Article published in:Translation and the cultural Cold War
Edited by Esmaeil Haddadian-Moghaddam and Giles Scott-Smith
[Translation and Interpreting Studies 15:3] 2020
► pp. 441–463
The cultural Cold War in the Middle East
William Faulkner and Franklin Book Programs
William Faulkner is an interesting case for the history of American cultural diplomacy. Although the State Department hailed him as a Cold War warrior, it had difficulty sponsoring his “modernist” novels in a book program that promoted American ideals during the Cold War. In this article I examine how the Franklin Book Programs arranged for some of Faulkner’s novels to be translated into Arabic and Persian by using sources from the Program’s archive and an interview with a former Franklin editor. The analysis is framed by Faulkner’s rise in status from a marginal to a major world writer. I also assess the cultural forces that led to his inclusion in Franklin’s list of publications. The analysis reveals a tension between American idealism and Cold War imperatives, further challenging the propagandist reading of the program and calling for a more nuanced understanding of the dynamics of the cultural Cold War in the region.
Keywords: William Faulkner, the cultural Cold War, Franklin Book Programs, cultural diplomacy, the Middle East
Available under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 license.
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Published online: 01 October 2020
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