Publication of the Illinois Philological Association
|PIPA Cover Page||
The Problem of Plot in the Modernist Text:
The Example of Faulkner
Ronald Walker, Western Illinois University
Widely known and influential definitions of plot in the novel such as those offered by R.S. Crane, E. M. Forster, and Sheldon Sacks were typically derived from and illustrated by novels of the 18th and 19th centuries, especially novels representative of the English tradition. While there were different emphases, these definitions all reflected basic assumptions about causality, linear sequence, and aesthetic unity and resolution as givens in the narrative tradition extending from Fielding and Richardson through James and Hardy. Of course modernist experimentation in narrative offered a forceful challenge to traditional concepts of time, character, and causation (among other things), which complicated the idea of what constitutes plot in fiction. The diurnal wanderings of a Leopold Bloom or a Clarissa Dalloway did not readily conform, for example, to the conventions of the "represented action" schematized by the Neo-Aristotelian critics. It needed a later generation of critics to refine previous definitions and develop new ones in the attempt to account for the more radical play with fictional conventions in the modernist narratives produced by writers like Joyce, Woolf, and Djuna Barnes. Among the critics who extended what has become known as narratology to accommodate modernist experimentation were Joseph Frank ("Spatial Form in Modern Literature"), A.A. Mendilow (Time and the Novel), and Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending). Still more recently, the French structuralist Gerard Genette has developed a comprehensive theory of narrative and a systematic method for examining its constitutive elements in their dynamic interaction during the process of reading. To say the least, Genette's close study of A la Recherche du temps perdu is an impressive achievement, authoritatively demonstrating the resourcefulness of narratology in coming to terms with even this most immense and complex modernist novel.
In this context, the case of William Faulkner is anomalous. Faulkner's experiments with fictional time, point of view, and characterization are well known. Although not as overtly a participant in European avant-garde movements as his contemporaries Hemingway and Dos Passos, and of course not generally well known until much later in his career, Faulkner nevertheless wrote novels that today exemplify the best of American modernism: The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), Light in August (1932), and Absalom, Absalom! (1936). Yet despite this achievement, curiously the best known and most influential Faulkner criticism is still predominantly theme-based. Though there are exceptions to this generalization, I am struck by the continuing authority of Cleanth Brooks' s work on Faulkner as well as by the tendency of more recent critics to follow exceedingly well-worn paths such as Southern history and values (Joel Williamson), biographical backgrounds (David Minter), and even the famous humanistic pronouncements from the 1950 Nobel Prize Address. Two notable attempts to foreground the structural dynamics of Faulkner's fictional experiments are John Irwin's Doubling & Incest (1975) and Joseph Reed's Faulkner's Narrative (1973), but though very promising, neither attempt ultimately succeeds in doing for students of Faulkner what Genette has done for students of Proust. Irwin's "speculative reading" brilliantly uses a psychoanalytic approach to identify a latent structure involving complex patterns of doubling, incest, repetition, and revenge--a substructure not embodied entirely in any single novel but in the mammoth meta-narrative of Yoknapatawpha County generally. Though The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom! receive the most attention, Irwin is not particularly concerned to ground his speculations in the manifest structures of even these novels. In this respect, Reed's study is more pragmatic in its attempt to understand Faulkner's craftsmanship by offering rather detailed descriptions of the "finite means of narrative strategy and design" (10) used in thirteen novels and the major short fiction. Thus Reed provides, for example, appendixes in which he graphs the narrative progression from each chapter narrated by one of the fifteen monologists in As I Lay Dying, emphasizing the nature of the temporal transitions between the 59 chapters. He then offers a tally of the frequency with which verbs of cognition ("believe," "know," remember," "think") appear in Light in August, and also their distribution according to the four centrally focalized characters. A third appendix plots the chronology of past story events and the location of their narration in time present in Absalom, Absalom! A final chart plots the density of imagery by chapter and page intervals in Absalom. As this enumeration suggests, a shortcoming of Reed's approach is that his methods alter according to the distinguishing features he finds in each Faulkner work, and while the patterns he identifies are often intriguing in themselves, unfortunately Reed does not provide a consistent set of narrative features found, mutatis mutandis, throughout the Faulkner canon. As a result, there is little basis for comparing novels or for ascertaining their relationship to Faulkner's work as a whole. 
