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University Connected Learning
Gangsters and bootleggers -- moonshiners and prostitutes -- a runaway coed with a penchant for depravity -- a bookish, hen-pecked lawyer -- a decaying antebellum mansion haunted by the sins of the past and possessed by the evils of the present -- a black-clad gunman with sexual proclivities of a peculiar nature -- the dysfunctional family of a poor dirt farmer -- a poetic young man on the cusp of madness -- a boy who thinks his mother is a fish -- an epic journey harried by fire and flood, and a woman who speaks from the grave -- this is the Gothic world of the South circa 1929-1930 that William Faulkner portrays in the novels, As I Lay Dying (1930) and Sanctuary (1931). Despite the darkness of Faulkner's vision, the ominous mood is frequently relived by flashes of sardonic humor and occasional acts of kindness and generosity that offer a modicum of hope for a fallen world. Each novel will be allotted three class periods to provide ample time for detailed discussions. Faulkner can be somewhat difficult to read, but, fear not, all will be explained.