Music and the Bible in Faulkner's Light in August
12 , 2016-03-31 , 立正大学大学院文学研究科
Faulkner’s technique of writing Light in August （1932） has two major points, i.e., using music and using the Bible. Regarding music, Aldous Huxley’s novel Point Counter Point （1928） and Johan Sebastian Bach’s music The Art of Fugue （1740s） reveal clues to explain the text of Light in August. The novel includes two stories: Lena Grove’s story and Joe Christmas’s story, each of which is independent, and yet interdependent, analogous to musical counterpoint, which involves very different, independent, and harmonious musical lines or melodies. And both stories are centered on fugitives and chasers: Lena Grove chases Lucas Burch who made her pregnant and escaped; Joe Christmas escapes from his own ‘black blood’ （Negroid identity） and chases his ‘white blood’ （Caucasoid identity）, just like a Fugue, in which antecedent melody is chased by successive melody. As for the Biblical association, Lena’s story and Christmas’s story are composed in the framework of the Christian Bible. Lena is described as Mother Mary and Joe Christmas as Jesus Christ. From the obedient Lena wearing a ‘blue’ garment （like Mary）, through Joe’s birth by a probable negro father, temptation by Joanna Burden （devil’s Temptation in the Wilderness）, murdering Joanna by cutting off her head （beheading of John the Baptist ［Joanna is the feminized version of John］）, Joe’s selling of illicit whiskey （Christ’s turning water into wine at Cana）, Joe’s outrage at the negro church （Jesus’ outrage at the Temple in Jerusalem）, to Joe’s being murdered by a white supremacist. Joe’s death suggests Jesus Christ’s Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension. Thus the contents of Lena’s and Joe’s stories have close connections to the Bible, and the technique of making both stories resembles the construcion of a Fugue.