Genette's structuralist approach offers a far more systematic methodology, one that is consistent and rigorous enough to afford a precise account of the manifest features of a narrative text and also a secure basis for analysis of the dynamics of reader response enacted by that text as it is experienced during the time-act of reading. Genette's narratology, involving such key terms as diegesis, extradiegesis, mimesis, focalization, iterative and pseudoiterative narration, has been usefully applied not only to Proust's multivolume novel but also to other complex narratives. Particularly useful in approaching a writer such as Faulkner is Genette's schema for narrative temporality, comprised of three main categories: order, frequency, and duration. Order involves the relations between the temporal sequence of story events and the order of their actual presentation in the narrative discourse. Those relations may be congruent, or they may entail various kinds of anachrony (analepsis, prolepsis, syllepsis). Duration concerns the dynamic relations between the overall time span and tempo of the story, on the one hand, and on the other the amount of textual space used to present them. Frequency has to do with the relations between the repetitive capacities of both the story and the discourse.
Clearly Faulkner makes ample use of all of these aspects of temporality, especially in his most experimental novels produced in the late twenties and 1930s. Beginning with The Sound and the Fury--with its strikingly contrasting interior monologues by each of the three Compson brothers in turn, the retarded Benjy, the death-and-incest-obsessed Quentin, and the cruelly calculating, spiteful Jason--Faulkner entered into a series of highly original explorations of his own time and region. The more numerous and varied monologues of As I Lay Dying extended the exploration to the comic and grotesque and strangely moving funerary odyssey of the Bundrens, a family of poor whites from the country outside of Jefferson, the county seat of Yoknapatawpha. The noir atmosphere of Sanctuary, Faulkner's first popular success, accompanied a more overt "action" plot featuring Temple Drake's abduction and rape by the nihilistic gangster Popeye, juxtaposed with the quixotic attempts at defending the traditional order on the part of a hapless intellectual, Horace Benbow. Faulkner used a much more extravagant contrapuntal structure in Light in August, wherein the tragic tale of the mulatto Joe Christmas is offset by the comedy and romance surrounding the pregnant naif Lena Grove as well as by the tortuous transformation undergone by Gail Hightower, a defrocked minister. Perhaps the apex of Faulkner's experimentation in narrative form came in Absalom, Absalom!, the convoluted reconstruction of the rise and fall of the domain of Thomas Sutpen, spanning more than a century, reported by four principal narrators whose relationships to Sutpen and his family are strikingly different. Faulkner's narrative innovations continue in such subsequent works as The Wild Palms (1939), another contrapuntal work, and Go Down, Moses (1942), a short-story composite or episodic novel. Yet I would agree with those who find greatest achievement in the four major novels written between 1929 and 1936. These works, above all, are haunted by time and history, and in them Faulkner exercised the full range of narrative resources for enacting his distinctive sense of synchronous time. "To me, " he famously said, "no man is [only] himself, he is the sum of his past. There is no such thing really as was because the past is. It is a part of every man, every woman, and every moment. . . . And so . . . a character in a story at any moment is not just himself as he is then, he is all that made him. . ." (Gwynn and Blotner 84).
