Faulkner, Aviation and Modern War

New York: Bloomsbury


Faulkner, Aviation, and Modern War frames William Faulkner’s airplane narratives against major scenes of the early 20th century: the Great War, the rise of European fascism in the 1920s and 30s, the Second World War, and the aviation arms race extending from the Wright Flyer in 1903 into the Cold War era. Placing biographical accounts of Faulkner’s time in the Royal Air Force Canada against analysis of such works as Soldiers’ Pay (1926), “All the Dead Pilots” (1931), Pylon (1935), and A Fable(1954), this book situates Faulkner’s aviation writing within transatlantic historical contexts that have not been sufficiently appreciated in Faulkner’s work.

Michael Zeitlin unpacks a broad selection of Faulkner’s novels, stories, film treatments, essays, book reviews, and letters to outline Faulkner’s complex and ambivalent relationship to the ideologies of masculine performance and martial heroism in an age dominated by industrialism and military technology.


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About the Author

Michael Zeitlin

Michael Zeitlin’s main research interests lie in twentieth-century and contemporary American literature, with a special interest in the fiction of William Faulkner, the history of aviation, modernism, psychoanalysis, and war.

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