“This book is like an ungrateful girlfriend. You do your best to understand her and get nothing back in return.”

Comment left on Amazon regarding William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury .

You can read more customer reviews of famous books here.


tin-tin said…
hahahaha. i don't know when i read it i just laughed. ;p
Richard said…
tin-tin: I thought that was the best one. Not that I have read the book (or even know what it is about), but I am familiar with Faulkner's style and could understand where the comment was coming from. Faulker has a nice style, but he requires a lot of patience because he is famous for lo-o-o-o-ong sentences in which he crams lots of ideas.
Barbara said…
The Sound and the Fury is one of those books that begs to be read multiple times before you begin to understand and appreciate Faulkner.
b said…
HIlarious. That commenter seems to have relationship issues, huh? I wonder if any of my ex-boyfriends would say the same about me?! Haha.

I really enjoyed The Sound and the Fury, but it has been years since I last read it. It didn't hurt that in my undergad days, I took an entire survey course on Faulkner. I've read 6 or 7 of his books. Yes, patience is necessary but it is worthwhile in my opinion. And truly, The Sound and the Fury is less dense in that regard when compared to other works of his like Go Down, Moses.

I agree with Barbara...reading and rereading are necessary to really appreciate Faulkner. And you have to really suspend your personal experience to fully enter Faulkner's South. Now I want to reread it again! Oh, so many books...so little time!

Speaking of, were you able to finish Narcissus and Goldmund?
KayMac said…
Thank you. It is 8:30 at night...I cannot leave work b/c we have gone "live" w/ a huge account, and I started to read the comments in your links....cracking me up and rejuvenating me enough for the rest of the long night.
Ancilla said…
i never read Faulkner's.
but the quotation made me smile :D

i popped-up with the same idea with b. i guess the one who makes the quote have something to share. hehehehe....

btw, i read woolf's, and i think she has a long way to define something.
Richard said…
barbara: I read very few books more than once, so, if I did decide to read The Sound and the Fury, I am hoping I will get it the first time through.

breal: The only Faulkner novel I recall reading was "A Fable" and I don't remember much since I was focussing on the language. Yes, I finished Narcissus and Goldmund last week.

kaymac: glad to hear it lightened your evening. Some people have a way with words.

ancilla: I don't think I have read Woolf (Virginia Woolf, right?). I think Faulkner would be hard for a non-native English speaker to grasp (it is hard enough for a native English speaker). You can get some idea of Faulkner's style from this excerpt (which I found on the web), it is part of a sentence (I have no idea how much of the beginning of the sentence is missing):

…and it was in McCaslin's eyes too, he had only to look at McCaslin's eyes and it was there, that summer twilight seven years ago, almost a week after they had returned from the camp before he discovered that Sam Fathers had told McCaslin: an old bear, fierce and ruthless not just to stay alive but ruthless with the fierce pride of liberty and freedom, jealous and proud enough of liberty and freedom to see it threatened not with fear not even alarm but almost with joy, seeming deliberately to put it into jeopardy in order to savor it and keep his old strong bones and flesh supple and quick to defend and preserve it; an old man, son of a Negro slave and an Indian king, inheritor on the one hand of the long chronicle of a people who had learned humility through suffering and learned pride through the endurance which survived the suffering, and on the other side the chronicle of a people even longer in the land than the first, yet who now existed there only in the solitary brotherhood of an old and childless Negro's alien blood and the wild and invincible spirit of an old bear; a boy who wished to learn humility and pride in order to become skillful and worthy in the woods but found himself becoming so skillful so fast that he feared he would never become worthy because he had not learned humility and pride though he had tried, until one day an old man who could not have defined either led him as though by the hand to where an old bear and a little mongrel dog showed him that, by possessing one thing other, he would possess them both; and a little dog, nameless and mongrel and many-fathered, grown yet weighing less than six pounds, who couldn't be dangerous because there was nothing anywhere much smaller, not fierce because that would have been called just noise, not humble because it was already too near the ground to genuflect, and not proud because it would not have been close enough for anyone to discern what was casting that shadow, and which didn't even know it was not going to heaven since they had already decided it had no immortal soul, so that all it could be was brave even though they would probably call that too just noise.
b said…
Ah, yes, this is from Faulkner's "The Bear," isn't it? Which actually comes from Go Down, Moses if I remember correctly.

Interestingly, the ongoing sentences don't hinder me much. I mean, he does give us commas and semi-colons here and there! :) It really flows nicely to me but I am a very lengthy (i.e. overly wordy) writer myself.

All this talk of Faulkner is making me restless to read so much more than I have been. I am just 200 pages into my August/September book, Balzac's Lost Illusions. That is a hefty book and I am finding that Balzac is taking me longer to read. There is nothing particularly dense about the book, but I think his consideration/description of social elements just takes a bit longer for me to digest. Maybe that is because I am new to Balzac. I don't know. I just need more time to read....always! And now I want to throw a work of Faulkner's into the mix somehow.

Okay, I apologize for that tangent of a comment! I think I'll go read now.
Ancilla said…
yupes. virgina woolf.
and in the way faulkner and woolf put so many commas to describe a thing (it may be person or situation), more or less the same.

and i wont read them to get relax in the middle of my work. i mean, i have to read it with full concentration.
That's why I loved taking English courses. The profs would at least open my eyes to a few things the author may have wanted us to get. I was always amazed at it. I need those profs when I read Atwood and some others!
Richard said…
breal: tangents are always welcome. I enjoy them. Although, often they don't attach well to the blog spot subject matter. Sometimes I wonder if I should get one of those little sidebar chat boxes that others have on their blogs - but, at the moment, I have no plans to do so (it would be just one more thing I would need to try and keep on top of).

ancilla: there is no doubt, he is an author that needs to be read with full concentration.

MOI: I always took the minimal English courses I could, but I took non-mainstream ones like Children's Literature or Theatre instead of the more pedestrian mainstream ones that almost always guaranteed a pass.
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