The challenge that Faulkner set for himself in these works was not merely to depict his characters' rapt backward gaze, their perilous fixation on the past, but also to engage the reader actively in the experience of synchronous time, inverted time, time arrested, and other permutations enacted by the dynamics of narrative. By drawing on and supplementing Genette's methodology, one can locate and ascertain the primary reading rhythms of these novels and can compare them with those of other modern novels. According to Genette the large-scale rhythm of a narrative is chiefly determined by "the relations between external divisions (parts, chapters, etc.) and the internal narrative articulations" (88), including the duration and tempo of the narrative. Tables I and II provide data concerning these relations in a total of fifteen modern novels, including five written by Faulkner at the zenith of his powers. The tables include tallies of the textual divisions in each novel and the average length of division. Comparing these figures on the two tables we find that in these novels Faulkner generally tends to divide his text twice as frequently as the normative frequency found in the novels on Table I: the median number of divisons in Faulkner is 59, while the median is 28 in the other group. Correspondingly, the textual divisions are less than half as long in Faulkner (4.17 pages to 8.74 pages). In general, textual division signals a pause in the onward movement of narrative, an interval often emphasizing the end of a scene or sequence, a transition to a new narrative unit, or a tacit invitation to reflect back on previous units in hopes of finding a connection between them. To increase the frequency  of division is to call more attention to the text as an apparatus, subtly subverting the illusion of mimetic representation. There is, of course, considerable variation among the five Faulkner novels in the frequency of textual division, with both The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom! exceeding all of the ten novels on Table I in the tendency to divide the text infrequently, with the result that the average stretch of text between formal divisions is much longer than the norms from either group studied. This anomaly is readily explained by Faulkner's use in both novels of extended monologues by each of his narrators in turn, often (especially in Absalom) going over the same ground repeatedly from different perspectives. The practice corresponds to Faulkner's notorious use of long sentences, in which the writer tries "to put the whole history of the human heart on the head of a pin . . . [in] an attempt to get his past and possibly his future into the [present] instant. . ." (Gwynn and Blotner 84). These same two novels have comparatively long time-spans in the narrative present. The Sound and the Fury, in particular, involves a lengthy duration (17.85 years), in this case because of the lengthy ellipsis between Quentin Compson's monologue, dated 2 June 1910, and the other three sections, dated respectively April 7, 6, and 8, 1928. Through dividing the overall duration (the NOW-span  ) of the story by the total number of pages, we can derive the normative speed at which present time passes in a narrative. This measurement of the isochronous tempo  of the narrative can then be considered in relation to the average frequency of division to arrive at what I call the time-space index: a ratio of the average tempo of NOW-time and the normative length of textual unit in a narrative. Thus we see on Table II that As I Lay Dying, with its numerous short chapters spanning only ten days in time present, has a low time-space index (.17 day, or about four hours per average textual division); in this regard, its normative or "zero-degree" rhythm resembles that of Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and Lowry's Under the Volcano (1947), both highly subjective novels whose story in time present spans only a single day. There are no novels on Table I whose time-space index corresponds to that of The Sound and the Fury, 1,629 days per average division, which is skewed (as indicated above) by lengthy elipses included in the NOW-span. The macro-rhythms of Absalom, Absalom! (10.9 days per division), Sanctuary (2.54 days per division), and Light in August (.43 day per division) seem, by this reckoning, to represent the "middle" norm for these novels by Faulkner. In terms of macro-rhythm, they roughly correspond to The Power and the Glory (1.17 day per division), A Passage to India (1.19 day per division), and Nostromo (.94 day per division) in that a relatively short span of NOW-time passes in textual divisions of medium length.
As these last comparisons suggest, however, looking only at the macro-rhythms of a novel, which give priority to the action in the narrative present, can be misleading. It is necessary to examine also the use of anachronies, which generally interrupt the flow of NOW-time and send us to significant moments in the past or future. Just as formal divisions break up the onward impetus of reading, so anachronies disrupt the flow of time in the present. Most disruptive, as a rule, are flashbacks or more precisely, external analepses, which Genette defines as the "evocation after the fact of an event that took place earlier" than the beginning of NOW-time (40). Clearly this is a very prominent feature of Faulknerian narrative, and we are not surprised to find (see Table IV) that in most of his novels a far greater proportion of the text is devoted to the representation of the past (35.7%) than is the case in the ten novels listed on Table III (14.4% median). Although the latter group tends to resort more frequently to the external analepse (40.5 as compared with Faulkner's norm of 26), they are about one-third as long in pages as Faulkner's external analepses in the five novels studied. This is all the more remarkable when we bear in mind that the "control group" on Table III includes several novels by Conrad and Woolf, writers whose fascination with time and the narrative representation of it rivals Faulkner's. Yet only two of the ten novels on Table III--Lord Jim and Greene's The Quiet American--come close to Absalom, Absalom! and Light in August in the degree of emphasis given to the narrative past. By combining the normative tendencies indicated on Tables II and IV, we begin to have a clearer sense of the distinctive rhythms of Faulkner's narrative.
