Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

I've had this review waiting in the wings for a while. I actually read this book a few months ago and wrote the review shortly afterward, but for some reason I waited until now to publish it. 

Last year I tackled The Sound and the Fury on my own. I didn't love it, but I found a lot to appreciate about the book. I thought that it might be interesting to study Faulkner in a class. And this year, I got my chance in my American Literature class (click to see the full reading list).

Honestly, I probably should have just left the poor dead guy alone.

I don't know what it was, but this time, I had a lot less patience for Faulkner. Everything about the book, from the very beginning, seemed to just irk me. The sentences were unbearably long, the characters were unrealistically chatty, and Faulkner seemed to have no real concern for his readers or reality.

Here's a quick rundown of the novel:

Quentin (yes, the same Quentin from the TSatF) learns about his Southern past. An old lady named Rosa Coldfield and Quentin's father, Jason Compson, discuss the story of Thomas Sutpen in great detail in the first couple chapters, particularly speculating on the reasons why Sutpen's son, Henry, killed his sister's fiance, Charles Bon. In the last two chapters, Quentin and his college roommate Shreve (a Canadian--yes, that's important) spend a ridiculous amount of hours hashing over the story again and again until they finally come to a conclusion about why Henry Sutpen killed Charles Bon.

Of course, there about a million more details in the story of Thomas Sutpen and his family, which Faulkner spends very little effort trying to make us care about.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Home again.

Remember that one time that I completely neglected my blog for two whole months, neither writing new posts nor even responding to comments?

Yeah, okay. That happened just now.

But I'm back, friends. I'm back and I'm so glad.

I don't really have a good reason to be gone, but I do have reasons. The short answer is that life happened. The long answer is that I was finishing out my school semester and things got busy, and I not only neglected my blog but I also neglected most other important parts of my life including reading for pleasure, writing, spending time with friends, cooking for fun, and everything else I genuinely like to do and spent all my free time watching inane television; and then I was out of town; and then I spent all my time watching some more inane television. I'm not very proud of these last two months.

But I've finally come to my senses. Mainly because I went to the library today. There's really nothing that can bring you to your senses better than a good, long visit to the library.