Marisa Parham deposited Breadfruit, Time and Again: Glissant Reads Faulkner in the World Relation on Humanities Commons 4 years, 2 months ago
Two-thirds of the way through Faulkner, Mississippi, his extended meditation on the prose oeuvre of the American writer William Faulkner, Édouard Glissant remarks on Faulkner’s famous ‘amused refusal to “correct the contradictions”’ introduced into his texts through his constant revisiting of characters across novels not necessarily set in proper temporal relation to one another. According to Glissant, these contradictions are not in themselves problematic because such narrative recursivity is endemic to life in the Americas, as ‘the various ways of telling one single fact’ constitute ‘the stream of consciousness that summarizes (or at least tries to) the circumstances of the country’. In thinking about this, Glissant turns to the figure of the breadfruit, taking the complex and signifying fruit as the sign that might decode the whole of the rest of Faulkner’s writing. In this essay, I take a digital writing-influenced perspective on Glissant’s turn to the breadfruit as rhizomatic. I also look at Glissant’s journey to Rowan Oak, Faulkner’s estate, and the soft melancholy engendered in his encounter with a concretely Faulknerian space.