Reading Faulkner

Just a quick note. I’ve written about long-held fantasies about football today — see the piece here — and maybe for intellectual balance, perhaps to rescue my reputation before it is permanently stained by jock-itch, I want to say a little about William Faulkner.

I’ve been on an American Lit blitz, filling in some of the missing literary merit badges from my cub-scout collection. Hemingway was Hemingway, and I found some fine early stories. Sherwood Anderson’s winesburg, ohio was an odd and emotive revelation to me. Still, I felt, where’s the sizzle? Where’s the poetry? Although Faulkner paid homage and confessed his debt to Anderson, reading his Sanctuary was a dark delight. The language! I throw you a stylistic bone in the He Said/She Said quote box out there on your right, which I haphazardly fill with favourite chunks of thought on an allegedly weekly schedule.

Yesterday, I finished Sanctuary, an early novel written in six weeks in the middle of blue-collar night-shift work. Faulkner has his obsessions, and he’s no stroll through sunlit meadows. He’s just infuriatingly great. I started re-reading immediately. How did he DO that? I plan to spend more time in his fictional Yoknapatawpha County, and wandering spellbound around those sentences.

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