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Austen to Zafón

Reading widely since 1972.

Currently reading

A London Family, 1870-1900: A Trilogy
Molly Hughes
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Steven Galloway
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas
All the Names
José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Down the Garden Path
Beverley Nichols
Virtue Betray'd, Or, Anna Bullen
John Banks
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Illusion in java
Gene Fowler

As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text

As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner The title is perfect, as it describes how I felt reading it. Or, well, no. Maybe not. Maybe "The Sound and the Fury" would be better, as I was swearing aloud and gnashing my teeth while reading. Of course, that's how I reacted trying to read the book that actually is called that. But I at least managed to get through this one, which is mercifully shorter.

Now I'm a simple gal. I like a linear story. I like to know which character is talking and where we are, and to trust the author to tell me these things, even if there is some ambiguity here and there. So we know up front that Faulkner is going to seriously piss me off. But I stuck with it. I couldn't finish The Sound and the Fury, so I tried this much shorter "novel" because I thought that if I could get to the end, I would be rewarded with an epiphany that Faulkner really is a genius, that he really does care about the reader, that I love him like an English major should. But no.

Here are two passages that caused some serious sound and fury for me:

"Bananas are gone, eaten. Gone. When it runs on the track shines again.'Why ain't I a town boy Pa?' I said god made me. I did not said to God to made me in the country. If he can make the train, why can't he make them all in the town because flour and sugar and coffee. 'Wouldn't you ruther have bananas?' "

"And since sleep is is-not and rain and wind are was, it is not. Yet the wagon is, because when the wagon is was, Addie Bundren will not be. And Jewel is, so Addie Bundren must be. And then I must be, or I could not empty myself for sleep in a strange room. And so if I am not emptied yet, I am is."

Now, imagine a whole book of this. No. I can't and I won't.