Monday, February 15, 2010

The Sound and The Fury Update 3

The Sound and The Fury: Update 3 (Final Update)

Finally finished this, but I will declare it "undone."
My copy of The Sound and The Fury does not have the appendix with the explanations of the Compson family and the fate of Caddy, once again I turned to the reliable Wikipedia in this matter. An interesting turn by Faulkner to name Caddy's daughter Quentin after her brother that committed suicide. The fated wild streak of the Miss Quentin comes to bear in the last section where no one has any control over Miss Quentin and she runs away with a carnival barker (was this mentioned in Section 3? Can't remember).

Perhaps the most disturbing of all this is Dilsey's steadfast loyalty to the Compson family and the family's reliance/command over Dilsey. Jason's reasoning for holding onto Caddy's money instead of giving it to Quentin is understandable, but it seems that instead of hoarding it, spending it towards improving his family now, rather than holding it for some uncertain future glory, Quentin's actions seem justifiable in stealing from her Uncle Jason.

On Matt Baker's recommendation, I read a piece in a 2006 issue of Oxford American about The Sound and the Fury by William Caverlee. Though Caverlee says that the Jason section is 'comic relief,' to me it's more like typical family disfunction, desperate moves for a desperate family, once prominent now a failure. But maybe Caverlee is right, normally that would be sadness, but Faulkner sets everything else up before it as so depressing, that Jason becomes semi-sympathetic.

Caverlee also dissects the odd chronological sectioning, but also addresses the first-time readers' discombobulation. There is constant guessing on speaker, timeline, frustration. Caverlee says this about the Quentin-narrated section:
"[Faulkner] pushes--dares--the reader to give up entirely, to throw away one's marked-up text, chartes and timelines with a groan of exasperation at the verbiage, at 'lonely and inviolate sand'--then draws us back in at the last minute with some gesture--the lost Italian girl at the bakery, the boys at the river--some gesture of fineness and bewilderment and human loneliness"
At least I know I'm not alone.

Next up: As I Lay Dying

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