Faulkner’s Forefathers in the Film, William Faulkner: A Life on Paper

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The role of fathers looms large in this Faulkner documentary. In terms of strictly male lineage, William Faulkner seems trapped in this sort of grey world between being his own man and the fact that he was so much like his male ancestors. I imagine this is true of all individuals, struggling to make our way between ourselves as individuals and as shaped by our contexts. In Faulkner's case, however, he seems conspicuously geared towards adopting those traits first shown by his ancestors, the same arrogance, a "haughty pride,"and a tradition to "look for a fight." At the risk of psychoanalyzing far beyond my knowledge, what seemed interesting to me is how the collective Faulkner males seem content to rest on the laurels of their forefathers. Faulkner's father, for example, dreams of inheriting his father's fortune rather than making his own. Faulkner himself loafed through numerous jobs, perhaps only waiting for the colonel's writing abilities to be channeled through Faulkner's own skills and establish him as a writer. The dynamics of such behavior puzzle me. Is this some sort of inher...

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