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The Mansion Mass Market Paperback – July 12, 1965

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (July 12, 1965)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394702824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394702827
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,405,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

This completes the great trilogy of the Snopes family in Yoknapatawpha and traces the downfall of this indomitable post-bellum family.

About the Author

William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on September 25, 1897. His family was rooted in local history: his great-grandfather, a Confederate colonel and state politician, was assassinated by a former partner in 1889, and his grandfather was a wealth lawyer who owned a railroad. When Faulkner was five his parents moved to Oxford, Mississippi, where he received a desultory education in local schools, dropping out of high school in 1915. Rejected for pilot training in the U.S. Army, he passed himself off as British and joined the Canadian Royal Air Force in 1918, but the war ended before he saw any service. After the war, he took some classes at the University of Mississippi and worked for a time at the university post office. Mostly, however, he educated himself by reading promiscuously.

Faulkner had begun writing poems when he was a schoolboy, and in 1924 he published a poetry collection, The Marble Faun, at his own expense. His literary aspirations were fueled by his close friendship with Sherwood Anderson, whom he met during a stay in New Orleans. Faulkner's first novel, Soldier’s Pay, was published in 1926, followed a year later by Mosquitoes, a literary satire. His next book, Flags in the Dust, was heavily cut and rearranged at the publisher’s insistence and appeared finally as Sartoris in 1929. In the meantime he had completed The Sound and the Fury, and when it appeared at the end of 1929 he had finished Sanctuary and was ready to begin writing As I Lay Dying. That same year he married Estelle Oldham, whom he had courted a decade earlier.

Although Faulkner gained literary acclaim from these and subsequent novels—Light in August (1932), Pylon (1935), Absalom, Absalom! (1936), The Unvanquished (1938), The Wild Palms (1939), The Hamlet (1940), and Go Down, Moses (1942)—and continued to publish stories regularly in magazines, he was unable to support himself solely by writing fiction. he worked as a screenwriter for MGM, Twentieth Century-Fox, and Warner Brothers, forming a close relationship with director Howard Hawks, with whom he worked on To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, and Land of the Pharaohs, among other films. In 1944 all but one of Faulkner's novels were out of print, and his personal life was at low ebb due in part to his chronic heavy drinking. During the war he had been discovered by Sartre and Camus and others in the French literary world. In the postwar period his reputation rebounded, as Malcolm Cowley's anthology The Portable Faulkner brought him fresh attention in America, and the immense esteem in which he was held in Europe consolidated his worldwide stature.

Faulkner wrote seventeen books set in the mythical Yoknapatawpha County, home of the Compson family in The Sound and the Fury. “No land in all fiction lives more vividly in its physical presence than this county of Faulkner’s imagination,” Robert Penn Warren wrote in an essay on Cowley’s anthology. “The descendants of the old families, the descendants of bushwhackers and carpetbaggers, the swamp rats, the Negro cooks and farm hands, the bootleggers and gangsters, tenant farmers, college boys, county-seat lawyers, country storekeepers, peddlers—all are here in their fullness of life and their complicated interrelations.” In 1950, Faulkner traveled to Sweden to accept the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature. In later books—Intruder in the Dust (1948), Requiem for a Nun (1951), A Fable (1954), The Town (1957), The Mansion (1959), and The Reivers (1962)—he continued to explore what he had called “the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself,” but did so in the context of Yoknapatawpha’s increasing connection with the modern world. He died of a heart attack on July 6, 1962.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steve on August 22, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Surprisingly enough, I found The Mansion to be the best novel in Faulkner's impressive Snopes trilogy. Flem Snopes, the devious and underhanded antihero of The Hamlet and The Town is on a crash course with Mink Snopes, the unbalanced family member whom Flem allowed to be imprisoned for murder nearly four decades earlier. The paths of these two characters converge with fascinating inevitability, as Gavin Stevens and Linda Snopes finally arrive at a crossroads in their own relationship. The Mansion is a satisfying conclusion to a story that spans over forty years in the history of Jefferson, Mississippi; the Snopes trilogy is a must-read for Faulkner fans.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chadwick H. Saxelid on March 1, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
William Faulkner wraps up the epic saga of the Snopes family by telling the story of the monstrous Mink, a convicted amoral murderer and victim of counsin Flem's conniving ways. Several other characters from various other stories come and go, allowing Faulkner to wrap up another Jefferson tale or two. As is the case with all of Faulkner's tales, the story has a deeper significance to the human condition. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Myers VINE VOICE on January 10, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the first two books of the Snopes trilogy, The Hamlet and The Town, many years ago, so it is lucky for me that this concluding novel more or less retells the main events of the previous two novels - albeit from different points of view - from the start. So, let me get one thing that irritated and disappointed me, by turns, throughout the novel out of the way: Faulkner is rather sloppy here concerning his interior monologues and, indeed, exterior dialogues. Having a Harvard educated lawyer (viz., Gavin Stevens) saying "ain't" is just as grating as hearing an illiterate tenant farmer (viz., Mink Snopes) thinking in fifty dollar words. One only has to contrast the effect here to the masterfully controlled interior monologue of "the idiot" (q.v. Macbeth-"...a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing") Benji in The Sound and the Fury to see how striking is the difference.

