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The Flood Year 1927A Cultural History$
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Susan Scott Parrish

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691168838

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691168838.001.0001

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William Faulkner and the Machine Age Watershed

William Faulkner and the Machine Age Watershed

(p.191) Six William Faulkner and the Machine Age Watershed
The Flood Year 1927

Susan Scott Parrish

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers the influence of the Great Mississippi Flood on William Faulkner. At the time of the 1927 disaster, Faulkner was twenty-nine years old. As he consumed the media coverage of the Great Flood, especially the South's representation of the event as a second War of Northern Aggression and as a symptom of southern colonization at the hands of outside capital, he came to realize that a scenario of modernization—which had not yet become a standard European modernist topic—had occurred just miles from his own town. Moreover, the flood would allow him to adapt or contend with urban European models of modern subjectivity (found in Freud or Dada, for example) by giving form to a 1920s rural, multiracial environmental crisis.

Keywords:   William Faulkner, Great Mississippi Flood, river flood, modernization, environmental crisis

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