"The Luxuriating South," William Faulkner, and Gabriel García Márquez:
Voices, Narrations, and the Place of Existence


    Faulkner continued to write about that place of confused order--the place, however, which held its own surprisingly detailed system of order, the "south" with a direction --and left the Yoknapatawpha Saga to posterity.

Nakagami Kenji on William Faulner1

    Latin American writer Gabriel García Márquez once confessed to patricidal desire, when an interviewer asked him to talk about his relationship to William Faulkner. He said that his mission was not to imitate Faulkner but to kill and destroy him.2 In spite of their tone of insistent filial antagonism, García Márquez's words sound irrelevant and too commonplace to experienced readers just as another case of too often repeated oedipal struggles between literary fathers and sons, especially in this particular father-son relationship between two great writers of this century. William Faulkner himself repeated the motif throughout his writing career, as he did most conspicuously in works like The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom! But did Faulkner not write of the absence of the father rather than of his presence , and, did he not write, consequently, of his protagonists' inability to be involved in oedipal struggles
    This initial, instinctive reaction on the part of the readers to García Márquez confession is brought about not only by the fact that Faulkner seldom failed to make the presence of the preceding generation of his fictional protagonists nearly invisible in works like Flags in the Dust and Sanctuary. García Márquez's words paradoxically make us aware that the figure of the "father" is repeatedly absent in the Faulkner oeuvre. How could Garcia Marquez find the tangible presence of the father in "William Faulkner," whom he would have killed and destroyed?
    The vague impression leads us to a reexamination of the ambiguous comments, made by another "literary son" of William Faulkner. In his lecture at the International Faulkner Symposium held at Izu in 1985, Nakagami Kenji specified the source of Faulkner's creative achievement as the inspiration of the literature of "the luxuriating south." According to Nakagami's curiously penetrating comments, Faulkner's literature belongs to "the south," which allows its literary products to grow rife like honeysuckles and other plants that typically dominate Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha county. The literature of "the south" does not grow like the trunk of a tree: it grows without the kind of linear direction that characterizes the literature of "the north."3     Nakagami repeated the images of the random growths of plants and roots not only in this lecture but also in his works like Misaki, Kareki-nada, and Chi-no Hate Shijo-no Toki, works (a trilogy, as critics call them) that constitute what might be called a culturally transplanted Yoknapatawpha saga, like García Márquez's in South America. Nakagami's works are full of polyphonic mixtures of random voices and pieces of vernacular narrations of his almost anonymous characters. His images reverberate with the memories of the texture of Faulkner's writings: rumors, fragmented narrations, voices of isolated, orphaned characters, coming out of no specific origins. Nakagami echoes these Faulknerian textual idiosyncrasies so persistently that they come to constitute the very essence of his writings in turn, enticing readers into believing that Nakagami's intuitive comments were right, when he spoke of the "luxuriating" quality of the south as vital to both Faulknerian!

Ériture and to the texture of his own

.     Nakagami's "south" apparently does not only refer to the climate but also to the structure of hegemony between "the south" and "the north." His reference is to that historically specific south, a region deprived of its political independence after its defeat in the Civil War. It is so hard to imagine that Nakagami was not strongly aware of the power structure of the south and the north in Faulkner works in his lecture at the Faulkner Symposium.4 In Faulkner works like The Sound and the Fury, the north is the conqueror that deprives southern white males of patriarchal authority within the community and in the family structure. Loss is the constant undercurrent of Yoknapatawpha: the name "Yoknapatawpha" itself comments on the power structure through its reference to the loss suffered by American Indians when they were deprived of their land and rights by white European settlers. If we can reformulate Nakagami's "south" as the south that becomes rife with imagination, because it lacks the phallic trunk of a tree in its Freudian, "modern" implications of the terminology, we might be allowed the liberty to shelve the Freudian schema of writerly influences as oedipal struggles between fathers and sons, formulated most patently by Harold Bloom, and might go on to search for a new type of a schema, a paradoxical, genealogy between William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez, and probably Nakagami Kenji himself.

