Cover artistRiki Levinson Followed byThe Town AuthorWilliam Faulkner Preceded byRequiem for a Nun
Media typePrint (hardcover & paperback) GenresFiction, Novel, Speculative fiction AwardsPulitzer Prize for Fiction, National Book Award for Fiction SimilarWilliam Faulkner books, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winners, Novels
William faulkner reads from his novel a fable don t be afraid
A Fable is a 1954 novel written by the American author William Faulkner. He spent more than a decade and tremendous effort on it, and aspired for it to be "the best work of my life and maybe of my time". It won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, but critical reviews were mixed and it is considered one of Faulkner's lesser works. Historically, it can be seen as a precursor to Joseph Heller's Catch-22.
William faulkner reads from novel a fable don t be afraid voice of famous author
The book takes place in France during World War I and stretches through the course of one week in 1918. Corporal Stefan, who represents the reincarnation of Jesus, orders 3,000 troops to disobey orders to attack in the brutally repetitive trench warfare. In return, the Germans do not attack, and the war stops when soldiers realize that it takes two sides to fight a war. The Generalissimo, who represents leaders who use war to gain power, invites his German counterpart to discuss how to restart the war. He then arrests and executes Stefan. Before Stefan's execution, the Generalissimo tries to convince the corporal that war can never be stopped because it is the essence of human nature.
Following the execution of the Corporal, his body is returned to his wife and his sisters, and he is buried in Vienne-la-pucelle. However, after the conflict has resumed, the Corporal's grave is destroyed in a barrage of artillery. The spirit of the Corporal has transferred to a British message runner, who eventually confronts the old Generalissimo.
In his contemporary review of A Fable, Philip Blair Rice noted that the novel returned Faulkner in subject matter to the one general subject that engaged him besides Mississippi, the First World War. Dayton Kohler, in his contemporary analysis of the novel, discusses an approach to the novel through myth. Ernest Sandeen has elaborated in detail on the parallels between the corporal and Jesus Christ. Julian Smith has noted similarities between A Fable and Humphrey Cobb's novel Paths of Glory. Frank Turaj has examined opposing images and themes in terms of the dialectic in the novel. Thomas E Connolly has discussed the relationship of the three main plots of the novel to each other.
Richard H. King has interpreted A Fable as the one major attempt by Faulkner to depict political action in his novels, and has characterised the novel as "Faulkner's failed political novel". Robert W Hutten noted Faulkner's reworking of material originally from the story 'Notes on a Horse Thief' into A Fable. William J Sowder has analysed in detail the character of the Generalissimo.