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William Faulkner Manuscripts 12: Pylon: Typescript Setting Copy and Miscellaneous Holograph Pages Hardcover – March 1, 1987

ISBN-13: 978-0824068165 ISBN-10: 0824068165 Edition: 1ST

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 347 pages
  • Publisher: Garland Publishing, Inc.; 1ST edition (March 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824068165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824068165
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 9.5 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,233,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This product is not a traditionally bound book. Many ProQuest UMI products are black-and-white reproductions of original publications produced through the Books On Demand ® program. Alternately, this product may be a photocopy of a dissertation or it may be a collection reproduced on microfiche or microfilm if it is intended for library purchase. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

In this novel the characters seem not only very specific, but very small; they are neither familiar nor important.
Dave Deubler
The financial success that Faulkner realized with the publication of "Sanctuary" made one thing very clear to the author: sex and violence would sell many books.
Jerry Clyde Phillips
At the end of the book, what we're left with are a whole lot of words about some very simple (and sensationalized) events.
K.M. Weiland, Author of Historical and Speculative Fiction

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By D. Cloyce Smith on December 28, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Set in New Orleans (referred to as New Valois in the story), "Pylon" is a rare Faulkner work that takes place outside Mississippi. In it, an unnamed, down-on-his-luck reporter follows a small crew of barnstormers in town for an air show and is smitten by the tomboyish mechanic Laverne, who is involved in a menage a trois with the pilot and the parachute jumper. Their outmoded, ramshackle plane is held together by not much more than memory, and the pilot often has to take death-defying risks in order to win competitions for their hand-to-mouth income.

Complicating their hard existence is a fourth crew member, Jiggs, who suffers from unpredictable and terrifyingly deleterious alcohol binges. The reporter's well-meaning sociability starts Jiggs on an especially noteworthy bout of drinking and sets off a serious of events with tragic consequences.

The novel contains some of the most harrowing passages of drunkenness ever composed in English. The reporter acquires a "special" bottle of absinth (which is probably just really some bad moonshine) and ends up locking himself out of his apartment in a nightmarish sequence of blurry events. Then Jiggs starts on his bender and becomes consumed with the acquisition of just one more drink. Faulkner knows drunk: these Dantesque passages are as disturbing as anything offered later by Burroughs or by Philip K. Dick.

Less real and persuasive, however, are Faulkner's portraits of New Orleans and of the barnstormers themselves. Faulkner detested the city and especially the vulgarity of Mardi gras, and his distaste infuses his descriptions with the stance of a critical bystander rather than (as in his other works) the awareness of an understanding resident.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Clyde Phillips on January 2, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The financial success that Faulkner realized with the publication of "Sanctuary" made one thing very clear to the author: sex and violence would sell many books. And when in 1935, as he was at work on his monumental novel, "Absalom, Absalom," and needed a break from the complexities of that novel, he turned to pruriency once again in the hopes of making a few more easy dollars. But while many other authors would have fallen back on a tried and proven type of novel, Faulkner took his art to new areas. The novel is not set in Yoknapatawpha County, but in New Orleans (New Valois in the novel) and does not concern the interwoven family of characters that he had developed over the years, but a group of barnstorming aviators who follow the air race circuit across the country. There is the foolhardy pilot, his wife, a parachute jumper and a child who might be the issue of either man. That this menage a trois is carried out in the open and with the full complicity of all three members fascinates the newspaper reporter who is assigned to cover the air meet.
No doubt this is great stuff for the making of a sensational novel. But once again Faulkner fools his readers. While it is true that the novel has the tone of many of the contemporary crime novels of his day, Faulkner throws in enough Joycean word play, obscure symbolism, and obtuse prose to make it clear that, even when trying to make a buck, the author is playing by his own rules. The influence of T.S. Eliot is everywhere and there are obvious references to Eliot's "The Hollow Men," "The Waste Land" and "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock" (one of the novel's chapters bears this title).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "calico30" on March 16, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Faulkner's humor, even in such lighthearted books as the Reivers, could never be called madcap. Even when Lena hands Byron Bunch down from the truck bed as though he were an infant, the comedy is derived from a sense of startling humiliation and debasement. That or it's as dark as shoe polish. This latter option is the case in Pylon, which, despite its overall gravity, has many funny moments.
The story: An unnamed reporter in New Valois, some forgotten hamlet with the sole distinction of having a regulation airport that hosts diverting but empty and pretentiously-hyped plane races. This reporter discovers a polyganous relationship between one pilot (Roger Schumman) and Laverne, whose shared son is of dubious origin. Then, as always happens in a Faulkner novel, a great, sinuous spate of events kicks in. The reporter is fired from his job (only to be rehired later) for obsessing over his new crew at the expense of his correspondence. Later, the reporter embezzles a considerable sum from his office (this in addition to many times cadging money from his boss) to pay for a dangerous plane for Roger to fly against the owner's wishes. Roger dies, the child falls by mother's indifference to the custody of the paternal grandparents.
Faulkner has, to my knowledge, never written a bad book. This good, but often spotty book comes the closest to out-and-out failure as any work in the Faulkner canon of which I know. I agree with an earlier reviewer, though: I'd sooner read Faulkner or Turgenev than the [stuff] most writers call popular fiction these days.
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