THE REIVERS: FAULKNER’S COMIC FAREWELL

Presented by Dr. J. Larry Allums

In 1962, just two weeks before he suffered a serious fall from his horse that led to his death, William Faulkner published his last novel, The Reivers, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The book begins with “Grandfather said,” and the narrative that follows, relatively straightforward for Faulkner, extends time both backward and forward as the narrator tells his grandson the story of his own grandfather’s key role in his, the narrator’s, coming-of-age. The story that emerges is pure comedy—Faulkner’s finest contribution to the genre—involving a stolen car, a trip to a Memphis whorehouse, and a horse race destined to determine several characters’ futures. Often relegated to a lesser position among Faulkner’s nineteen novels, The Reivers is to the contrary a fitting conclusion to an extraordinary artistic career—a glorious culmination comparable to Shakespeare’s final exit from the stage with The Tempest.

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April 29th, May 6, 13, & 20
6:30 – 8:30pm

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DR. J.  LARRY ALLUMS is Executive Director of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. He earned his M.A. in Literature and his Ph.D. in Literature and Political Philosophy from the University of Dallas’ Institute of Philosophic Studies. He came to the Dallas Institute in 1998 from the University of Mobile, where he was Professor of English and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He has edited a volume of essays on epic poetry, The Epic Cosmos, and published articles on ancient Greek and Roman literature, Dante, and writers of the American Southern renascence, including William Faulkner, Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, and Caroline Gordon. Under his leadership, the Dallas Institute continues to emphasize its commitment to urban issues and its longstanding work with pre-K through 12th grade elementary and secondary school teachers, principals, and superintendents.