But useful as these profiles of narrative patternings may be, they are really only a first step toward the kind of analysis that would fully define that distinctiveness. In order to understand the ways in which the shaping of "virtual" experience in a given novel animates and directs the reader's cognition, we must look beyond the macro-structural level to the more immediate level of smaller, local units of discourse. In doing so we move closer to the subjective, moment-by-moment, expectation-bound yet finally unpredictable process of reading itself. At this immediate level, reading rhythm is more volatile and responsive to the vicissitudes of the moment. Engagement with the narrative at this level reduces awareness of general, normative tendencies in favor of a succession of what seem distinctive moments unbounded by the equal intervals measured by the clock. The reader's progressive responsiveness to these subjective intensities necessarily complicates his or her experience of a work's narrative rhythms and does so in ways elusive of precise measurement. While the more objective tempo, with its varying but usually ascertainable speed at which fictional clock-time passes, ordinarily presides, there may be certain junctures when the objective tempo is superseded by accumulated subjective pressures, especially toward the end of the narrative. At such junctures objective time and space may become distorted, inverted, or may even be transcended. These moments of intensity and transcendence are strongly characteristic of Faulkner's major narratives. A few examples will have to suffice here. I think immediately of a moment such as that when Dilsey in The Sound and the Fury, leaving the Easter service beside the idiot manchild Benjy Compson, declares with unimpeachable authority that she sees the first and the last, the beginning and the ending--a holistic vision that intuitively grasps the temporal continuity and finality embodied by the Compsons decline and, simultaneously, "the annealment and the blood of the remembered Lamb" (185), by virtue of which Dilsey herself escapes entrapment in that doom. Another of these time-abolishing moments of fullness is dramatized in Hightowers vision, late in Light in August, of the revolving luminous wheel comprised of human faces, his own among them; it is a rare instance of human contact and involvement for Hightower, which leaves him "lying spent and still upon the window ledge which has no solidity beneath hands that have no weight; so that it can be now Now" (492), the last two words as it were pronouncing the translation of time into eternity through Hightowers realization of guilt and his ultimate deliverance. A third example presents itself in the final chapter of Absalom Absalom! when the college roommates, Shreve and Quentin, imaginatively collaborate in their re-visioning of Sutpen's downfall, and in the process make it their own experience, just as the engaged reader does. In one of the novel's most memorable images of this collaborative process, Quentin realizes momentarily the transcendence that he has so despairingly sought:
Maybe nothing ever happens once and is finished. Maybe happen is never
once but like ripples maybe on water after a pebble sinks, the ripples moving
on, spreading, the pool attached by a narrow umbilical water-cord to the
next pool which the first pool feeds, has fed, did feed . . . : that pebble's
watery echo . . . moves across its surface too at the original ripple-space,
to the old ineradicable rhythm. . . .(210)
Such defining moments in Faulkner attain remarkable force despite the fact that they cannot by their nature be sustained, as Quentin, for his part, learns to his cost. The intensity of these moments typically arises out of pressures that have accumulated throughout the narrative as a whole and are released, suddenly, at a strategic juncture. In this paper I have argued that narratology provides an array of resources for identifying and tracking these dynamics. The isochronous tempo, the time-space index, the frequency of external analepses all facilitate a precise understanding of a work's large-scale rhythmical tendencies. By providing a context of objective evidence describing these normative tendencies, this method prepares one to take the crucial next step beyond normative rhythms and toward a heightened awareness of the constantly varying dynamics of the work as it unfolds in the time-act of reading. Fully elaborated, this sort of analysis should reinforce our intuitive assent to Faulkner's claim that "there is no such thing really as was because the past is. It is a part of every man, every woman, and every moment."
