Amid all that has been published about William Faulkner, one subject--the nature of his thought--remains largely unexplored. But, as Daniel Singal's new intellectual biography reveals, we can learn much about Faulkner's art by relating it to the cultural and intellectual discourse of his era, and much about that era by coming to terms with his art. Through detailed analyses of individual texts, from the earliest poetry through Go Down, Moses, Singal traces Faulkner's attempt to liberate himself from the repressive Victorian culture in which he was raised by embracing the Modernist culture of the artistic avant-garde. To accommodate the conflicting demands of these two cultures, Singal shows, Faulkner created a complex and fluid structure of selfhood based on a set of dual identities--one, that of a Modernist author writing on the most daring and subversive issues of his day, and the other, that of a southern country gentleman loyal to the conservative mores of his community. Indeed, it is in the clash between these two selves, Singal argues, that one finds the key to making sense of Faulkner.