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If Benjy's section is the most daringly experimental, Jason's is the most harrowing. "Once a bitch always a bitch, what I say," he begins, lacing into Caddy's illegitimate daughter, and then proceeds to hurl mud at blacks, Jews, his sacred Compson ancestors, his glamorous, promiscuous sister, his doomed brother Quentin, his ailing mother, and the long-suffering black servant Dilsey who holds the family together by sheer force of character.
Notoriously "difficult," The Sound and the Fury is actually one of Faulkner's more accessible works once you get past the abrupt, unannounced time shifts--and certainly the most powerful emotionally. Everything is here: the complex equilibrium of pre-civil rights race relations; the conflict between Yankee capitalism and Southern agrarian values; a meditation on time, consciousness, and Western philosophy. And all of it is rendered in prose so gorgeous it can take your breath away. Here, for instance, Quentin recalls an autumnal encounter back home with the old black possum hunter Uncle Louis:
And we'd sit in the dry leaves that whispered a little with the slow respiration of our waiting and with the slow breathing of the earth and the windless October, the rank smell of the lantern fouling the brittle air, listening to the dogs and to the echo of Louis' voice dying away. He never raised it, yet on a still night we have heard it from our front porch. When he called the dogs in he sounded just like the horn he carried slung on his shoulder and never used, but clearer, mellower, as though his voice were a part of darkness and silence, coiling out of it, coiling into it again. WhoOoooo. WhoOoooo. WhoOooooooooooooooo.What Faulkner has created is a modernist epic in which characters assume the stature of gods and the primal family events resonate like myths. It is The Sound and the Fury that secures his place in what Edmund Wilson called "the full-dressed post-Flaubert group of Conrad, Joyce, and Proust." --David Laskin
It's certainly the best I've ever read.
Everyone should be able to appreciate this novel. Read more
Very weak binding, fell apart. But the book was used soooo what can I sayPublished 1 month ago by Tea Greene
I returned to Faulkner this summer after 40 years to find his work and the community he creates as enthralling as ever. Read morePublished 1 month ago by James G. Archer
This is one of the dullest book ever written, probably the dullest American book ever written.Published 1 month ago by Eduardo
This book - narrated in a stream of consciousness style by several characters - is difficult to read and requires close concentration to understand what's going on. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Barbara Saffer
This is one of the worst books I have ever read. Not because it is confusing or long winded or because of the lack of punctuation(all of which are a struggle), but because the core... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joe
My God, this is a depressing novel. Every word Faulkner writes, every memory that is explored, every action in the novel is distilled into a lingering, oppressive, sadness that is... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dan Harlow