Faulkner’s Ethics

An Intense Struggle

Authors: Wainwright, Michael

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  • Provides the first in-depth analysis of ethics across six of Faulkner’s major novels
  • Draws on Henry Sidgwick’s “The Methods of Ethics”, as well as applying more recent contributions to moral philosophy from Jacques Derrida and Derek Parfit
  • Explores Faulkner’s moral language and his exploration of responsibility, duty, benevolence and universalism
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Hardcover $139.99
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About this book

This book offers the first comprehensive investigation of ethics in the canon of William Faulkner. As the fundamental framework for its analysis of Faulkner’s fiction, this study draws on The Methods of Ethics, the magnum opus of the utilitarian philosopher Henry Sidgwick. While Faulkner’s Ethics does not claim that Faulkner read Sidgwick’s work, this book traces Faulkner’s moral sensitivity. It argues that Faulkner’s language is a moral medium that captures the ways in which people negotiate the ethical demands that life places on them. Tracing the contours of this evolving medium across six of the author’s major novels, it explores the basic precepts set out in The Methods of Ethics with the application of more recent contributions to moral philosophy, especially those of Jacques Derrida and Derek Parfit. 


About the authors

Michael Wainwright is an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of English at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.

Reviews

‘Michael Wainwright’s reassessment of William Faulkner’s major works in relation to the ethics of Henry Sidgwick and Jacques Derrida – with support from game theory and psychoanalysis – is original, perceptive, and timely. Wainwright provocatively refigures Faulkner’s corpus in the light of these hitherto disparate philosophical trajectories, and in doing so acquaints the philosophers with one another in ways which are lucid and suggestive. Faulkner’s Ethics represents a serious challenge to extant Faulkner scholarship.’ 

-          Niall Gildea, author of Jacques Derrida’s Cambridge Affair: Deconstruction, Philosophy and Institutionality (2019).

‘Early Faulkner criticism often followed the trajectory of Faulkner’s life, sometimes simply assuming that life had a moral compass. Later schools, for example historical materialism, sought the ‘substratum’ of material reality that underpinned the narrative, again only assuming that issues, such as the nature and economics of labor, had moral implications. Psychology, anthropology, mythology—all have had their day, often very useful days, often touching on ethical issues—but what has been lacking is ethics itself. Michael Wainwright’s Faulkner’s Ethics: An Intense Struggle will end that neglect and, I believe, spur a new interest in moral struggle, moral direction as it can be found in Faulkner’s life and literature.’

- Charles A. Peek, Professor Emeritus, Department of English, University of Nebraska Kearney, USA

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-68872-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $139.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-68871-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Faulkner’s Ethics
Book Subtitle
An Intense Struggle
Authors
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-68872-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-68872-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-68871-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 319
Topics