulkner is centrally concerned with the imagination in all his novels,& he never directly extended this concern to the province of art&. Perhaps this omission was caused by a more traditional attitude toward art than, for instance, such a novelist as Gide or Mann had--one which both did not so radically question the possible conflict between the traditionally moral function of the novel and a more purely esthetic perspective, and one that accepted art's traditional function of representing an ultimate reality. Such an attitude might seem inconsistent with Faulkner's depiction within his novels of the imagination as a distorting mechanism that limited rather than increased man's contact with reality; but Faulkner & never fully applied his perceptions of the mind's inherent distortions to the functioning of his own artistic imagination. It is for this reason that Absalom, Absalom!'s narrative frames are of particular interest, for they set up an implicit--even if partially unintentional--metaphor for the artistic process, thus extending a concern for the imagination to the province of art. Although the novel's themes, like its structures, are complex and diverse, the central theme of the primary story of Sutpen deals with love, which the novel seems to define as the ability to see and care for another in his own right. All the characters in the primary story lack this ability and this ubiquitous lack is the ultimate cause of evil in the novel. (pp. 135-36)  However, while this theme of love denied is central to the primary story, in the secondary narrative framework the central theme is the search for truth--the truth about Sutpen's, Bon's, and Henry's complex motivations, and, more generally, the truth about all human motivation&. As the novel progresses, we along with Quentin seem to progress toward the truth. (p. 136) There is an ironic element to this sense of progress toward the truth, for each successive narration of the story appears to be told by a narrator who is further removed from the original action both in time and in direct involvement&. Such an inverse relationship between distance and truth suggests that a type of detachment, an emotional and artistic distance on events, is needed to discover the truth. ...