- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 2nd edition (December 17, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0393964817
- ISBN-13: 978-0393964813
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,168 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Sound and the Fury (Norton Critical Editions) 2nd Edition
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About the Author
William Faulkner (1897–1962) is the Nobel Prize–winning author of The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, among other works.
David Minter is Libby Shearn Moody Professor of English at Rice University. He is co-editor of The Harper American Literature and The Columbia Literary History of the United States. He is author of Heirs of Changing Promise: A Cultural History of the American Novel, 1890–1940; William Faulkner: His Life and Work; and The Interpreted Design.
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Top Customer Reviews
I never thought I could read it; I tried 30 years ago, 19 years ago, 10 years after that, before I finally finished it a couple of years ago. When I picked it up, I concluded quickly that Faulkner must be a sadist to write anything like the first 10 pages. I read it twice and I was no better off the second time as I was the first go-round. I had absolutely no clue what the heck was going on, the sentences were disjunctive, the thoughts scrambled, the characters were dropping in then disappearing, it seemed to change time frames without any recognizable order so I had no sense of time and, ultimately, I had forgotten why it was, exactly, that I had bought the damned thing in the first place!
Oh yeah, I told myself. You want to read Mr. Mint Juleps from that Rowan Oak plantation home up in Oxford. You believe that by doing that you are proving maybe once and for all time that you too can escape the past of this State in which you were raised and of these ghosts that you find despicable, this hate you had no part of, these white sheets, fulgent from the flames above them but burned by the evil beneath, these ignorant men who were passed down hatred as heirlooms to hand down to their sons and their daughters. You think if you can make it through this man's novels it will show that you are more intelligent than what people from afar believe you to be, that you are not like the rednecks you see every day but burst from within to bound over, that you are not like your mother's father who you worshiped, a business man and deacon in the town's largest Southern Baptist church, who you remember using the N word once as you sat beside him at 7 as he was driving from downtown Natchez (the home of my forefathers), a town on the mighty Mississippi River filled with beautiful antebellum plantation homes and scattered with remnants of slavery and a segregated past before you were born, the town in which your mother is now buried 10 feet from her father. And your mother, God bless her, along with your father, raised you not to hate, nor to judge, and for that you believe you have been blessed.
After she was buried, you finally got the gumption to make it all the way through this knotty novel by that iconic author from the northern corner of your home state of Mississippi. It took a paperback, an electronic companion guide and an audible version to make it through and understand that you needed to read this book, that it was crucial as one more molting of the skin of your past, one more step away from the sins of the fathers, one further step away from that past for my children and hopefully their children.
I did it.
There are two turning points: 1st the one that the reader passes when she or he decides to continue the read despite the instinct to quit, and the 2nd (for me about halfway through the book) when there is the realization of the utter brilliance of the author for his bold method and subtle presentation and his intricate linking of the characters.
It is about good and selfish, and honest and deceitful, and tradition and loyalty in Faulkner’s South back in the 1920’s. And if that is a very odd description of a “plot” - and it is - it is because traditional plot and story-line are very unorthodox in this brilliant novel. And don't expect Faulkner to 'hand it to' you in the closing pages - pay attention on every page... and expect to have to reread.