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William Faulkner: An Economy of Complex Words

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image of Historical Materialism

This review-essay explores the theoretical and methodological innovations of Richard Godden’s William Faulkner, arguing that it makes a signal contribution to historical materialism in literary studies. The article focuses on Godden’s concept of ‘generative structure’, and relates the term to earlier usages by Aglietta and Jameson. After summarising the close readings of Faulkner’s texts performed by Godden, the article suggests an expanded rôle for biography in making the linkages between economy, psyche and text which form the basis of Godden’s analysis.

Affiliations: 1: Leeds Metropolitan University United Kingdom, Email:


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