Tables I, II, III, IV
|Novel||* No. pp.||Divs.||Avg. Div.||NOW-Span||Isoch Tempo||T-S Index|
|1. Portrait of the Artist||192.8||24||8.03 pp.||18 yrs.||p = 34.1 days||273.64 days/div.|
|2. Sons and Lovers||295.6||15||19.71 pp.||26.5 yrs.||p = 32.72 days||644.94 days/div.|
|3. To the Lighthouse||148||45||3.29 pp.||10 yrs.||p = 24.66 days||81.14 days/div.|
|4. Lord Jim||236||45||5.24 pp.||8.5 yrs.||p = 13.15 days||68.91 days/div.|
|5. Power and Glory||154.2||54||2.86 pp.||.176 yr.||p = .41 day||1.17 day/div.|
|6. Passage to India||204.8||40||5.12 pp.||2.42 yrs.||p = .23 day||1.19 day/div.|
|7. Nostromo||320||32||10 pp.||.083 yr.||p = .094 day||.94 day/div.|
|8. Confidential Agent||141.6||15||9.44 pp.||.016 yr.||p = .043 day||.4 day/div.|
|9. Mrs. Dalloway||146.5||12||12.17 pp.||.002 yr.||p = .005 day||.61 day/div.|
|10. Under the Volcano||268||12||22.33 pp.||.002 yr.||p = .002 day||.045 day/div.|
|Median||198.7||28||8.74 pp.||1.3 yrs.||p = .32 day||1.18 days/div.|
|* A standardized page is used in all novels;|
|p = 500 words.|
|Novel||* No. of Pages||Divs.||Avg. Div.||NOW-Span||avg. yr.||Isoch Tempo||T-S Index|
|1. Sound & Fury||222||4||55.50 pp.||17.85 yrs.||12.44 pp.||p = 29.35 days||1629 days/div|
|2. Absalom, Absalom!||278||11||25.27 pp.||4 mos.||834 pp.||p = .43 day||10.9 days/div|
|3. Sanctuary||160||59||2.70 pp.||5 mos.||384 pp.||p = .94 day||2.54 day/div|
|4. Light in August||300.4||72||4.17 pp.||1 mo.||3605 pp.||p = .103 day||.43 day/div|
|5. As I Lay Dying||113.2||59||1.92 pp.||10 days||4132 pp.||p = .09 day||.17 day/div|
|Median||222 pp.||59||4.17 pp.||4 mos.||834 pp.||p = .43 day||2.54 days/div.|
|* A standardized page is used in all novels;|
|p = 500 words.|
Anterior Time in Ten Modern Novels
|Novel||No. ext. ana.||Total * pp. ext. ana.||% of Text||avg. ext. ana.|
|1. The Quiet American||20||103.8 pp.||83.3||5.19 pp.|
|2. Lord Jim||102||97.73 pp.||41.6||.96 pp.|
|3. Nostromo||50||86.0 pp.||26.9||1.72 pp.|
|4. Under the Volcano||220||55.34 pp.||20.65||.25 pp.|
|5. Mrs. Dalloway||58||27.45 pp.||18.8||.43 pp.|
|6. To the Lighthouse||84||14.4 pp.||10||.17 pp.|
|7. Power and the Glory||31||4.46 pp.||2.9||.14 pp.|
|8. Passage to India||14||2.56 pp.||1.3||.18 pp.|
|9. Confidential Agent||7||.67 pp.||.05||.096 pp.|
|10. Sons and Lovers||13||7.24 pp.||.025||.56 pp.|
|Median||40.5||20.93 pp.||14.4%||.34 pp.|
|* A standardized page is used in all novels;|
|p = 500 words.|
No. ext. ana.
Total * pp. ext ana.
% of Text
avg. ext. ana.
Total Past Span
Past T-S Index
1. Absalom, Absalom!
|176||244.64 pp.||88||1.39 pp.||102 yrs.||p = .42 yr.||.584 yr. per ana.|
|2. Light in August||26||141.08 pp.||47||5.43 pp.||108 yrs.||p = .77 yr.||4.16 yrs. per ana.|
|3. Sound & Fury||213||79.21 pp.||35.7||.37 pp.||35 yrs.||p = .44 yr.||.163 yr. per ana.|
|4. As I Lay Dying||15||13.71 pp.||12.1||.91 pp.||35 yrs.||p = 2.55 yrs.||2.32 yrs. per ana.|
|5. Sanctuary||10||9.34 pp.||5.84||.934 pp.||.25 yrs.||p = .027 yr.||.025 yr. per ana.|
|Median||26||79.21 pp.||35.7||.934 pp.||35 yrs.||p = .42 yr.||.584 yr. per ana.|
|* A standardized page is used in all novels;|
|p = 500 words.|
Top of Article
 Other recent critics who have contributed studies of individual Faulkner novels of interest to the narratologist include Peter Brooks (286-312), Michael Kaufman (36-51), John T. Matthews (71-91), Brian Richardson (119-24), Patricia Dreschsel Tobin (107-132), Marianna Torgovnick (157-175), and Austin Wright (218-39). Richard C. Morelands Faulkner and Modernism (passim) suggestively addresses the relationship between Faulkner and certain aspects of modernism in terms of two contrasting forms of repetition--revisionary and compulsive--focusing, however, chiefly on fiction produced during a later phase in Faulkners career than the period highlighted in the present essay.
