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New Orleans Sketches Paperback – May 22, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"We gain something more than a glimpse of the mind of a young genius asserting his power against a partially indifferent environment. The long introduction . . . must rank as a major literary contribution to our knowledge of an outstanding writer: perhaps the greatest of our times."

--The Book Exchange (London)



"For the readers of Faulkner, the book is indispensable. Its brilliant introduction . . . is full both of helpful information . . . . and of the insights."

--Paul Engle, The Chicago Tribune



"The interesting thing for us now, who can see in this book the outline of the writer Faulkner was to become, is that before he had published his first novel he had already determined certain main themes in his work."

--Alfred Kazin, The New York Times Book Review

From the Inside Flap

Faulkner's early fictional forays that foreshadow a Nobel Laureate in the making

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 139 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (May 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578064716
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578064717
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,070,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in 1897 in New Albany, Mississippi, William Faulkner was the son of a family proud of their prominent role in the history of the south. He grew up in Oxford, Mississippi, and left high school at fifteen to work in his grandfather's bank.

Rejected by the US military in 1915, he joined the Canadian flyers with the RAF, but was still in training when the war ended. Returning home, he studied at the University of Mississippi and visited Europe briefly in 1925.

His first poem was published in The New Republic in 1919. His first book of verse and early novels followed, but his major work began with the publication of The Sound and the Fury in 1929. As I Lay Dying (1930), Sanctuary (1931), Light in August (1932), Absalom, Absalom! (1936) and The Wild Palms (1939) are the key works of his great creative period leading up to Intruder in the Dust (1948). During the 1930s, he worked in Hollywood on film scripts, notably The Blue Lamp, co-written with Raymond Chandler.

William Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949 and the Pulitzer Prize for The Reivers just before his death in July 1962.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

112 of 115 people found the following review helpful By D. Anderson on December 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
I first bought "Go Down, Moses" for an undergraduate course in American Literature, read "The Bear" as required, and quickly forgot about the rest of the book. This Thanksgiving I picked it up again as a replacement for my usual airport-bookstore holiday reading. Thank goodness! Nothing like some heavy-duty race and environmental issues to spice up your turkey and stuffing.
Faulkner has always been a pleasant read for me, because I find it quite challenging. "Go Down, Moses" is no exception. In particular, the genealogy of the McCaslin-Edmonds-Beauchamp family causes no end of confusion. You will encounter characters named McCaslin Edmonds, Carothers McCaslin, Carothers McCaslin Edmonds, etc... (I found drawing a family tree helped me immensely)! Furthermore, the narrative is hardly linear; characters jump around in space and time, tell stories of other peoples' experiences in the midst of their own reminiscences, and in general relate their tales in a manner that will keep you constantly flipping back and forth through the book. That being said, I happen to *enjoy* books like this, where the reader is not a passive recipient of information but actively engaged in the process of determining plot, characters, and truth. I like this style because it reminds me of how we construct narratives in our own minds. We go off on tangents, we ramble endlessly before returning suddenly to our original subject, we remember things as they occur to us more often than we do in chronological order. Faulkner is more psychologist than novelist: he puts us inside the minds of his characters and lets them tell the story for themselves. If you want a clear-cut, action-driven story instead of a thoughtful and intimate history, Faulkner is not for you.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
I read Go Down Moses in 1996 before taking a trip to Mississippi. I had never read Faulkner before and had only one criterion for picking a book of his: it had to take place in the mythical Yoknapatawpha County. I picked this one off the library shelf.
For any non-southern American whose sole exposure to what happened there was from history books, this should forever shatter the pat preconceptions and simplistic black and white (no pun intended!) formulas they were taught.
The book plunges you into a vast panorama of ambiguities and contradictions. It was clear to me from the first paragraph that Faulkner was a genius. In the whole history of literature, he surely stands among a select few at the very pinnacle of greatness.
Go Down Moses is a tremendous struggle to get through. Some parts are straightforward and easy, but there are others that you can't hope to make literal sense of. You're bombarded by its twisted grammar. Its frantic confusion. Its endlessly unresolved sentences. But through these, Faulkner ultimately conveys the pain of history -- past and present. The emotion of that pain seems more real to him than the specific incidents it sprang from. Why else would a book begun in pre-Civil War Mississippi -- entirely skip it -- picking up again a generation later?
This book is about the South. Having read it, Faulkner walked beside me every step of the way I took through his state. But this book also has a sub-theme that should not be overlooked. Faulkner was a profound environmentalist, although sharply contrasted with how we usually think of that term. Hunters don't much fit the mold of environmentalism -- and Faulkner was an avid one of that lot. So, in that sense, along with all the sociological, he can shake you up pretty good!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
I had never read any Faulkner until I picked this off my bookshelf while browsing. Out of my wife's american literature classes has come what I feel to be one the best written books I have read in quite some time. The people are tortured, alive and very well described. The races are diagnosed in merciless precision and scrutiny, the unfortunate frustrations that plague them both. (there don't seem to be many other types of people in the stories except a few Indians) But this is art, literature the way it is supposed to be written. The language of Faulkner literally soars off the page with insight, feeling and relevance to the story. These Southern lives are mixed together, bringing forth a mulatto-rainbow mix of wonder and mystery and deep appreciation, a well developed reverence for life, its pain and people, suffering through a walk on the blessed earth. Truly great writing as compassionate as it is accurately reflecting the Southern world, post slave to this century through the eyes of a family smorgasbord of bloodlines and personalites. If you want to enjoy reading and have wondered at times why you are wasting your time on cultured pulp, this book will set you back on the right path.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Owen Keehnen on August 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
'One Arm & Other Stories' (1950) is a collection of eleven short stories by the noted gay dramatist Tennessee Williams and it is a collection that proved well worth this reader's time. Here, Williams reveals his gay themes and lifestyle with a much greater candor and straightforwardness than tend to appear in his plays. Like most quality collections each story in this book is wonderfully evocative of some slice of reality and quickly draws in the reader. At least that was true of this reader. My two favorites in the collection are the title piece 'One Arm', about a one armed hustler on death row, and especially the headbreaking & exquisite tale 'The Angel in the Alcove' about a sick artist in The French Quarter of New Orleans. The latter one will absolutely break your heart. I found it so moving.

I was impressed overall with the stories, some more than others but that may have been more the result of personal resonance. Some just really struck a chord. If you're a fan of the playwright of 'A Streecar Named Desire, 'The Rose Tattoo', 'The Sweet Bird of Youth', 'The Glass Menagerie', and so many others as I am - then 'One Arm and Other Stories' is an amazing window to greater understanding into the troubled gay genius behind the dramatist supreme. As a huge admirer of the man's work I found it an endlessly fascinating glimpse into the human spirit...and a view through some of the especially dark windows.
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