Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Fiction  (Read 26180 times)
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madupont
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« Reply #360 on: August 13, 2007, 03:07:15 PM »

I read it back in early 1970s. Do you remember one-liners  from nigh on to 40 years ago? At the time, it had nothing to do with Pagels who was still involved with her education elsewhere and I wouldn't have had the faintest idea who she was. She acquired the name  under which she writes when she married a physicist from Princeton.

A manuscript was handed to me by  an artist who came back from Nova Scotia as a conscientious objector to see his father just before he went into the Orthodox monastery in Chicago and that was the first I heard of that Thomas's Gospel and the last I saw of brother Thomas.               
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #361 on: August 14, 2007, 09:04:23 PM »

I am most definitely reading Absalom, Absalom.  And to make it even more interesting, I've just finished The Sound and the Fury.  Quentin is quite an enigma.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #362 on: August 14, 2007, 09:05:59 PM »

8 - 10 page acclimation....Anybody else think that Mr. Faulkner probably loved the sound of his own voice?  A lotta fun to read this book out loud.
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Charles
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« Reply #363 on: August 16, 2007, 10:19:13 AM »

This is not a commitment to join the discussion.  I doubt I'll ever do that, or even finish the book in time for it.
This is simply the announcement that I have just finished the first chapter -- rereading each sentence four times, one by one, to gather up all the loose words, and then rereading the chapter twice to nail down names and relationships and what Faulkner was trying to tell me.  I consider getting to chapter two quite an accomplishment.  But a happy one. Smiley
Fare thee well, all ye doughty seafarers disappearing over the horizon!
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desdemona222b
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« Reply #364 on: August 16, 2007, 11:27:43 AM »

Charles -

When I read Absalom, Absalom in college, I was a senior taking several graduate level history and political science courses, so my reading load was incredibly heavy.  I'm talking Hegel, Marx, Engels, John Stuart Mill, John Toland, five books on Russian history, etc.  Faulkner was at the bottom of my list, but I had to get through it, so I just plowed through whether it made sense or not.  I became convinced, as I went, that this was a good approach to stream of consciousness of the most radical sort.  My mind began to parse out various things in spite of my impatient approach, and by the end of the book, I was just flabbergasted.  When I read The Sound and the Fury many years later, I did the same thing and then went back and re-read certain sections, then the whole book again very quickly.

Faulkner's later novels are very sophicated mysteries in a sense.

Not that there is anything wrong with your approach, just thought I'd comment on the contrast.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #365 on: August 16, 2007, 11:31:03 AM »

The reader is not supposed to be sure what's going on until late in the book.  Faulkner purposely draws a misleading picture.  I think the approach Faulkner intended here is plowing through all the way to the end, then trying to piece it all together. 

He probably expected readers to admire his facility with words, too.  Wink
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Charles
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« Reply #366 on: August 16, 2007, 12:38:04 PM »

Yes, all, I have had several people now say I read funny.   Smiley
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Charles
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« Reply #367 on: August 16, 2007, 02:00:43 PM »

I recognize the good intentions, but I have to say: clear as mud. Smiley
Y'all have lost me.  I'll continue with my way, let you know what comes of it.
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pontalba
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« Reply #368 on: August 16, 2007, 02:55:39 PM »

I recognize the good intentions, but I have to say: clear as mud. Smiley
Y'all have lost me.  I'll continue with my way, let you know what comes of it.
LOL  Good ole Mississippi Mud at that. 
I'm reading, slower than you though Charles, but am catching up. 
I'd tried to read Faulkner a couple of years ago with no success.  Just didn't like the characters, so stopped.  But these guys are a whole 'nuther ball game. 
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #369 on: August 16, 2007, 03:16:35 PM »

"The reader is not supposed to be sure what's going on until late in the book.  Faulkner purposely draws a misleading picture.  I think the approach Faulkner intended here is plowing through all the way to the end, then trying to piece it all together."

Faulkner doesn't want you to know what happens in the story just by reading it.

He wants you to remember it.  Not the reading.  He doesn't care if you remember the facts and events from your reading.  He wants you to remember the story even as you are reading it.


hmmmmm...I dunno, he doesn't even seem to want his characters to remember it correctly.  But that is probably the point.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #370 on: August 16, 2007, 03:17:20 PM »

I recognize the good intentions, but I have to say: clear as mud. Smiley
Y'all have lost me.  I'll continue with my way, let you know what comes of it.
LOL  Good ole Mississippi Mud at that. 
I'm reading, slower than you though Charles, but am catching up. 
I'd tried to read Faulkner a couple of years ago with no success.  Just didn't like the characters, so stopped.  But these guys are a whole 'nuther ball game. 

"Mississippi Mud"....what an apt image!
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pontalba
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« Reply #371 on: August 16, 2007, 03:35:24 PM »

"The reader is not supposed to be sure what's going on until late in the book.  Faulkner purposely draws a misleading picture.  I think the approach Faulkner intended here is plowing through all the way to the end, then trying to piece it all together."

Faulkner doesn't want you to know what happens in the story just by reading it.

He wants you to remember it.  Not the reading.  He doesn't care if you remember the facts and events from your reading.  He wants you to remember the story even as you are reading it.


hmmmmm...I dunno, he doesn't even seem to want his characters to remember it correctly.  But that is probably the point.

Selective memory comes in handy on occasion. 
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #372 on: August 16, 2007, 05:44:44 PM »

Quote
Selective memory comes in handy on occasion. 

Sutpen was a mean one, all right. But somehow it's tough to get past that image of the boy knocking on the door of the mansion, clad only in rags and innocence.

Has anyone else read Barn Burning?
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #373 on: August 17, 2007, 12:25:08 AM »

Interesting to compare Faulkner's use of doors in Absalom, Absalom and Barn Burning.  In BB, Faulkner gives us an instance of Snopes being humiliated at the door of the big house.  Imagine this recurring many times in the course of this life.  What bitterness is engendered, until finally we arrive at the burning.  Then there's the boy Sutpen sent round to the back and all the evil that sprung from that. 

But compare Snopes and Sutpen to Rosa and Colonel Sartoris Snopes.  Rosa and the younger Snopes understood the rules of the game, but they barged in anyway. 

Doors--->humiliation--->moral distrophy.

Another tie, de Spain, whose servant humiliated Snopes at the front door eventually takes possession the land in Sutpen's Hundred.
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Charles
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« Reply #374 on: August 17, 2007, 09:30:24 AM »

I can see some people are waaaaaaaaaaay ahead!  Great going guys! Smiley
I'm sailing back to port for a little rereading.
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