    Faulkner biographers have repeatedly pointed out that William Faulkner's biographical father Murry was regarded by his son to be too weak as his model of male authority to fight against in an oedipal relationship and that Faulkner turned to his great-grandfather Colonel Faulkner in order to compensate for the lack of a role model.5 This well-known family situation has offered a partial explanation for the fact that the generation just preceding Faulkner's fictional protagonists often seem to lack substance in works such as Flags in the Dust and The Sound and the Fury. It is more important to note, however, that Faulkner also turned for his role models to his American literary predecessors, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, and Sherwood Anderson, as if to compensate for the weakness of his father in biography. All these literary "fathers" of William Faulkner commonly dealt with the problematics involved in the always precarious representation of The United States as the cultural matrix of literary productions that necessarily had to constitute the nuclei of their concerns. Mark Twain and Sherwood Anderson, to whom Faulkner felt a closer affinity than to two other writers he once called "Europeans,"6 often wrote about their conflicts with, and escape from, what they regarded as their past. And they consequently had to record their conflicts with their native father figures, rather than simply reconstituting the past in their own rights, thus necessarily emphasizing the authority of the father as Nathaniel Hawthorne ambivalently did in 19th century New England. William Faulkner, Mark Twain, and Sherwood Anderson addressed themselves to the investigation of the southern cultural climate, and share characteristics different from the vague, generalized image of American literature, formulated, to cite a well-known example, by Gilles Deleuze and Jean Baudelliard as the literature of "disjunction," "escape," and "de-territorialization."7 It is possible to consider that the idiosyncrasies of their writing accrued from the cultural traits of the south of The United States and from its unique historical consciousness, which were based upon different ideological assumptions from those of the north. The predominant image of William Faulkner as a writer, the bombastic modernist, racist-sexist writer, who embodies the infamous southern white male supremacy, might be reexamined from a different angle, if we pay closer attention to the "literary" quality of his works and to its relationship to the southern cultural climate as Nakagami did in his lecture.
    It has been a common assumption among literary historians that the 19th century New England writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry James lamented and fled from the poverty of cultural, "usable," past in the United States and that William Faulkner's generation of modern writers inherited a different attitude, via Sherwood Anderson, from Mark Twain's commitment to the native material for literary production. Paradoxically again, however, Mark Twain's "local color" works represent the process in which the "local color" material in literature got highlighted in the late 19th century, and at the same time lost its own native authority as the integration of The United States initiated by the industrial North went under way after the Civil War. Mark Twain's deepest and most uncanny investigation of the process, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, represents it by realistically depicting the American native voice of Huckleberry Finn and by presenting the necessary corollary of writing about native, local material in the time: the confusion of different discourses and voices, and the declaration of the death of Huck's native father at its conclusion. Mark Twain chose to make Jim, an example of the representations of African-American characters of his time, declare the death of the father of the South after the vacillations of Huck's narrative is followed by the return of the authority of the European narrative represented by Tom Sawyer. The formal confusion is the analogy of the process in which Mark Twain had to sell over the work of ambivalence to the authority of the northern Eurocentrism. Neither Mark Twain's undisguised voice nor the depicted vernacular voice of Huckleberry Finn could be published, if they did not part with the native originality and authority as living, potent, voices. Mark Twain must have recognized that Huck's voice was allowed to be heard by his audience only when the power of his original southern oration was vitiated as a narrative about the "local color" of his milieu. The southern settings of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn also contributed to the confusion of the work through its negotiation with race relationship. 8
    Mark Twain's innovative fictional mode had exerted as powerful an influence on modern American writers as Ernest Hemingway once remarked in his too too famous formula about his generations' relationship to Mark Twain, it is not to be wondered that William Faulkner found Mark Twain's recognition about his cultural heritage and his literary methods relevant to his own labour in the modern era, especially when he shifted his mode of writing from verse to prose and started to write about his native soil. Nor is it difficult to surmise that Faulkner experienced harsher conflicts with the 20th century America than Mark Twain did in the 19th century, and consequently deepened his reflection on the quality of the native southern voices and orations, which were going to dominate his works, considering that his southern cultural background acutely contrasted with the European modernist influences he had incorporated into his works. Faulkner had to dedicate much of his attention to the treatment of the native southern oration when he began to write the first of his Yoknapatawpha serials: Faulkner's first Yoknapatawpha novel Flags in the Dust opens with "Old Will Falls" roaring about the mythic figure John Sartoris in vernacular speech. This opening of Flags in the Dust points to the other side of the modernist William Faulkner, who made a debut with a "lost generation" novel Soldier's Pay. Variations of this same southern voice will constitute the identity of Quentin Compson in the opening scene of Absalom, Absalom!, a later masterpiece completed with a highly sophisticated modernistic design.9