Of course, the first complete novel in the Yoknapatawpha series was Flags in the Dust, a much-edited version of which appeared under the title Sartoris (1929).
 Brian McHale, singling out Absalom, Absalom! as "a high-water mark of modernist poetics" (8), uses the novel to exemplify the shift from the modernist emphasis on epistemology to the postmodern emphasis on ontology (10).
 In this paragraph and for the remainder of this paper I use the term "frequency" to indicate a rate of occurrence rather than the special Genettian meaning defined previously.
 NOW-time is a term coined by Seymour Chatman (63).
 Genette defines isochrony as an hypothetical normative tempo "of unchanging speeds, without accelerations or slowdowns, where the relative duration-of-story/length-of-narrative would remain always steady" (87-88). In effect it is not unlike the musical tempo indicated by a metronome.
 Building on Genettes methodology, I have also attempted to identify and account for such moments of subjective intensity in Woolfs Mrs. Dalloway (Walker 65-79).
Brooks, Peter. Reading for the Plot: Design and Intention in Narrative. New York: Random, 1984.
Brooks, Cleanth. William Faulkner: The Yoknapatawpha Country. New Haven: Yale UP, 1963.
-----------. William Faulkner: Toward Yoknapatawpha and Beyond. New Haven: Yale UP, 1978.
Chatman, Seymour. Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1978.
Crane, Ronald S. "The Concept of Plot and the Plot of Tom Jones." In Critics and Criticism.Ed. R.S. Crane. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1952.
Faulkner, William. Absalom, Absalom!: The Corrected Text. New York: Vintage, 1990.
------------. As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text. New York: Vintage, 1990.
------------. Light in August: The Corrected Text. New York: Vintage, 1990.
------------. Sanctuary: The Corrected Text. New York: Vintage, 1993.
------------. The Sound and the Fury: Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Contexts, Criticism. 2nd Ed. Ed. David Minter. New York: Norton Critical Edition, 1994.
Forster, E.M. Aspects of the Novel. New York: Harcourt, 1927.
Frank, Joseph. "Spatial Form in Modern Literature." Sewanee Review 53, Spring (1945).
Genette, Gerard. Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method. Trans. Jane E. Lewin. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1980.
Gwynn, Frederick, L., and Joseph L. Blotner. Faulkner in the University: Class Conferences at the University of Virginia, 1957-1958. New York: Vintage, 1959.
Irwin, John T. Doubling & Incest/Repetition & Revenge: A Speculative Reading of Faulkner. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1975.
Kaufman, Michael. Textual Bodies: Modernism, Postmodernism, and Print. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 1994.
Kermode, Frank. The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction. New York: Oxford UP, 1967.
Matthews, John T. "Faulkner's Narrative Frames." In Doreen Fowler and Ann J. Aladie, eds. Faulkner and the Craft of Fiction: Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha, 1987. Oxford: U of Mississippi P, 1989.
McHale, Brian. Postmodernist Fiction. New york and London: Methuen, 1987.
Mendilow. A.A. Time and the Novel. New York: Humanities P, 1952.
Minter, David. William Faulkner: His Life and Work. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1980.
Moreland, Richard C. Faulkner and Modernism: Rereading and Rewriting. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1990.
Reed, Joseph. Faulkner's Narrative. New Haven: Yale UP, 1973.
Richardson, Brian. Unlikely Stories: Causality and the Nature of Modern Narrative. Newark: U of Delaware P, 1997.
Sacks, Sheldon. Fiction and the Shape of Belief. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1964.
Tobin, Patricia Dreschsel. Time and the Novel: The Genealogical Imperative. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1978.
Torgovnick, Marianna. Closure in the Novel. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1981.
Walker, Ronald G. "Leaden Circles Dissolving in Air: Narrative Rhythm and Meaning in Mrs. Dalloway." Essays in Literature 13 (Spring 1986), 57-87.
Williamson, Joel. William Faulkner and Southern History. New York: Oxford UP, 1993.
Wright, Austin M. The Formal Principle in the Novel. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1982.