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Author Topic: Fiction  (Read 25418 times)
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #570 on: September 12, 2007, 10:16:22 AM »

It doesn't seem a stretch that Faulkner would have been familiar with the Wordsworth poem.  Worsdworth is hardly off the beaten track, and one would assume that Faulkner had been a reader for most of his life.  Faulkner was the oldest son and I have read that his parents had rather genteel aspirations for him.  He began writing poetry in his teens, which would indicate that he had read poetry.  Also, even without this background, schoolchildren used to be exposed to quite a bit more poetry than they are nowdays.   

We know he was familiar with Shakespeare:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.


(Macbeth 5.5)
« Last Edit: September 12, 2007, 10:24:40 AM by Lhoffman » Logged
Lhoffman
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« Reply #571 on: September 12, 2007, 10:39:33 AM »

Puget, for me The Wild Palms are ON .They are real hot news.

I can smell the places,see them,feel them.Awesome writing ( nothing new to you,I suppose, but it´s so good to discover a Master Writer.

I read half the book in one long shot Sunday afternoon.I think it is wonderful ,anybody can understand it who can read though I have more questions than answers and some funny things I found in the Borges translation.

Question 1: why is Faulkner´s character-the doctor- so angry with bourgeois society? He destets it. He reminds me of Steppenwolf who detested but at the same time longed for it (when he ,another Harry, walked along the streets and looked into the interior of the homes and  saw the little plant on the satircase and imagined the hands that had placed it there).The Dr.´s wife is the pattern on which Cortázar used for his Maga in Rayuela (Hopscotch).

Question 2: some chapters,the ones that refer to the doctor and his wife are called Las Palmeras Salvajes , the others -the ones of the prisoners- "El Viejo" (the old man).Borges on a note says it refers to the Old Man River,I think he is right because the river is always present in those chapters (couldn´t help remembering Katrina and my own tour through the region). 

Question ·: when will I know the reason for two parallel plots?

...and much,much more soon.My copy is scribbled all over.
sht. now I HAVE to work !

   

I have a couple of questions for you.  First, I wonder how Borges translates that phrase at the end of the first paragraph of the first chapter.  The final sentence in English reads, "Because he was now forty-eight years old and he had been sixteen and eighteen and twenty at the time when his father could tell him (and he believe it) that cigarettes and pajamas were for dudes and women."

Second, is there another translation for "wild" other than "salvajes"?  I suppose the idea is the visual image of palm trees blowing and bending in hurricane force winds....they bend, do they break?

On your question of the parallel stories.  I think there are two things going on here.  I haven't finished the entire book yet, but it seems that the two stories, instead of forming a counterpoint (as seems to be the assumption) for diametric opposites....one man pursuing love, the other fleeing from it for starters.  (Writers have misunderstood (co-opted?) the idea of counterpoint since the time of the master himself....Bach.)

Perhaps a wackier reading of the two stories.....are you familiar with Hemingway?  There is something in this that reminds me of Hemingway that I can't quite put my finger on.  There is the "Old Man", of course, but also something to do with the lovers.  It's almost as if Faulkner has in mind to show Hemingway how to write, or countering Hemingway's view of love and life with a more cynical view of his own.  Then on page 82, "Yah,' McCord said.  "Set, ye armourous sons, in a sea of hemingwaves."



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desdemona222b
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« Reply #572 on: September 12, 2007, 10:56:26 AM »

I see familiarity with Shakespeare as a more common thing than being familiar with a wide variety of various poems.  Faulkner did not finish high school and he was educated in Mississippi, not exactly the finest area in the world to obtain a good education.  I'm not saying he wasn't a reader, but I do think it is much more likely that he was inspired by characters out of real life.  We know, for instance, that Colonel Sartoris was inspired by Faulkner's great-grandfather, a Confederate general and novelist.  Story-telling is often a family tradition if not hereditary - certainly it is a very strong trait on my father's side of the family, for example.

It would be interesting to read a bio on Faulkner for further clarification (besides whats on the web).  Wonder if anyone knows of a good one.
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desdemona222b
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« Reply #573 on: September 12, 2007, 11:05:44 AM »

I just took a look at Barnes and Noble - this looks interesting:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780195326550&itm=23
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #574 on: September 12, 2007, 11:08:45 AM »

Frederick Karl's William Faulkner: American Writer is a good bio.

