Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Absalom, Absalom!


This is perhaps Faulkner's most haunting work, especially given that it is narrated by that tormented soul, Quentin Compson, when asked by a Harvard classmate to tell a story about the South.  What follows is a narrative like no other, casting the South as if from the pages of the Old Testament.  I was hoping to find Shelby Foote's 1936 review, but this is the closest I got.  The book cast quite a spell on me when I read it some years ago, and would love nothing more than to read the original edition again.

17 comments:

  1. Gosh - how did I overlook this classic in my reading list?

    I've read "A Light In August", a few short stories, and a couple of his essays. But somehow I missed this one.

    Perhaps we should consider it for our next reading?

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  2. I would certainly be up for a reading.

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  3. To say I don't care for the works of Faulkner would be a vast understatement....

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  4. That's too bad, but I hope you find enjoyment in others.

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  5. Absalom, Absalom! requires commitment. It is one of those books that you may want to throw across the room . . . more than once. But if you stick with it you'll find there are many rewards.

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  6. I suppose for some, any Faulkner should come with a warning label, but I thoroughly enjoyed Absalom, Absalom! and felt no need to hurl the book across the room ; )

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  7. Among Faulkner's many screenplays was Hemingway's To Have and Have Not,

    http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/faulkner/films.html

    a certain irony in that.

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  8. Trip, if you are still interested, I plan on reading this book over the holidays.

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  9. Would anyone else like to do so as well?

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  10. I made a request from my library and expect the book to come in soon. Hopefully, we can get a few folks to see this great book. I also requested "Johnny Tremain" and hope they will send the video at the same time. That was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid.

    :)

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  11. I tried to read Faulkner the first time I was in college and never could get into his books. That may change now that I'm older, but right now I have way too many others I need to read. Plus, hard to believe, I'm closing in finally on the dissertation. I may actually graduate in the spring!

    I'll enjoy reading your comments though!

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  12. It took me a few tries to get a Faulkner under my belt. I found Intruder in the Dust to be the most easily accessible, a pre-To Kill a Mockingbird story.

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  13. As I recall, the Bear was the only Faulkner I had to read back when I was an English major, but I was always encouraged to read more of his work, and tried. Maybe after I read Proust.

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  14. I read "A Light In August" many moons ago. Much of the symbolism was lost on me at that time but I now understand it a lot better. Also read a couple of Faulkner's short stories. His works are very complex and there are many biblical references. But they do add much to one's understanding of the deep South and its conflicts in the post bellum and modern eras.

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  15. Light in August is very good, but there was a lot of anger and resentment expressed in that book. Took me by surprise after reading some of his lighter, more spirited novels, such as The Reivers, which brings out his great sense of humor.

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  16. Got my copy of Absalom from the library. I'm wondering if anyone else wants to join in on a discussion. Will we talk here or on another page? If no one else is going to join we might as well just use this page.

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  17. I started the book this week. Will post a new lead thread. Look forwrd to your comments.

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