    It was when he let loose those native southern voices, so far repressed in his earlier works, that young Faulkner liberated himself from the constriction of being a "marble faun," the constrained self of the author of quasi-symbolist poetry. The success of The Sound and the Fury is attributable to the liberty Faulkner discovered when he introduced the modernist "stream of conscious" technique and paradoxically succeeded in setting free the repressed voices of Benjy, Quentin, and Jason Compson, three brothers of a family emblematic of the overall cultural impotence of the south. The Sound and the Fury is superior in literary quality to Flags in the Dust, probably because native elements and the modernist technique, which critics like Wolfgang Iser later discussed as a typically modernistic design, are well-balanced.10 The same conflicts of native elements and modernistic designs continue through works after The Sound and the Fury: in the characterization of Addie Bundren, who makes her voice heard even when dead in the geometrical design of her coffin; in Sanctuary's apparent confusion of formal and thematic aspects that points up the motif of the lack of the law of narration through its confused form and genesis and the motif of sexual impotence; in Light in August's avant-garde investigation of narrative forms; in Absalom, Absalom!', in which Faulkner attempts at a revision of The Sound and the Fury with a renovated fictional method made possible by Quentin Compson's resurrection. Absalom also enables a variety of native incongruent voices to be heard: it opens with Rosa Coldfield forcing Quentin Compson, just before he the south leaves for Harvard university, to perpetuate her inconsistent narration about Thomas Sutpen, and records other suppressed voices like Judith Sutpen's female jeremiad and Charles Bon's African-American tragic plaint, both of which are forced to silence in the white, male, southern society of the Civil War era.
    The calculated confusion of the bits of narrations in Absalom, Absalom! thus enabled Faulkner to achieve a more complex, multi-layered artistic effects than those of The Sound and the Fury. The achievement is also closely associated with the thematic dimensions of the work. In Absalom, Absalom!, youths--the resurrected narrator Quentin Compson, Henry Sutpen, and Charles Bon--make use of incest plots in their relationship with their fathers. (Both García Márquez and Nakagami make use of the same incest plots in their works such as One Hundred Years' Solitude and Nakagami's trilogy Misaki, Karekinada, and Chi-no Hate Shijo-no Toki.) The incest plots have to be introduced in The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom!, because Quentin Compson has to fight against and surpass the authority of the already impotent father in order to establish a new narrative authority for himself that would allow him to legitimize the miscellaneous voices that constitute his communal identity as a young man born and bred in the modern south burdened with its historical incongruities. Both Quentin Compson and William Faulkner in Absalom, Absalom! thus attempt to present a narrative that gives order to the voices which literally does not mean anything in The Sound and the Fury. The demise of the authority of the father, however, is declared in The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom!, thus making the perpetuation of the pattern of "family romance" impossible. Quentin Compson's father, a mere ghostlike remnant of the authority of the past and a key important impotent figure both in The Sound and the Fury and in Absalom, Absalom!, insistently refuses to be a strong authority in his relationship with his son: he makes the famous declaration at the beginning of the Quentin section of The Sound and the Fury: "No fight was ever fought," meaning that Quentin need not fight against his preceding impotent authority because it is totally futile to attempt to shoulder the burden of the past as a new authority, which would, again, be a mere illusion.11 There is, therefore, no possibility for Quentin even to be engaged in an oedipal conflict. This sense of the lack of the authority of the father is quite typical of the impotence of the culture of the south in Faulkner's works. The revision of The Sound and the Fury in Absalom, Absalom! has to be Faulkner's and Quentin Compson's sheer tout de force, the creation of a narration and a form of fiction comparable to those of a family romance based upon the myth of the white aristocratic family of the antebellum south. Faulkner has to make Quentin Compson invoke a mythic authority from the past, the communal father figure Thomas Sutpen, so that Quentin Compson might be able to create a new narrative about that postulated father figure and his family, with whom he identifies himself in his narration of the Sutpen story with Shreve McCannon. Quentin's attempt at creating a narration about Thomas Sutpen and the south, as well as Sutpen's "design," is in this score similar to God's creation in Genesis mentioned in the opening chapter of Absalom Absalom!, the reconstruction and creation of the very origin of the south and himself.12 Quentin Compson is forced, by his cultural situation, to dramatize the non-existent oedipal struggle with the father in his fiction. He creates a narrative about Thomas Sutpen, who found himself in a situation similar to Quentin's: Sutpen lamented the lack of a strong authority that legitimizes his existence before his own presence. Quentin Compson then introduces the incestuous triangle among Henry, Judith Sutpen, and Charles Bon. Quentin's Sutpen story is thus fettered with the difficulties involved in creating a narration without any preceding authority, i.e., without any definite structural sustenance. Absalom, Absalom! shares the following characteristics with The Sound and the Fury: incest plots are necessary for young male protagonists both to elicit an interdict from the father, in order to confirm the father's presence and to compensate for the lack of a family structure. In other words, Absalom, Absalom! and The Sound and the Fury share the difficulties in thematic and structural aspects as novels because they both thematically and structurally lack of the authority that ought to be the central pillar of the family structure and forbid incestuous relationship within the family. Faulkner in Absalom, Absalom! confronts those difficulties that makes a narratives impossible in his attempt at constructing an integrated narration, without employing the technique of fragmentation as he did in The Sound and the Fury. Quentin Compson's resurrection in Absalom, Absalom! was imperative, because Faulkner left this crucial dilemma of his writing career unsolved in The Sound and the Fury. He could evade confrontation with the dilemma by employing the non-native modernist design in the earlier work.
