Darwin, Cognition and Literary Evocations of the Mind: The Case of Requiem for a Nun | Golam Rabbani

Darwin, Cognition and Literary Evocations of the Mind: The Case of Requiem for a Nun
Golam Rabbani

Abstract: William Faulkner is one of the American writers who does not clearly and easily make the case for the significance of ideas in his fiction but argues that his literature is not inimical to ideas. It flourishes upon ideas, but it does not present ideas partly and neatly. It involves them with the “recalcitrant stuff of life,” and it is the literary critic’ job to deal with that involvement. Sensibility to contemporary movements in science is a literary, prerequisite, and Faulkner, in particular, understood the need for “interdisciplinarity, ” which he fulfilled with his notions of evolution. There are notable manifestations of Darwinian ethos in his literature, and Requiem for a Nun stands ahead to present his notions of evolution. This paper analyzes the evolutionary ideas through the explanation of cultural aid societal evolution embedded in the text. The transformation of textual spaces and transition of fictional minds in Faulkner’s fiction seem to align with David Herman’s notion of “modernist authors” and Jakob Johann von Uexküll’s idea of umwelt. Therefore, this paper studies the evolutionary consciousness of the text through Herman and Uexküll’s perspectives’

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Published in 2014