Absalom, Absalom!, 143 (Event)

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(then Shreve again, "Wait. Wait. You mean this old gal,
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Turn of the Century (1890-1913)
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Thursday, January 13, 1910

The novel introduces the character of Shreve McCannon through his interruption of an account of Quentin's trip to Sutpen's with Rosa Coldfield, whom he will tease Quentin by calling "Aunt Rosa" (143). For the next 4 pages Shreve will recapitulate the Sutpen story, as it was revealed in the earlier chapters, in non-chronological order and in a largely facetious tone. The novel does not explain how Shreve came to know so much of the story; most commentators assume that sometime earlier during their year as Harvard roommates, Quentin had told him about Sutpen, but this is never made explicit. Shreve is cited as the SOURCE for all of the 18 Events into which we divide his account, except for the one time he references something "she" - undoubtedly Rosa - "said" (145), but that is in the absence of any information at all about what other sources (Father? Grandfather? Quentin?) Shreve is drawing from. It is perhaps surprising, though characteristic of the novel's pervasive ambiguity, that in this series of passages it is Shreve who supplies very important details that the novel has not previously provided us, especially what Sutpen said to make Rosa wear black for forty-three years, and how Sutpen's story reaches one ending with his death at Wash Jones' hands. [SOURCE: Narrator]

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Narrative_Recapitulation, Revelation, Tone_Shift, Allusion:Classical,
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