    Faulkner ultimately had to leave the dilemma as a dilemma in one of his most splendid failures Absalom, Absalom! Faulkner and Quentin had no choice but to present the attempt at an integrated narration as an impossible act. Lacking any authority that endorses the form of his narration, Quentin has to construct the narrative from a transcendental, monological point of view. When he realizes the narration's ultimate impossibility, conceding that his white male transcendental ego cannot narrativize the past historical reality with his monological narration, he has to abandon its own authenticity, thus leaving its contents as they might and might not have been. Quentin realizes that his narration cannot but be monological and biased as long as he tells the story, even though he at least is willing to abandon his position of a solipsistic narrator in his attempt at a dialogic storytelling with Shreve McCannon, because he has to cling to his southern male mode of narration if he is to construct a narrative about his and his region's past. Faulkner, however, paradoxically succeeds in presenting and liberating the polyphonic voices heard within the framework of Quentin's narration because Quentin concedes to his failure. A sense of liberation and relief comes at the end of Absalom, Absalom!, when Quentin acquiesces in the failure of his narration that has subordinated its contents under the control of the necessities of his fated white male ego.13 Readers realize at this point that a strong awareness of racial difference has permeated Absalom, Absalom! in its undercurrents, as the presence of "nigger Jim" continually keeps reminding readers of the difficulties involved in the race relationship in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Charles Bon, Thomas Sutpen's son of mixed blood, finally reappears at the end of Quentin's narration as the Freudian "return of the repressed," causing crucial conflicts with Thomas Sutpen's and Quentin Compson's "designs," when he insists on the completion of his own plot of incestuous marriage with Judith, which Quentin has to destroy by making Henry Sutpen, his surrogate in his narration, kill Charles Bon with a phallic pistol in order to complete his own plot of incestuous relationship between Thomas Sutpen's white siblings Henry and Judith that reflect his desire in life of incestuous closeness with his sister Caddy. In spite of Quentin's final attempt at repression, however, there remains the meaningless cry of the idiot grandson of Thomas Sutpen Jim Bond, reminding readers as well as Quentin and Shreve that Quentin's narration has to fail again because its authority as a narration by a white southern male reveals its impotence when it confronts the living part-negro evidence of Sutpen's failure outside the framework of Quentin's narration. Jim Bond forces Quentin to get reconciled to the ambiguity of existence and reveals the impossibility of constructing his white male plot of "family romance."

    Gabriel García Márquez has been known for his innovative mode of writing named "magic realism." His special kind of realism shares the same literary aspects as Faulkner's fictions. Critics like Frederick Jameson, for example, have pointed out that "magic realism" is a "postmodern" technique employed specifically to emphasize the difference between fact and non-fact, reality and meaning.14 Like Faulkner's fictions, García Márquez's works make best use of their emphasis on the multiplicity of meaning produced through the medium of language, in order to create a structure in which images and narrations refuse to be identified as meaning and forms.
    García Márquez makes use of what Faulkner discovers in Absalom, Absalom! in works like One Hundred Years' Solitude, despite his seeming dislike of Faulkner the modernist. The most salient feature of the chronological narration of history in One Hundred Years' Solitude is its ambiguous ending. The linear narration of history of a city "Macondo" in the new world begins with the quasi-biblical authority of Jose Arcadio Buendia, the founder of Buendia family, but his authority is denied when an incestuous sexual relationship within the family is consummated, as predicted at the beginning of the narration by a gypsy named Merciviades. Merciviades had also written down the whole history of Macondo in Sanskrit when its history had just begun. This ending functions like that of Absalom, Absalom!: the double structure allows the author to take advantage of the narrative form in relating the history of Macondo, and at the same time to cancel the authority of the narrative itself. The structure is even more important for García Márquez than for Faulkner, considering that his subject in One Hundred Years' Solitude is an explicit criticism of the mythological dimensions of the history of Columbia, its political satire and allegorization.
