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The Sound and the Fury ()


Modern Library Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century (6)

This was an excruciating reading experience.  An uninteresting story, badly written.  Memo to the reading public: do not get on a plane to L.A. with only this book to read.

(Reviewed:)

Grade: (F)


Websites:

William Faulkner Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: William Faulkner
    -FILMOGRAPHY: William Faulkner (IMDB)
    -ENTRY: William Failkner (Mississippi Writers Page)
    -William Faulkner (Poetry Foundation)
    -BIO: William Faulkner (Nobel Prize)
    -Faulkner at Virginia
    -The Center for Faulkner Studies
    -LECTURE: "I decline to accept the end of man." (William Faulkner: Nobel Prize Speech, Stockholm, Sweden, December 10, 1950)
    -INTERVIEW: William Faulkner, The Art of Fiction No. 12 (Interviewed by Jean Stein, SPRING 1956, Paris Review)
    -VIDEO: Writings of William Faulkner: From Rowan Oak, William Faulkner’s home, the guests talked about his life and his writings, focusing on the Yoknapatawpha County novels (C-SPAN, MAY 5, 2002)
    -VIDEO: Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury: The panel talked about the works of Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning Southern writer William Faulkner. (C-SPAN, DECEMBER 9, 2001)
    -VIDEO: Shelby Foote on Faulkner: Mr. Foote talked about the writings of William Faulkner and his view of the South (C-SPAN, MAY 2, 2002)
    -WIKIPEDIA: Absalom, Absalom!
    -ENTRY: William Faulkner American author (Michael Millgate, Encyclopaedia Britannica)
    -ENTRY: Absalom, Absalom! novel by Faulkner (Richard Godden, Encyclopaedia Britannica)
    -ENTRY: Absalom, Absalom! (Encyclopedia.com)
    -AUDIO BOOK: W. Kandinsky reads 'Absalom, Absalom!' (You Tube)
    -INTERACTIVE CHRONOLOGY: Absalom, Absalom! (STEPHEN RAILTON & WILL ROURK, UNIV OF VIRGINIA)
    -STUDY GUIDE: Absalom, Absalom! (Grade Saver)
    -STUDY GUIDE: Absalom, Absalom! (Study.com)
    -STUDY GUIDE: Absalom, Absalom! (Cliff Notes)
    -STUDY GUIDE: Absalom, Absalom! (Spark Notes)
    -ESSAY: Understanding William Faulkner (Mark Royden Winchell, September 24th, 2020, Imaginative Conservatism)
    -ESSAY: The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner: American Ulysses: A perfect novel and distinctive, masterful version of the stream-of-consciousness style (Lucy Sweeney Byrne, 8/15/20, Irish Times)
    -ESSAY: The Many Guises of William Faulkner: As 'The Sound and the Fury' celebrates its 90th anniversary, read about two-time Fiction winner William Faulkner's varied career (Sean Murphy, The Pulitzer Prizes)
    -ESSAY: William Faulkner’s Hollywood Odyssey: The biggest name in Southern lit didn’t spend his whole life in Mississippi (JOHN MERONEY, April/May 2014, Garden & Gun)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: How William Faulkner Tackled Race — and Freed the South From Itself (John Jeremiah Sullivan, June 28, 2012, NY Times)
    -REVIEW ESSAY: What to Do About William Faulkner: A white man of the Jim Crow South, he couldn’t escape the burden of race, yet derived creative force from it. (DREW GILPIN FAUST, SEPTEMBER 2020, The Atlantic)
Perhaps the most powerful of Faulkner’s tellings of the Civil War story is Absalom, Absalom! (1936), a novel structured around Quentin Compson’s own refusal to look away. Although Faulkner insisted that Quentin did not speak for him, Gorra has “never quite believed him.” Quentin’s search to understand why Charles Bon was murdered during the very last days of the war unfolds through his elaboration of successive narratives in a manner not unlike Faulkner’s own. Unsatisfied with each version of the story he uncovers, Quentin looks again, arriving through ever more disturbing revelations at the South’s original sin: the distorting and dehumanizing power of race. It is race that pulls the trigger. “So it’s the miscegenation, not the incest, which you cant bear,” Bon says just before Henry, at once his brother and his fiancée’s brother, shoots him.

