Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Sound and Fury remember, during a fit of frustration in a poetry course in college, thinking that I wanted to do an experiment: I'd show individuals the same poem as ask for their responses. Half of them, I would tell that it was an original work by a student. I'd tell the other half that it was a well known work by a very famous poet. I'd still like to see that experiment--I'd bet money that the people who were told the poem was already "good" would respond far more favorably.

I felt the same stir of doubt and irritation when I began Faulkner's famous work The Sound and the Fury and found myself wading through the (nearly) audio-only world that is Benjy's point of view. The temporal shifts I could handle (and rather enjoyed) once I got the hang of them, but not knowing who anyone was or what was going on for pages took some getting used to. And did I mention Benjy's chapter lasts for 70ish pages? And that Quentin's voice echoes Benjy's enough, semantically, that I distrust the author?

I'm enjoying puzzling through the book, and I won't make any (more) judgments until I finish, but here's the thing. If the book had been a self-published ebook by an unknown author, rather than the famous work of a nobel-prize winning American Great, I wouldn't have read more than two pages before closing the book and moving on. As it is, I trust that Faulkner is leading me somewhere worthwhile. Still, found this comic strip amusing.

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