Particularly confusing isn't the unfact
that almost nobody ever seems quite real,& is the fact that almost everybody appears bent--sic--on gooddoing.
He tells the corporal that "we are two articulations" who find ourselves here in this particular, though random and meaningless, moment in history elected "not so much to defend as to test two inimical conditions": the general, "champion of this mundane earth," which though he does not like and "did not ask to come," may as well reign over it during his "allotted while"; the corporal, "champion of an esoteric realm of man's baseless hopes and his infinite capacity--no: passion--for unfact
A reappraisal of the overall design of A Fable and of the structuring opposition between idealism, or dream, and the reality of this world, epitomized in the centrally staged agon between the old general's care for "this mundane earth" and the corporal's "passion for unfact" (988), will attempt to replace the novel in the central position it deserves in the Faulkner canon as a mature critical view of idealism, power, and war, and as a metacritical reflection on the author's artistic creed, a redefinition of his ambition after the somber years of doubts and difficulties following Go Down, Moses in 1942.
must contend and--one of them--perish: I champion of this mundane earth ...; you champion of an esoteric realm of man's baseless hopes and his infinite capacity--no: passion--for unfact. No, they are not inimical really ...; they can exist side by side ..." (988; my emphasis).
Unlike Charles Bon's desperately expecting a sign of recognition and legitimization from his father, in Absalom, Absalom!, the illegitimate son in A Fable expects nothing from his father, just that he leave him free to live by his "passion for unfact." And unlike Sutpen's crying Henry's name as King David had done before the dead body of Absalom, the general shows no emotion before the corporal's calm determination to choose death rather than betraying his disciples and his (presumed) ideal.
His intent, apprehended through imprecise rumors and from the sight of the prisoners taken to the camp in the first chapter, is known only from the construction made by the general, who confines the corporal to the realm of unfact or chimaera.
Neither the general nor his son is emotionally or physically engaged in a confrontation involving their own lives (and death for the corporal) or a definition of man's predicament and his relation to unfact and dream on one side and to power and History on the other.
while you champion of an esoteric realm of man's baseless and his infinite capacity--no passion--for unfact
The narrator is confused, too, and thus the narrator and the reader are invoked together on several occasions in the first person plural: "Thus the unfacts
, did we possess them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude" (57.16-17).
In his epic masterwork, Finnegan's Wake, the great Irish novelist James Joyce makes the following observation on the foibles of perception and communication: "Thus, the unfacts, did we possess them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude, and the evidence givers too untrustworthy."
Our "evidence givers" continue to tell us that we are still, as Sidney Rabb, former chairman of Stop & Shop, once described us, the "purchasing agent for the consumer." However, "the unfacts, did we possess them," reveal that it is Wall Street, not Main Street, that dictates industry direction.
Together, utilizing the facts at their disposal rather than the "unfacts" of false marketing or positioning claims, suppliers and distributors have a chance to use the tools emerging from the ECR initiative, like activity based costing, category management and continuous replenishment, to forge new alliances and to better target consumers.