Monday, January 25, 2010

Year of Reading Faulkner: The Sound and The Fury Update 2

The Sound and The Fury: Update 2
(Read Update 1)

So I cheated...
I read the Wikipedia page on this book after reading the Quentin section. It gave me comfort to know I am not alone. Quentin and this section are screw-ups. Figure myself to pretty savvy with the post-mod stuff, since I'm toting around a copy of A Thousand Plateaus most days, but putting the pieces of that together was difficult. To say Faulkner throws the reader into the action is a misnomer, instead he throws you in the aftermath of the action, to put together a body just from bullet holes.

A note--possibly a suicide note, someone point me to where that is in the section however. Concern/lack of concern about time---it doesn't matter to someone about to kill themselves. The immigrant girl---an obvious Caddy reference and Shreve's comment about how "it happens all the time" about how children follow him around, yes, Quentin is distraught over a lost childhood.

I understood they sold Benjy's "pasture" for Quentin's Harvard education, okay but why is that Benjy's pasture? Where is Quentin's pasture? Why doesn't he have a pasture? Do the other children have pastures?

Dalton Ames. The unspeakable name. Beat up everyone as if they are Dalton Ames. Wikipedia told me Caddy was marrying Herbert to cover up the pregnancy with Dalton Ames, but I didn't catch that was the problem. All I realized was that Caddy was marrying Herbert, but Quentin was obsessed with Dalton Ames. Maybe I should read more than 7 or 8 pages at a time...

The southern vs. northern element in this section is fascinating--how white Southerners get along better with Southern blacks, as if both sides agree on repression. Odd, really. Chivalrous Southern Gentlemen, but not chivalrous to blacks.
And these are the inconsistencies of the Southern mindset...

After trudging through this, understanding, but not understanding, confused and in awe of sentences like these:

"Sometimes I could put myself to sleep saying that over and over until after the honeysuckle got all mixed up in it the whole thing came to symbolise night and unrest I seemed to be lying neither asleep nor awake looking down a long corridor of gray halflight where all stable things had become shadowy paradoxical all I had done shadows all I had felt suffered taking visible form antic and perverse mocking without relevance inherent themselves with the denial of the signficance they should have affirmed thinking I was I was not who was not was not who."
What does everyone else think so far?


  1. I'm a Faulkner fan...I trudged through this book when I was a Freshman in high school but have more appreciation for it now that I'm older. My favorite of his is "A Rose for Emily"

  2. i'll have to check that one sometime...


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