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Reading Faulkner: Sanctuary Hardcover – October 1, 1996
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This book was helpful in two ways. First, it helps to illuminate all the little subtle things I was missing. For example, in a few places Faulkner shifts into a flashback without giving any indication to the reader that he is doing so (I am thinking of the scene where Horace is talking to Miss Jenny about Narcissa and Gowan in particular). There are also places where the dialogue is somewhat cryptic. The dialogue between the three town boys as they watch Temple at the dance with Gowan, for instance. This book was extremely helpful in shedding light on lots of little details that I missed. The basic story of Faulkner's novel is fairly easy to follow but I would be willing to bet that many of the details are lost on readers. At least, they were on me.
Second, the book also sheds light on some of the larger themes of the novel. My lack of appreciation for the novel after a first read through was largely because I was missing some of the interesting themes that the novel explores. For example, the relationship between the "two societies": the "low society" of bootleggers, gangsters, and prostitutes and the "high society" of respectable citizens.Read more ›