    William Faulkner was also aware of the political aspects of his techniques in his works. He must have been aware that political discourses, on which he bases many of his works, had produced racial and sexual discriminations in the south and that what he called "the actual" consisted of discourses with ideological biases, biblical myths, logocentrism, etc. The parallel between the life of Joe Christmas in Light in August and that of Jesus Christ is introduced in order to make use of the effects of "difféance" (if I am allowed to use a poststructuralist cliché produced by the same parallel. Faulkner underlines the necessity of consciously introducing that play of language in his works when he makes Quentin Compson's grandfather call Thomas Sutpen "innocent": Sutpen repeats the white western male myth of the south and repeats in the act the sins the myth of the south as a cultural myth committed: failure to include non-white, non-male elements in his scheme and thus to encompass reality within his representational system. The failures of Thomas Sutpen and Quentin Compson naturally lead to criticism of myths and discourses that decide the association between language and power.
    García Márquez succeeds in recreating the Faulknerian structure in the mythic history of One Hundred Years' Solitude by foregrounding its association with power in the process of narration and by intentionally cutting off the tie that binds power and history at its conclusion. García Márquez introduces the play of language with much stronger strategic intention than Faulkner does. García Márquez thus succeeds in presenting a mythic historical narrative along with critical attention to myth's inevitable association with power. It was not Jose Arcadio Buendia, the founding father of "Macondo," but his wife Ursula that refused the possibly incestuous sexual intercourse in the early days of their married life. The father Jose Arcadio Buendia thus fails to forbid incest from the very beginning of his lineage. Long-feared incestuous relationship within the family is finally consummated by their descendants at the end of the linear narration of the family history, and then the secret is discovered: the whole history of Macondo has been written down upon a parchment by a gypsy named Merciviades before it takes place. . . . It was neither the founding father Jose Arcadio Buendia nor his son Jose Aureriano Buendia who sustained the historical process of the founding and the decline of the city of Macondo. Was it not Ursula the greatmother who was the most powerful in it . . . ?
    García Márquez repeats the same pattern in his other fictional narrations. His chief interest lies in the phallic, patriarchal impulse of linear narration and its conflict with other elements that at the same time both impel and obstruct that direction. In The Chronicle of the Murder Predicted, a phallic desire of narration impels the revenge murder of the seducer of a family's daughter, but the plot of a revenge murder by her family begins to conflict with rumors of the town over the authority of the plot of the revenge murder, ultimately depriving the family of the authority over the murder plot. The revenge murder is accomplished in spite of the family's reluctance. The Autumn of the Patriarch thematically deals with the same subject in its depiction of a male power personified, "the president," and his double. It critiques power itself through the process of the death and revival of the "president," and points up the association between male sexual potency and the patriarchal power that resides at the core of patriarchal narrations. It also reminds readers that García Márquez constantly comments on the inevitable association of the phallus and narrations in One Hundred Years' Solitude: Jose Arcadio Buendia is bound to a phallic trunk of a tree in his old age in a Rabelaisian joke. The implication of the ending of One Hundred Years' Solitude, the consummation of an incestuous sexual intercourse and the birth of a child with a monstrous, pig-like tail, is very much like what Quentin Compson discovers at the end of Absalom, Absalom!: the authority of the father has always already been absent.15 The verdict does not work negatively for García Márquez, as it does for William Faulkner, but positively in his explicitly political context. The awareness of the absence is not necessarily deplorable: it works as the thesis upon which is enabled a new type of a structure of a novel, a historical fiction which consists of a mythic narration of history that functions as a double-edged vehicle for the denunciation at once of the authority of the father and of other, different elements that impel and deflect narrations, including political skirmishes in which García Márquez shows special interest.

