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Abstract

Cleanth Brooks’ emphasis on textual structure helped move Faulkner criticism in new directions. Though early reviews and critical treatments of William Faulkner’s works frequently speculated on his literary intentions, combed his words for various ideologies, or sought a Jamesian realism, Brooks’ earliest studies of Faulkner insisted that his novels and stories be appreciated for their mastery of form. Although Brooks’ later studies have received much of the attention they deserve, his earliest essays on Faulkner have been largely neglected. Cumulatively, Brooks’ many articles and book-length studies of Faulkner’s fiction seek to repackage him as a Modernist writer whose works are ahistorical, apolitical, and dominated by a sophisticated structure.

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