The Relationship Between The Past and Future in Faulkner´s Literature

1701 Words7 Pages
“The past is not dead. It’s not even past” (Faulkner 1). Within in the pages of what is arguable his best-known book, acclaimed author William Faulkner penned this profound statement. Requiem for a Nun is, at its core an experiment with narrative technique. And much like Faulkner, writers and poets from ancient times used narrative technique in their stories to express the relationship between the past and future and the fluidity between the two. Three shining examples where writers expressed/showcased the relationship between the past and future are The Illiad by Homer, Pythian 4 by Pindar, and Plato’s Symposium. In addition to applying narratological techniques throughout these tales, the withholding of information to build suspense for future events and nested narratives also assist with highlighting the relationship between the past and the future.
As previously mentioned, the use of narratological technique is essential to conveying the relationship between the past and future. Good narratological technique must be done will to ensure that the audience will be able to follow along with the story, but in some cases, it may require careful attention to detail from the audience to understand the narratological levels and patterns within the story before the tale itself will make sense. In the Illiad, an unidentified narrator tells the story of the battle at Troy. The narrator appears to be looking down on the battle from above and can also view Olympus as they occasionally break away from the scenes on the ground to focus on a conversation between various gods. Without any formal transition, the narration may suddenly stop, and a dialogue between to central characters will begin. This happens repeatedly, and so frequently, tha...

... middle of paper ...

...tion between the past and the future in their works. The tales that have survived the ages are engaging masterpieces and the techniques applied to these tales from past eras are invaluable storytelling aids and will continue to be employed in the creative works of present day artists, and those that will arise in the future. If I had to venture a guess, these tools that have successfully bridged the gap between the past and future will be in place for an infinite number of years, and maybe, possibly, even beyond.

Works Cited
Faulkner, William. Goodreads. Goodreads Inc., Jan. 2008. Web. 12 May 2014.
Homer, and Stanley Lombardo. Iliad. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1997. Print.
Pindar, Anthony Verity, and Stephen Instone. "Pythian 4." The Complete Odes. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. 54-65. Print.
Plato, and Robin Waterfield. Symposium. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1994. Print.

More about The Relationship Between The Past and Future in Faulkner´s Literature

Open Document