Nevertheless, I think this a very worthwhile book because - as another reviewer has stated - it deals with the human condition, more particularly with the fallen state of man. Also, I had well-nigh forgotten how addictive Faulkner's prose style becomes after one adjusts to it. He seems to have never met an adverbial phrase he didn't like, nor a restating of matters with a slightly different nuance which he couldn't resist putting to paper. But the more one reads, the more acutely one becomes aware of how accurately this mimics life itself, in which we constantly relive the past in our minds and in which we dwell in a constantly changing state of uncertainty regarding the motives of those closest to us and even of ourselves.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Annette M.T. Homiller on October 2, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book (The Mansion) was my first experience with William Faulkner. I plan to read more. Despite his tendency towards long sentences that are impossible to parse, Faulkner has created an extremely compelling story chronicling 40 years in the history of a family and a town in the deep South. Having been raised in the South (although certainly long after the setting of these events), I found many of the characters, and certainly some of the attitudes towards the rest of the world, eerily familiar.
This epic of the rise and fall of the Snopes family illustrates the tremendous impact a single family can have on a community, especially when that family is driven by naked ambition. In the course of his narrative Faulkner also reveals how the inhabitants of a small town in the South viewed such events as World Wars I and II, the New Deal, and the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement.
Although this book is the last of a trilogy, I found it to stand on its own very well. In fact, the first chapter stands on its own and is worth reading all by itself - in my view it's a near-perfectly constructed short story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Scherff on December 30, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"the mansion" is faulkner's memorable conclusion to the excellent snopes trilogy. Although it can be read on its own, it is best appreciated as the third in a series.

Let me first start by commenting on the trilogy as a whole (you can see my reviews on the first two books). This trilogy provides excellent overall background to all the novels of faulkner. In it he talks about most of the main characters of yoknapatawpha county, mississippi which run through all of his work. "The mansion" in particular ties many of these people and history together. In addition to that, it tells the fascinating story of the snopes family.

In "the mansion" faulkner retells most of what has occurred in the prior two books. This allows the reader to enjoy this novel on its own. For the trilogy reader he makes it interesting by changing the point of view. In "the town" v. k. ratliff tells the story of mink snopes and his murder of jack houston. In the retelling in "the mansion" the story is told by mink himself; a totally different perspective. Faulkner also, in sections of the book, reverts back to the omniscient narrator in this book whereas in "the town" 3 individuals tell the story from their perspective. point of view is one of the most intriguing aspects of faulkner's style.

In this novel, he concludes the stories of the main snopes' characters and other characters in the trilogy. There is a clear air of fate that doesn't appear in the other novels. The story centers on mink, linda, and flem. Each ones destiny is irreversible. Even gavin stevens is fated to become a co-conspirator in murder.

As before, we never see into the head of the main character, flem snopes.
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