    Nakagami Kenji also created the same Faulknerian structure in his works like Misaki, Karekinada, Chin-no Hate Shijo-no Toki, and Hosenka. Novels were basically about "negation" and "discrimination" for Nakagami. He often repeats Faulknerian images in his works and he also introduces Faulknerian incest plots. Nakagami's Quentin Compson-like young protagonist, Akiyuki, of Misaki, Karekinada, and Chi-no Hate Shijo-no Toki, actually commits incest with his sister and confesses it to his father for a reason very similar to Quentin Compson's. He does so in his attempt at provoking the authority of the father who forbids incest. Akiyuki's father Hamamura Ryuzo, the powerful patriarch of Nakagami's milieu Roji, bases his authority upon the historical succession of his lineage from the legendary hero Hamamura Son-ichi. At the close of Nakagami's "trilogy," that is, at the end of Chi-no Hate Shijo-no Toki, Akiyuki faces the disappearance of Roji and the suicide of his father Hamamura Ryuzo, an act symbolic of the radical absence of the father.16 It is not, therefore, a mere coincidence that both García Márquez and Nakgami repeat the Faulknerian motif of incest between siblings. They adopt Faulknerian motifs such as power structure, the absence of the father, and the consequent impossibility to complete patriarchal narrations, and create formal structures appropriate to those motifs. The repetitions of images, the most apparent of influences from Faulkner in their works, is subordinate to those more important repetitions of motifs. The writers commented upon in this article, including Mark Twain, share similar concerns: modernity, consciousness, difféance and the play of language, which are typical subjects pertaining to the western thought from modernity to postmodernity and poststructuralism. Not only Faulkner but also García Márquez and Nakagami were keenly aware both of the actual historical processes and the conceptual aspects of historical narrations.
    John T. Irwin, one of the best Faulkner critics of the 1970's, has pointed out that Faulkner oeuvre are based upon the same assumptions as those of the writings of two thinkers of the western modernity, Freud and Nietzsche, as "denied influence" in his "speculative" reading of Faulkner.17 What Irwin means by "denied influence" is not a linear succession of a father to a son but a structural conspiracy of thinkers and a writer speaking of "absence," which is found, in Irwin's terminology, in an "in-between space."18 In Faulkner works, the absence, which creates the authority of narrations and produces meanings in patriarchal narrations, does not lead to despair, "the sense of the meaningless," but to "the almost meaningful--the sense of the meaningful as the always deferred," Irwin says about the ending of Quentin Compson's narration in Absalom, Absalom!19 Irwin points out in this remark the same structural affinity between writers I have discussed. It might be added that the relationship Faulkner creates between Thomas Sutpen and Quentin Compson in Absalom, Absalom! refers essentially to the kind of intertexual relationship that those writers, Faulkner, García Márquez, and Nakagami share among themselves.20 As Irwin suggests, the relationship is not the kind of linear oedipal succession that Harold Bloom postulates upon the presence of a strong father, but a negative structure posited upon the inevitable absence of the father, which is and has never been present as itself like the Freudian unconscious. It functions as a structure that introduces what is very much like the poststructuralist play of language, a non-meaning and a non-form, refusing to be pinned down as a specific meaning or an a-priori formal feature.
    I might conclude that the initial impression García Márquez's patricidal desire invokes and the "universal" characteristics of the "south" Nakagami specified as the central quality of Faulkner's writings are produced by this structure of absence shared by modern western writers and thinkers. García Márquez and Nakagami inherited this "negative" structure, which can be realized only as embodied literary forms, from William Faulkner. Consequently, it is not essential here to make the distinction between Faulkner the modernist and García Márquez and Nakagami as postmodernists. The recognition of these writers about modernity made them create a same structure or a non-structure, irrelevant of the difference of the time and the culture they lived in, even though the works of each writer remain essentially their own and their cultures'. The structure makes it possible to liberate the details and voices written down upon pages. I might call the quality it creates the "universal quality of the "luxuriating South" as Nakagami suggested. Finally, it might useful to listen to the words another writer Carlos Fuentes explain the quality and effects of García Márquez's works in the following passage: "As our representative, García Márquez points to a word, a place, to the invisible crimes and to anonymous criminals: "Macondo," the place of myths . . . . Allegorist García Márquez knows . . . there would be no place of existence (place of resistance) if there isn't a place like that, which can be everywhere . . . . García Márquez's works once again deconstruct the hypocritical binary choices and arguments over them, between realism and fantasy, between social art and pure art, nationalism and world literature. He smashes those a-priori imbecilities, and claims his right to imagination and attempts to acquire it. Yes, imagination. It makes it possible to distinguish between 'confiscation' in which the dead past is identified with the living present and 'mystification' in which the living present regains the life of the past."21 William Faulkner's works must have been a key to opening such a place of existence.22


1 Nakagami Kenji, "Faukner: The Luxuriating South," Michel Gresset and Kenzaburo Ohashi, eds., Faulkner: After the Nobel Prize (Kyoto: Yamaguchi Publishing House, 1987), 335-6.
