Polyphony in Absalom, Absalom!

Xiaoqian HOU, Zhongming BAO


Absalom, Absalom! is a dialogue about Sutpen’s tragedy among four narrators. Three Great dialogues—the one between Rosa and Quentin, the one between Mr. Compson and Quentin, and the one between Quentin and Shreve—constitute the basic structure of this novel. At the same time, the confusion and conflicts within each narrator’s heart make countless Micro dialogues. The unfinalizability of dialogue prompts readers to find the truth of the story. On the basis of Bakhtin’s dialogic theory, this paper aims to analyze the polyphonic features of the novel by exploring the conflicts existing in four versions of narrations and the inconsistencies in each narration itself.


Polyphony; Sutpen; Uncertaintity

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Faulkner, W. (2014). Absalom, Absalom! Beijing: Central Compilation &Translation Press.

Guetti, J. (1984). “Absalom, Absalom! : The extended simile.William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! A critical casebook. (pp.65-92). In E. Muhlenfeld (Ed.). New York & London: Garland Publishing.

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Watkins, F. C. (1984). “What happens in Absalom, Absalom!.” William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! A critical casebook (pp.55-56). In E. Muhlenfeld (Ed.). New York & London: Garland Publishing.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/n


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