Teaching William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying

Thursday, February 27, 2014
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm (EST) Enter Classroom Enter Forum
As I Lay Dying cover


Peter Lurie
Associate Professor of English, University of Richmond
National Humanities Center Fellow

About the Seminar

Faulkner’s fifth novel, As I Lay Dying (1931), followed what many consider his most accomplished work, The Sound and the Fury. Yet the story of the Bundren clan displays many of the hallmark elements of literary modernism as other Faulkner novels. Nevertheless, it remains one of Faulkner’s most opaque while also most fascinating works in part because of its differences as well as similarities to the Compson saga. Writing about impoverished white hill farmers in the most advanced – and decidedly modern – formal techniques available to him, Faulkner produced a dazzling tour de force that engages the material history of the Southern rural poor and expands meaningfully on his treatment elsewhere of a troubled region and its fading aristocracy.

This model in turn furnished writers from developing countries ways to “modernize” their own provincial or rural characters. As with all of Faulkner’s writing, close attention to his formidably dense prose in As I Lay Dying offers particular insight into the workings of his characters’ interior life as well as their external circumstances.

Seminar Recording

Technical Help

Visit our technical specifications page for information about the seminar forum and classroom.

View a brief introduction to AIC online seminars.

Assigned Readings

    As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner.

Presentation PDF

Download the presentation PDF.

Online Evaluation

Online evaluation for seminar participants.