2 Subaru, August 1983.
3 Nakagami, 329-333.
4 Nakagami used to say that his novels were about discrimination and negation. Nakagami also shared this thematic aspect of Faukner's writings. See, for example, Shuji Takazawa, Hyoden Nakagami Kenji(Tokyo: Shuei-sha, 1998).
5 David Minter explains the family situation as follows: "Although his family's status guaranteed him work and so helped to make his life more bearable, it also made his failure conspicuous. As he moved from job to job, finding no place of his own, he became widely regarded as the failed descendant of a legendary grandfather and a successful father." David Minter, William Faulkner: His Life and Work (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins U.P., 1980), 8.
6 In one of the interviews in Japan, Faulkner said: "Hawthorne, the others, they were Europeans, they were not Americans." He also mentioned Sherwood Anderson as "the father of all my works, of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, etc., all of them--we were all influenced by him." James B. Meriwether and Michael Millgate, eds., Lion in the Garden: Interviews with William Faulkner 1926-1962, 101. Faulkner's comment on Mark Twain's works is also interesting. He said Mark Twain's works are not novels because they are "too loose": "People will read Huck Finn for a long time. Twain has never really written a novel, however. His work is too loose. We'll assume that a novel has set rules. His work is a mass of stuff--just a series of events." Lion in the Garden, 56.
7 Gilles Deleuze discusses the general quality of American literature as the literature of "escape," "disjunction," and "de-territorialization" in chapters of Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet, Dialogues (Paris: Flammarion, 1977). Jean Baudrillard's view of America is very similar to Deleuze's optimistic discussion that idealizes and differentiates it from Europe as the new world. Deleuze cites Melville, Henry James, Scott Fitzgerald, and Jack Kerouac, but not Mark Twain nor Faulkner, probably because they are different from American writers who just escape. See Jean Baudrillard: Améique (Paris: Grasset, 1986).
8 The famous epigraph of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn typically testifies to the ambivalence Mark Twain felt about his authority: "NOTICE: Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR PER G.G., CHIEF OF ORDNANCE." Mark Twain both abandons and retains his authority in placing this notice as the first sentences of the work. Critics are already beginning to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as a mixture of different voices, i.e. as a mixture of different cultural origins. Shelly Fishkin Fisher, for example, points out that critics "have missed the ways in which African-American voices shaped Twain's creative imagination at its core" Shelly Fishkin Fisher, Was Huck Black?: Mark Twain and African-American Voices (Oxford: Oxford U.P., 1993), 4.
9 The comment is to the famous following passage: "His childhood was full of them; his very body was an empty hall echoing with sonorous defeated names; he was not a being, an entity, he was a commonwealth." William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!, the Corrected Text (New York: Random House, 1986), 7.
10 Wolfgang Iser, The Implied Reader: Patterns of Communication in Prose Fiction from Bunyan to Beckett (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins U.P., 1974), 136-152. Iser discusses The Sound and the Fury as an example of typical modernist works like James Joyce's. Iser probably misses part of the truth of those modernist works, their authors' deep-seated involvement with cultural marginality.
11 William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury, the Corrected Text (New York: Vintage, 1984), 86.
12 Absalom, 4.
13 In the final chapter of Absalom, a sense of liberation comes back with "darkness": "Then the darkness seemed to breathe, to flow back . . . forced by the weight of the darkness, the blood surged and ran warmer, warmer." Absalom, 288.
14 Fredric Jameson, Signatures of the Visible (New York: Routledge, 1992), 128-152.
15 This awareness of the absence of the father is the basic core of the theoretical aspect of the historical consciousness of Faulkner and Quentin Compson. As historical consciousness, it simply means that "the south" which Quentin Compson idealizes and tries to recover in his historical narration did not exist at all as tangible presence.
16 Karatani Kojin explains Chi-no Hate Shijo-no Toki : "'modern fictions,' whether it is clearly demarcated or not, has an oedipal relationship as its core, because 'the self' or the 'inside' of consciousness takes shape in that relationship. But the oedipal relationship is destroyed in Chi-no Hate Shijo-no Toki . . . . I saw Nakagami destroy 'the modern novel' itself." This comment is also valid as an explanation of Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! Karatani Kojin, "Postscript for Chi-no Hate Shijo-no Toki," Kenji Nakagami, Chino-hate Shijo-no Toki (Tokyo: Shincho-sha, 1993), 607-608.