    -ESSAY: Faulkner's "Absalom, Absalom!" and the Mysterious Rosa Coldfield (Alicia D. Costello, 2010, Inquiries)
    -ESSAY: Absalom, Absalom! as a Hardboiled Detective Novel: Faulkner's Rereading of The Sound and the Fury (SUWABE Koichi, THE FAULKNER JOURNAL OF JAPAN)
    -ESSAY: From Genesis to Revelation: The Grand Design of William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! (Maxine Rose, Autumn 1980, Studies in American Fiction)
    -ESSAY: Poetic Justice in William Faulkner's "Absalom Absalom" (MANUELA GERTZ)
    -ESSAY: Reading Bon's Letter and Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! (David Krause, March 1984, PMLA)
    -ESSAY: Faulkner's Map of Yoknapatawpha: The End of Absalom, Absalom! (Robert Hamblin, Center for Faulkner Studies)
    -ESSAY: "ABSALOM, ABSALOM!" AND THE NEGRO QUESTION (JOHN V. HAGOPIAN, Summer 1973, Modern Fiction Studies)
    -ESSAY: The Biblical Background Of Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! (JOHN V. HAGOPIAN, January 1974, CEA Critic)
    -ESSAY: An Archetypal Study on William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! (Haihui Chen, Theory and Practice in Language Studies)
    -ESSAY: Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! and Me (Ed Protzel, 6/27/2016)
    -ESSAY: Symposium on Absalom, Absalom! (Richard Ford, Spring 2013, Three Penny Review)
    -ESSAY: William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!: A Narrative of Inexhaustible Word and Unfathomable Past (Djamila Houamdi, IAFOR Journal of Literature & Librarianship)
    -THESIS: Impressions of morality in Absalom, Absalom! (Eric G. R. Stephenson, University of Colorado)
    -ESSAY: The Postmodernist Features In Absalom Absalom English Literature (UK Essays, 1st Jan 1970)
    -ESSAY: Absalom, Absalom!: Story-telling as a mode of transcendence (Richard Forrer, Fall 1976, The Southern Literary Journal)
    -ETEXT: William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom: A Case book (Fred Hobson, editor)
    -ESSAY: Narrating the Indeterminate: Shreve McCannon in Absalom, Absalom! (Jo Alyson Parker)
    -ESSAY: Postmodern Truth in William Faulkner's "Absalom, Absalom!" (Nahid Sharifi, H. R. Rezayee and *Kh. Mohamadpour, Life Sciences Journal)
    -ESSAY: Narrative Voice in William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom (Literature Essay Samples, March 1, 2019)
    -ESSAY: Reflection of History in Absalom, Absalom!
    -ESSAY: Faulkner's Stylistic Difficulty: A Formal Analysis of Absalom, Absalom! (Eric Sandarg, 12-14-2017, Georgia State University)
    -ESSAY: As I Lay Trying: How to read William Faulkner: Advice for reading William Faulkner (Christopher Rieger, 4/26/16, MPR)
    -ESSAY: Ragged, Unkempt, Strange: On William Faulkner: For all the ways it is rife with tenderness, fury and ugliness, William Faulkner’s fiction is stubbornly persistent in its artistry. (Joanna Scott, NOVEMBER 20, 2012, The Nation)
    -ESSAY: Sutpen's Delay in Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! (Robert Yarup, 07 Aug 2010, The Explicator)
    -ESSAY: Nic Pizzolatto on 'Absalom, Absalom!' (To the Best of Our Knowledge: Bookmarks)
    -ESSAY: James Joyce and His Influences: William Faulkner and Anthony Burgess (An abstract of a Dissertation by Maxine i!3urke, July, Ll.981, Drake University)
    -ESSAY: Joyce and Faulkner (Thomas E. Connolly, Summer, 1979, James Joyce Quarterly)
    -ESSAY: The Jim Crow South in Faulkner’s Fiction (Michael Gorra, NYRB)
    -ESSAY: Down Through the Faulkner Bloodline, Pride and Racial Guilt Commingled: Michael Gorra on William Faulkner's Great-Grandfather (Michael Gorra, August 24, 2020, LitHub)
    -ESSAY: You Need to Read Faulkner Right Now but You Might Need a Map: No white American author has ever written so well about the racial complexities of his country, but no author poses more challenges to unsuspecting readers. Here’s a guide (Michael Gorra, Sep. 13, 2020, daily Beast)
    -ARCHIVES: The Faulkner Journal of Japan
    -REVIEW: of Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner (Dave Nash, Medium)
This novel requires time and attention, it’s not something to read in two minute intervals, it’s not for scanning or skimming, its paragraphs go for pages; its longest sentence is 1292 words. Faulkner’s flowing style, long sentences, stream of consciousness writing conveys all the perceptions, thoughts, and feelings of a single moment. It enables Faulkner to throw everything he has into each page, put his heart in every paragraph, and make each sentence piece of his soul.

