Chronotopes of law in William Faulkner’s novels, 1930-1939



Parole chiave:

1930s Novels, William Faulkner, Law & Literature, Chronotopes


The essay analyzes Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (1930), Sanctuary (1931), Light in August (1932), and If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem (1939), focusing on the narrative and narratological interaction between the traditional chronotopes of law (the trial, the prison), the horizontal chronotopes of the barn, the ‘shuttered’ house, and the river, and the vertical chronotopes of the fire and the flood.

The vertical chronotopes deployed attempt to challenge the official system of the law, using deeply embedded in Southern obsession for miscegenation (the rape and murder of a white woman and the lynching of an alleged mulatto) as catalysts.  However, it is the contention of this essay, no real change is engendered to human or legal justice. With the truth literally destroyed fire and water, the characters’ quest is perpetually thrust back into the stasis of non-contemporaneity. 


Caricamento metriche ...

Biografia autore

Cinzia Scarpino, Università degli Studi di Milano

Cinzia Scarpino is currently post-doctoral fellow at the University of Milan, working on a project on American TV Series. She is author of US Waste. Rifiuti e sprechi d’America. Una storia dal basso (Saggiatore 2011), a book on waste in American history and culture which tackles history, cultural geography, environmental history, and photography; and co-author with M. Maffi, C. Schiavini, M.S. Zangari of Americana.
Storie e culture degli Stati Uniti dalla A alla Z (Saggiatore 2012). She has published essays on Melville, Raymond Carver, Grace Paley, Don DeLillo, Joan Didion, and on literature
in the Great Depression. Her forthcoming book Anni Trenta alla sbarra (Ledizioni) deals with the representation of law and social justice in the 1930s. She has also dealt with US television series, focusing on The Sopranos (“Between God(fathers) and Good(fellas): To Kill, To Slur, To Eat in Tony Soprano’s Words”, Peter Lang 2011), and co-curating with D. Izzo I Soprano e gli altri (Shake 2008) and with D. Izzo and F. Iuliano The Wire e gli altri (Editori Riuniti 2012) in Ácoma, no. 3. She is member of the editorial board of Ácoma and Enthymema.




Come citare

Scarpino, Cinzia. 2016. «Chronotopes of Law in William Faulkner’s Novels, 1930-1939». Altre Modernità, n. 15 (maggio):97-119.