17 John T. Irwin, Doubling & Incest/Repetition & Revenge: A Speculative Reading of Faulkner (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins U.P., 1975), 5.
18 Irwin, 9.
19 Irwin, 8-9.
20 In the followoing important passage in Absalom, Absalom!, Faulkner suggests the possibility that the relationship between the preceding authority Thomas Sutpen and Quentin Compson can be interchangeable: "Yes, we are both Father. Or maybe Father and I are both Shreve, maybe it took Father and me both to make Shreve or Shreve and me both to make Father or maybe Thomas Sutpen to make all of us" (italics original). Absalom, 210.
21 Carlos Fuentes, "García Márquez: The Second Reading," Eureka: García Márquez Special Issue, August 1988, 118. Translated by the author of this article from the Japanese translated version of the Spanish original.
22 Other "modern" writers and thinkers also point out the same structure in artistic creations. For example, Martin Heidegger makes a similar remark to Irwin's, probably with Freud's theses in mind, in his well-known, problematical discussion of the "origin" of the work of art. According to Heidegger, "denial" is essential to "truth": "At bottom, the ordinary is not ordinary; it is extra-ordinary, uncanny. The nature of truth, that is, of unconcealedness, is dominated throughout by a denial. Yet this denial is not a defect or a fault, as though truth were an unalloyed unconcealedness that has rid itself of everything concealed. If truth could accomplish this, it would no longer be itself. This denial, in the form of a double concealment, belongs to the nature of truth as unconcealedness (italics original)." Martin Heidegger, "The Origin of the Work of Art," in Poetry, Language, Thought, trans. Albert Hofstadter (New York: Harper & Row, 1971), 54. Faulkner also shares assumptions with other modern thinkers, not only Henry Bergson, who Faulkner criticism have traditionally admitted as one of the main sources of Faulkner's thought, but also Nietzsche, Freud, as Irwin points out, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, and others. One critic at least have found the same problematics in Faulkner and S&oulm;ren Kierkegaard. That these thinkers and writers shared assumptions basically means they commonly took the modern problematics of Husserlean "crisis of Western thought" seriously. What distinguishes Faulkner from other writers who addressed themselves to the same problematics, Foedor Dostoevsky, Herman Melville, Henry James, and others, is probably his inexhaustible investigation of the "consciousness" in the form of the novel, including its thematic and formal implications, in works written before The Hamlet. Just as Nakagami Kenji changed his mode of writing after Chino-hate Shijo-no Toki, in works like Juyroku-no Miyako and Hosenka, Faulkner gave up his investigation of the phases of male "consciousness," probably with Harry Willbourne's beautiful determination to remember at the end of "The Wild Palms" section of If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem!, and changed the strategies of his writing into the investigation of a new mode, what might be called a "postmodern realism," from The Hamlet. García Márquez and Nakagami must have understood the thematic and formal implications of Faulkner's late works. Oe Kenzaburo, another Japanese writer, also testifies to the importance of Faulkner's shift in style and form. He chose the Snopes trilogy as his subject when he lectured on Faulkner. As Oe acutely perceived, the focus of Faulkner's fictions shifts from white male "consciousness" to what Oe calls "the feminine" in later works, especially in the Snopes trilogy. Oe says in the lecture: "The feature of Faulkner's writing that most stimulates my imagination always involves the feminine, although this may sound too simple. The feature seems to me to appear most in the Snopes trilogy." Oe Kenzaburo, "Reading Faulkner from a Writer's Point of View," in Kenzaburo Ohashi and Kiyoyuki Ono, eds., Faulkner Studies in Japan (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1985), 63. García Márquez, Nakagami Kenji, and Oe Kenzaburo perceived the importance of Faulkner's representation of "the feminine," the negative aspect of his investigation of the male white consciousness which comes into focus in his late works after he gave up the investigation of his white male ego, and, following his lead, created characters like García Márquez's Ursula in One Hundred Years' Solitude and other great mothers, Nakagami's Fusa in Hosenka and other works, and Oe's postmodern serial jeremiad, "Women Listening to 'The Rain Tree." Faulkner works thus anticipated and paradoxically set examples for the later, still continuing literary and critical movements which commonly go against modernists' tenets, which, probably, Faulkner himself did not believe in finally.

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