    -REVIEW: of Absalom, Absalom! (Arthur Hirsch, Baltimore Sun)
    -REVIEW: of Absalom, Absalom! (KC Public Library)
    -REVIEW: of Absalom, Absalom! (Rose Reads Novels)
    -REVIEW: of Absalom, Absalom! (J. A. Bryant, Jr., Twentieth-Century Southern Literature)
    -REVIEW: of Absalom, Absalom! (Michael A. Khan)
    -REVIEW: of Absalom, Absalom! (Literary Corner Cafe)
    -REVIEW: of As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (Orlo Williams, September 26, 1935, Times Literary Supplement)

Book-related and General Links:
    -Yoknapatawpha County: William Faulkner on the Web
    -William Faulkner: Life and Works (includes synopsis of Light in August)
    William Faulkner on the Web
    -William Faulkner Centennial Celebration (Vintage Books)
    -THE WILLIAM FAULKNER FOUNDATION, FRANCE
    -The William Faulkner Society
    -Southeast Missouri State University's Center for Faulkner Studies
    -Faulkner's Page: Tour of Oxford
    -William Faulkner: The Myth Of The South (from Let's Find Out)
    -Faulkner and Racism (ARTHUR F. KINNEY, Connotations)
    -Frederick Crews: The Strange Fate of William Faulkner (NY Review of Books)
    -ESSAY : Mister Faulkner Goes to Stockholm : In six short years, William Faulkner went from salaried Hollywood script doctor to winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. How had this seeming miracle occurred? (October 2001, Smithsonian)
    -ESSAY: Book of the Century : The Sound and the Fury (1929) by William Faulkner  (Books Online, UK Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of WILLIAM FAULKNER: AMERICAN WRITER A Biography. By Frederick R. Karl (John W. Aldridge, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of William Faulkner: American Writer A Biography By Frederick R. Karl )(Michiko Kakutani, NY Times)
    -REVIEW: of WILLIAM FAULKNER The Man and the Artist. By Stephen B. Oates (Louis D. Rubin Jr, NY Times Book Review)
     -REVIEW: of William Faulkner and the Tangible Past The Architecture of Yoknapatawpha. By Thomas S. Hines (Henry Taylor, NY Times Book Review)
    -William H. Gass: Mr. Blotner, Mr. Feaster, and Mr. Faulkner Faulkner: A Biography by Joseph Blotner (NY Review of Books)
    -Marvin Mudrick: The Over-Wrought Urn REVIEW of William Faulkner: The Yoknapatawpha Country by Cleanth Brooks (NY Review of Books)
   -Terry Southern: Just Folks  REVIEW: of Faulkner's People: A Complete Guide and Index to the Characters in Faulkner by Robert W. Kirk and Marvin Klotz (NY Review of Books)
    -Personal Best (JOAN SMITH, Salon)

If you want to read some decent William Faulkner, try:
    -The Reivers
    -Big Woods: The Hunting Stories of William Faulkner
    #54)  Light in August (1932)  (read Orrin's review, Grade: B-)

Comments:

You actually thought that this book was boring? you gave it an F?!? Like joyce's ulysses you probably didnt even finish the book. you probably didn't even get past the first chapter which is suprising as it is narrated by a mentally handicapped person, something i figured you could relate to. I guess that the expansive nature of faulkners narrative style is a bit too broad for most people but then again most people dont hold themselves out to be literary critics. Get a day job, perhaps at a local comic book store.

