No sooner did I post my Faulker item, when I ran into this on The Reading Experience:
In last weekend’s Los Angeles Times Book Review, editor David Ulin (who has, in my opinion, considerably improved this publication since taking it over several months ago) contributes a generally insightful review of the Library of America’s collection of early Faulkner novels. However, in his conclusion, Ulin suggests that in Faulkner’s fiction
The fixation with time is hardly a modernist sentiment. Rather, it’s a classical perspective, in which everything matters and nothing is forgotten or forgiven or redeemed. Yet this is Faulkner’s genius: the way he uses modernist strategies but is, in the end, not really a modernist — his ability to be of his time and timeless at once. Unlike Joyce or Pound, there is no orthodoxy in his writing; unlike Stein, he is not using language to play games. No, for Faulkner, stylistic innovation — the lack of punctuation, the run-on sentences, the blurring of chronology, of memory and action — becomes a matter of emotional impact, of the effort to re-create life as it is lived. That’s an idea he had to learn how to inhabit, as he moved from the studied diffidence of “Soldiers’ Pay” to an aesthetic more three-dimensional and profound. In “Novels 1926-1929,” we see the arc of this development, the dramatic shift from artifice to art.
That Faulkner conveys a worldview incorporating “classical” qualities must certainly be true, but I don’t see why this feature of his work makes it incompatible with modernism.