Date of Graduation

Summer 2017


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

James Baumlin


modernism, Husserlian Phenomenology, Cubism, perspectivism, Faulkner

Subject Categories

American Literature | Contemporary Art | Other Philosophy


The early decades of the 20th century marked drastic changes in philosophy, science, visual arts, literature, and music. In philosophy, this change occurred in the work of Edmund Husserl whose Phenomenology introduced a new “way of knowing” or epistemology. In art, the exhibition of Pablo Picasso’s Cubist Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907), given its rebellious nature, began an innovative artistic tradition which called for a new “way of seeing.” Phenomenology as theory and Cubism as practice shared a common aim: to re-vision the world—an aim of many Modernist movements. Modernism is an umbrella term for a mélange of artistic schools and styles, which are characterized by such features as aesthetic self-consciousness, structural and thematic fragmentation, and a complexity of representation. Modernism contains Phenomenology and Cubism as twin attempts to re-vision and reconstruct the viewer’s experience of the object-world. The aim of this thesis is twofold: 1) to outline the complex vocabulary of Husserlian Phenomenology and Cubism, and 2) to apply those vocabularies to William Faulkner’s texts. As examples of visual and phenomenological perspectivism, Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury and As I Lay Dying were explored for their correlations to Husserlian Phenomenology and Cubism. By utilizing artistic techniques drawn from Fauvism, Surrealism, and, Cubism, Faulkner’s novels provide literary samples for how artists reconstruct the world visually through their art. Husserlian Phenomenology likewise aims to reconstruct our human perceptions and experience.


© Zeinab Zamani

Open Access