- brothers dumb

- Dec-04-2006, 15:31

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I'm not big on "The Sound And The Fury" here, but if you'd like to trash it you need to give more complex reasons why; otherwise, your target audiences (left wing foes and right wing fans alike) are just going to walk away thinking "oh, he didn't get it." Which you will probably respond to by claiming that that's the author's fault for not providing something you could handle rather than yours for not giving it a little more effort. Society could stand to have a few difficult books lying around; TSATF, while I am not in love with it, can be read with some effort, and is very rewarding. It is not some kind of big trick on the author's part like "Finnegans Wake."

- Soogless

- Aug-25-2006, 13:22

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The novel is superbly written; particulary Faulkner's art of handling plot and maintaining all the threads of its events is great achivement. I haven't found any other novel more fascinating, however, it requires at least more than one reading to understand and then as many as you want to enjoy and appreciate the novel.

- Faraz Ali Bughio

- Sep-03-2005, 05:33

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The navel is superb particulary Faulkner's art of handling plot and maintaining all the threads of events is great achivement. I haven't found any other novel more fascinating but it requires at least more than one reading to understand and then as many as you want to enjoy

- Faraz Ali Bughio

- Jul-23-2005, 09:25

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William Faulkner must have been on drugs or crazy when he wrote the first part of "The Sound and the Fury". It is a very difficult read-so if you are hungering for pain-read this book.

- Barbara Wilson

- Jun-24-2005, 16:52

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I agree. The book was boring and i could not understand one thing that was going on for the first part of the book. I don't see why this book is some big part of american literature.

- Josh

- Feb-19-2005, 20:35

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Badly written? Uninteresting?

This is the greatest technical achievement in American literature up to now. I couldn't stop reading it once I got a grip on the opening section. I think there is an amazing story here, told in a way that has never really been equalled, but as usual you dismiss it because it requires a little more effort than James Clavell's semi-literate garbage.

Do you actually finish any of these books? Just curious...

- kristofer

- Aug-06-2004, 15:14

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Wow---you really offended some folks with your review. I'm not entirely sure what it means to be a "digest of common interest," but if it means "engaging and capable of conveying any meaningful message," then I agree that "The Sound and the Fury" was not so intended. After subjecting myself to several unsuccessful attempts to read this book without hating it and two successful attempts to read it without stopping, I can only say one non-pejorative thing: the title and its Shakespearean signfication perfectly describe the book itself. This book is sound and fury---piss and wind, if you will---a tale told (scratched out, squeaked, vomited, choose your verb) by an idiot. That's you, WF.

- jrm

- Jul-30-2004, 14:25

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certain unnamed reviewers need to be plucked from society and placed in little tiny hermetically sealed boxes where their blinding stupidity can't spread to their readers.

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- Jun-01-2004, 05:36

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i recognize that you're entitled to your own opinion, but some of your reviews are quite thoughtless. your review of The Sound and the Fury is one of them. it's a shame that you would dismiss a book because it was a challenging read. i, too, found the book difficult to read, but i still recognize that it's a wonderful piece of work. great works often require some effort on the reader's part!

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- Apr-04-2004, 03:04

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Yeah, Faulkner's a challenge. I suggest you punch your own weight, lest you keep getting the shit kicked out of yourself....

- Mike Tandrow

- Dec-16-2003, 10:25

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An uninteresting review, badly written.

- arebomb

- May-28-2003, 04:09

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oh.. pity that faulkner's defining work didn't tickle your fancy while you were riding in the airplane.

"the sound and the fury" was not intended to be a digest of common interest, nor should it ever be read as such.

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- Mar-17-2003, 00:19

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