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The Portable Faulkner: Revised and Expanded Edition (Penguin Classics) Paperback – December 8, 1977

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In prose of biblical grandeur and feverish intensity, William Faulkner reconstructed the history of the American South as a tragic legend of courage and cruelty, gallantry and greed, futile nobility, and obscene crimes. He set this legend in a small, minutely realized parallel universe he called Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

William Faulkner (1897–1962) was born in Mississippi and was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Pulitzer Prize. 

Malcolm Cowley (1898–1989) a leadiing literary figure of his time, wrote numerous books of literary criticism, essays, and poetry. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Revised edition (December 8, 1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140150188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140150186
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.3 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,350,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Portable Faulkner is a wonderful intro to Faulkner, but it's just that--an introduction. It can't do whan the entirety of one of Faulkner's novels will do, and in some cases I recommend skipping a bit in the Portable Faulkner until the corresponding novel has already been read (for example, Dilsey's section of The Sound and the Fury shouldn't be read in the Portable if you haven't read The Sound and the Fury. Trust me, TSatF is a book where you don't want to read the last chapter before the first three).
Better than an introduction, the Portable Faulkner also serves as a very interesting companion to those already familiar with Faulkner--it does the great service to readers of putting Yoknapatawpha stories in chronological order, which is an interesting perspective we may not otherwise get to see.
However, above all, there are two reasons why I bought this book.
First, it includes the Compson Appendix. If you've read a copy of the Sound and the Fury that didn't include the Compson Appendix, you need this. It's something that has to be read after the Sound and the Fury to capture the whole of Faulkner's story.
Second, it includes Faulkner's Nobel acceptance speech, which is wonderful, especially as a complement to reading the books themselves, and which is very nice to have in book format like the Portable Faulkner.
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Format: Paperback
The Portable Faulkner is THE way to be introduced to William Faulkner, arguably the best of 20th century American novelists. Cowley arranges whole work and excerpts chronological for Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County; it should be noted that Faulkner did not write his body of work chronologically. By arranging the work in this way, Cowley does us a great service in seeing Faulkner's great creation as an ordered whole.
The drawback to this work is in its goal -- to make more understandable Faulkner's creation in his mythic county. The drawback is that, by design, none of Faulkner's other work is included, such as The Fable.
The Portable Faulkner should be viewed only as an introduction, a tantalizer. Upon seeing the greatest of the work, we can then proceed to the work in its entirety.
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Format: Paperback
An influential collection, partly responsible for the late 1940s resurgence of interest in America's greatest author, this construction of Faulkner's narrative world is certainly no substitute for any of the novels. But it has its uses: readers who don't plan to read more than 3 of Faulkner's best novels may find some of Cowley's excerpts a reasonable consolation; Cowley's chronological ordering not only clarifies Faulkner's fictional world but exposes its organic unity; with the exception of "Barn Burning," most of the essential short fiction (including the frequently excerpted "The Bear") can be found here; the concluding commentary and genealogy which Cowley elicted from Faulkner himself is both helpful and a kind of Faulknerian literary piece in its own right.
A slight "down side" (apart from some questionable excerpting and over-emphasis on chronological at the expense of "narrative" time) is Cowley's somewhat "dated" aesthetic judgements (though at times refreshing, since the author was applying them to a "non-canonical" writer).
As for "Burn Burning," it's readily available, free of charge, on the Internet.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains the key short stories and novel excerpts that caused Faulkner's reputation to soar beginning in the mid-1940s. Although he had been active since the 1920s, this book was the one that made him a household word.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Had to read sections for a class............just wish he had used periods to end sentences!!!!!!! Some sentences are a page long.or longer......one tends to lose the reason for the sentence in the first place!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am going back and reading faulkner again after 35 years and I get so much more out of the text. This edition in very good shape and I'm proud of it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What more could I add to the praises this volume has got? Every night at bedtime I read a few pages aloud to my wife, who'd never read Faulkner
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