Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Light in August (by William Faulkner)

I enjoyed this novel when I first started it, because I was interested in Lena’s story, but by the end I was struggling to finish it, as I do with Faulkner. Unfortunately, I just cannot get into his work. Everyone’s psychic, everything’s foreordained, everything’s tragic and racially motivated and blah blah. The usual. And his language is poetic in a way that I respect but quite frankly don’t enjoy. I always feel sort of like a failure for not liking Faulkner more than I do. Chapter twenty is amazing, though, I’ll give you that. And I did like the ending.

friend: how's your hangover?
me: I have a feeling this headache's going to last all day
friend: aw.
me: William Faulkner is making my head hurt
friend: he does that. it's his "thing."
me: "someday, there will be a woman named Mo. she will read my books. I will make her suffer."
friend: yep. that's in one of his "author's notes"
me: wow. the sentence I just read was "All right. You say you suffer. All right."
friend: hah! good timing, bill.
me: if the next page is like "hey, Mo, how's the headache?" I'm going to check myself into rehab.
friend: good plan.

“...Lena Grove walked into the door behind him, her face already shaped with serene anticipatory smiling, her mouth already shaped upon a name. He hears her and turns and sees her face fade like the dying agitation of a dropped pebble in a spring.” (Page 50)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Kat said...

It's comforting to know that a professor of literature feels the same as I do about Faulkner. To me, it's just plain exhausting to read his works. Some passages in his books are so perplexing, I'd swear the guy was tripping on acid when he wrote them. But then there are others, like the one you quoted, that are pure beauty.

2:49 PM  

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