Faulkner in the University are some lecture notes worth reading.

And then there's the huge Fargnoli and Golay's William Faulkner A to Z -- a kind of quickie Cliffs Notes approach to Faulkner's oeuvre and Mississippi background.
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desdemona222b
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« Reply #575 on: September 12, 2007, 11:16:54 AM »

pugey -

Check out the link I posted in Celebreality  -  you'll love it.
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #576 on: September 12, 2007, 11:22:31 AM »

An almost archtypal conception of the small town, whether in Macon, Georgia or a small town in England, includes the "village idiot".  My family certainly had one (besides me).

You had one? What was he like?   Smiley

Just kidding. I was reading somewhere like the Norton TSATF...I think it was Faulkner's "Introduction" that Faulkner gave up on his publishers and just wrote what he wanted to write. The Benjy chapter was a modernist experiment about living in the "eternal moment" like a child-idiot would do. A kind of stream of consciousness. Which seems pretty logical to me: Faulkner taking this "moment" that Joyce and Proust were interested in...and putting it into something familiar like a small Southern town child-idiot...making modernism relevant to Yoknapatawpha County consciousness...
 
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desdemona222b
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« Reply #577 on: September 12, 2007, 11:35:20 AM »

pugey -

My mother is a fish.
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #578 on: September 12, 2007, 11:44:53 AM »

pugey -

My mother is a fish.

That makes you Chicken of Sea tuna, baby...
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #579 on: September 12, 2007, 12:22:21 PM »

I see familiarity with Shakespeare as a more common thing than being familiar with a wide variety of various poems.  Faulkner did not finish high school and he was educated in Mississippi, not exactly the finest area in the world to obtain a good education.  I'm not saying he wasn't a reader, but I do think it is much more likely that he was inspired by characters out of real life.  We know, for instance, that Colonel Sartoris was inspired by Faulkner's great-grandfather, a Confederate general and novelist.  Story-telling is often a family tradition if not hereditary - certainly it is a very strong trait on my father's side of the family, for example.

It would be interesting to read a bio on Faulkner for further clarification (besides whats on the web).  Wonder if anyone knows of a good one.

I don't have a biography to recommend, but in my reading on Faulkner, I keep coming across the name "Phil Stone."  Stone was a lawyer that Faulkner became acquainted with while he (Faulkner) was still in junior high school.  They shared an interest in literature.  The friendship seems ongoing.  (According to a link on Amazon, their friendship spanned 50 years....Phil Stone of Oxford:  A Vicarious Life).    Stone helped Faulkner to publish his first volume of poetry.  It would seem logical that Stone and Faulkner spent a great deal of time discussing literature....including poetry.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #580 on: September 12, 2007, 12:35:01 PM »

Here's a thumbnail on Faulkner with hyperlinks:

http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/faulkner/chronology.html
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martinbeck3
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« Reply #581 on: September 12, 2007, 12:48:08 PM »

HOFFMAN, the translation of the last sentence of the first paragraph is:...en que el padre le decía (y el lo creía) que los cigarrillos y los pyjamas eran para maricas y para mujeres."

Went on reading, now I know the reason for the parallel stories but I don´t want to spoil it for you.I agree that the counterpoint is a good trick it works very well.

The *hemingwaves* sentence has not been translated in the Borges translation, there is a footnote saying that this sentence is a *retruecano* (pun,I suppose) similar to James Joyce´."Armour+ amourous; hemingwaves= waves+Hemingway".

I haven´t read to much Hemingway but enough to understand how Faulkner was giving him a writing lesson.
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martinbeck3
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« Reply #582 on: September 12, 2007, 12:54:16 PM »

HOFFMAN, thanks for the link.I´ll save it as *favorites* for the rest of my Faulkner read -Sp.lectura?-

There is no other word I can think of for *wild* but *salvajes*.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #583 on: September 12, 2007, 01:14:44 PM »

Martinbeck....thanks for the translation.  I suspect you are a bit further along in the reading than I am.  I plan on covering quite a bit of it today, though.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #584 on: September 12, 2007, 07:03:41 PM »

Why does Faulkner employ multiple narrators/viewpoints in Absalom?  Somehow, I don't think it is just to get a couple different takes on the same series of events.

I think it has to do with identity and the persistence of memory...Memory not always being an accurate barometer of history.
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