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Thread: William Faulkner

  1. #1
    RyDuce Ryduce's Avatar
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    William Faulkner

    I read 5 chapters of Light in August and felt like the stupidest person on the planet.I put it down and moved on to another novel.I'm now reading The Sound and the Fury and once again I feel alittle overwhelmed.Does anyone share my Faulkner woes?I want to read him but his books are just difficult to me.

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    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryduce
    I read 5 chapters of Light in August and felt like the stupidest person on the planet.I put it down and moved on to another novel.I'm now reading The Sound and the Fury and once again I feel alittle overwhelmed.Does anyone share my Faulkner woes?I want to read him but his books are just difficult to me.
    I can understand the feeling. You might read some criticism and explanations of his novels before or whlle you are reading.

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    RyDuce Ryduce's Avatar
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    Yeh but then I feel like I didn't understand it on my own.Thats probably waht I'll have to do though.

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Ryduce

    The study guides can be very helpful. They are not going to tell you the deep ideas of the work, but they be helpful to give you the basics, and then you can take it from there. Here are the Spark Notes guides to some of Faulkner's novels: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/index_author_f.html

    I hope this helps. I know he's difficult, but Faulkner is too great a writer to give up on.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    Books are embalmed minds.

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    The secret to reading The Sound and the Fury is to stick it out to the end even if you don't really understand and then reread it after you're done. It seemed to work pretty well for me, YMMV. Hopefully your edition has the appendix that Faulkner wrote for it -- it's really helpful.

    PS, about The Sound and the Fury: it's totally worth all the effort.

  6. #6
    Try to read Faulkner as if you were looking with his eyes:I think Faulkner is perplexed about his characters, and follows them to see where they are going. You and me don't know where they go, but they do. Every Faulkner's book I have readed, I should reread and definitively I would do it again -and in facts I do it from time to time. Don't you feel stupid, just insist. Faulkner is fabulous.
    ... no person could be less liable than myself to be led away from the severe precincts of truth by the ignes fatui of superstition.
    Edgar Allan Poe
    Man doth not yield himself to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will.
    Joseph Glanvill

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    RyDuce Ryduce's Avatar
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    I'm gonna try.Thanks to all of you for your advice.

    Yeh so I'm half way through The Sound and the Fury and I'm really trying to get into it,but it is not going to well people.I'm like 4 pages from giving up on it again.Sorry I'm just venting my frustration

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    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
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    I can understand the feeling, and I'm not sure that that isn't the best reaction.

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryduce
    Yeh so I'm half way through The Sound and the Fury and I'm really trying to get into it,but it is not going to well people.I'm like 4 pages from giving up on it again.Sorry I'm just venting my frustration
    What's the problem? You're not following what's going on? Try Spark notes.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    Books are embalmed minds.

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    RyDuce Ryduce's Avatar
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    I did and reread.It takes me like half hour to read a paragraph,Im easily distracted.As of this moment I officialy give up on Faulkner.He's over my head.I'll try it again some other day.

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    If you don't mind me asking, how old are you or what level of school are you in? Also I think Faulkner is on the book forum calander for one month this year. We will vote on which novel to select and then we read it camment on it in the forum. I'm going to vote for the Sound and the Fury.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    Books are embalmed minds.

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryduce
    I did and reread.It takes me like half hour to read a paragraph,Im easily distracted.As of this moment I officialy give up on Faulkner.He's over my head.I'll try it again some other day.

    Fair enough. I'm sure there are plenty of other enjoyable ways for you to spend your time.

    By the way, here's another way to make Faulkner easier to read:

    Step 1. Read The Wasteland by T.S. Eliot

    Step 2. Read Faulkner. All of a sudden Faulkner doesn't seem so hard!

  13. #13
    Johnny One Shot Basil's Avatar
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    I don't know if this will provide you with the courage to continue or not, but The Sound and the Fury moves from a state of confusion to a state of clarity. The first section isn't just confusing; it is deliberately confusing, and the narrator is incapable of shedding any light on its perplexities. The second section is just as challenging as the first (if not more so), but it makes a little more sense in terms of how the story is told. The third section is a snap compared to first two; the fourth even more so.

    If you're thinking of quitting, I'm guessing you're still in the second section. You might consider skimming the rest of that section and moving on to the third. First readings don't really count in Faulkner, anyway. Another thing: the narrator of the third section, Jason, is one of the meanest characters in all of literature, but at times, he's also funny. In a cruel, horrible way . . . he's funny.
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  14. #14
    RyDuce Ryduce's Avatar
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    First of all I am on the second section,I'm 17 and I'm a junior in high school.I think I might continue on it with,but the 1st two sections are really tough.

  15. #15
    The sound and the fury is a very complex text. The difficulties doesn't mean that "Faulkner is over you head". He is hard, because the minds of the characters are complicated. He doesn't say, for instance, "incest": he tries to get into the thoughts of persons that are involved in it, and they doesn't think in a clear manner; they think about a thing that is done, and they think for themselves; therefore their discourse is hard to understand for the reader, who is an intruder. As intruders, we must fight to decipher and build our own hypothesis.
    This novel is certainly hard. Are you doing a homework about it?
    Even if you give up The sound and the fury, please don't give up Faulkner. Try short stories, like Was, The old people, The bear... a Portrait of Elmer (you can laugh a lot with it). You know, some of the Faulkner's short stories were rejected by reviews... they didn't know what they did. Don't you abandon Faulkner. You are so young, don't feel overcomed; just fight with the text.
    ... no person could be less liable than myself to be led away from the severe precincts of truth by the ignes fatui of superstition.
    Edgar Allan Poe
    Man doth not yield himself to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will.
    Joseph Glanvill

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