Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #615 on: September 17, 2007, 11:42:54 PM »

Reader....have you finished Raintree County, then?
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #616 on: September 17, 2007, 11:47:38 PM »

Me neither.
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #617 on: September 18, 2007, 09:50:11 AM »

Did any of you notice any difference in the thinking,
narration, diction, thought process of Shreve as
compared to that of the southern characters?

I think Shreve is "top" and
Quentin is "bottom."   Roll Eyes
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“Other people's obsessions
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #618 on: September 18, 2007, 09:59:19 AM »


"The images Faulkner invokes match the flow of the reading,
it seems to me.  Slow and inert and tributaried out of existence,
or fast and flowing, a gust of words driving, but in either case
fluid, changing, evolving the reader as well as the story."


Great quote:

Q     Could you please state your name for the record?
A     William [80,000 punctuationless words later] Faulkner.


                                                     -- Reader5232



« Last Edit: September 18, 2007, 10:01:35 AM by pugetopolis » Logged

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Lhoffman
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« Reply #619 on: September 18, 2007, 11:19:48 AM »

Did any of you notice any difference in the thinking, narration, diction, thought process of Shreve as compared to that of the southern characters?

It seemed to me that everyone had the same voice.  But, if you are using the Vintage....got any page numbers?
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #620 on: September 18, 2007, 01:44:37 PM »

Did any of you notice any difference in the thinking,
narration, diction, thought process of Shreve as
compared to that of the southern characters?

I think Shreve is "top" and
Quentin is "bottom."   Roll Eyes


That's really quite a good point.  How many
times did Faulkner feel obligated to tell us these
two college boys were sitting there in the cold
either naked or with little on?  Why was that a
point he felt needed emphasis?


May I quote Faulkner's college boys on page 287?

"Come on," Shreve said. "Let's get out of this
refrigerator and go to bed."



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pugetopolis
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« Reply #621 on: September 18, 2007, 03:13:03 PM »

Gay Faulkner (2007)

"Come on," Shreve said.
"Let's get out of this
refrigerator and go to bed."
—William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom


That’s the Booker short list…

Here’s the longer version. Back during Faulkner’s time the don’t ask don’t tell thing was even more enforced than it is now—enforced by silence…

Nobody talked about it down South back then—and they still don’t. At LSU in the ‘60s—the English professors were loathe to discuss Whitman and the British Uranians as homosexual. The mere mention of the name Allen Ginsberg and his book Howl created a Wall of Silence taller and even more guarded with barbed wire and guard dogs than the Berlin Wall…

If you were a gay English major there in Allen Hall—you had to kinda skulk thru the Library and put two and two together on your own. You know as in “It takes one to know one?” There was some gay pulp fiction around—like William Burroughs’ white-trash novels…

Naturally there were a couple of gay English professors—but, well, you know how it is. When things were closeted like that back then—there’s this cold Fascist fist always wrapped around your Throat…

Things haven’t changed much really—even here on the lovely enlightened Internet. When you least expect it—there’ll be this Assault on the Queen out of nowhere. What’s a guy to do? If you fight back—you’ll be called uppity and rude. Know what I mean?

That’s just the way it is—most straights don’t understand it. They accept all the perks and privileges without even thinking about it—while gays, blacks, Hispanics and everybody else has to fight each day for what they got one step forward and two steps back, baby…

Faulkner knew this—he was no dummy. He’d been on the out and down so long—everything else looked up. There’s nothing worse than not knowing who you are—especially if you’re a writer. That’s why they laughed and called him “Count ‘No’ Count.”

As a result—he hated Society. He hated his future wife’s Family—because they rejected him the first time around. When she got divorced with a couple of kids—well then it was okay for him to marry her. Somebody had to take care of them. During their honeymoon in Pascagoula—she tried to commit suicide. So much for falling in love with your childhood sweetheart—it does something to a man’s pride dontchaknow…

That’s why Faulkner wrote—to get even. Like Colonel Sutpen—he got even all right. He got himself a rotten Southern plantation mansion. Like Colonel Sutpen—he was seminal and macho. He had a dynasty going—they were called Novels. He was smart—he knew where Society was vulnerable. That’s the reason for Sanctuary—Popeye, Temple Drake and that goddamn corncob scene… That’s why Red and Popeye were buddies—there in Miss Reba’s whorehouse…

Another weak link in the Dark House—the two queer Sutpen boys. Charles Bon the goodlooking mulatto first born son—and the nelly younger brother Henry. To make matters even worse, Faulkner had the boys fall in love with each other—there at Ole Miss and then in the French Quarter. They call it “incestuous miscegenation”—others call it mulatto love.

That’s the reason for queer Quentin in Absalom, Absalom—Quentin falling in love with Shreve. Confessing and spilling the beans—there in that cold Harvard dorm room. That’s the reason why Quentin fainted in Dalton Ames’ arms—there on the bridge over that river.

It’s the love—that dares not speak its Name…

Faulkner had a big chip on his shoulder—can you blame him? He hated everybody—and everybody hated him. He was like Nathanael West—Hollywood’s other bad boy. Everyday only confirmed The Day of the Locust had arrived. It was called the Great Depression—and some say it’s happening again. Did I say that?

That’s the reason why they call it Southern Decadence—that’s the reason why Tennessee Williams called it A Streetcar Named Desire. And I’m not talking about the kindness of strangers either, Blanche. There’s a reason why I use the word “dontchaknow”—because you don’t really want to know…

But I’ll tell you anyway—and I’m not just dropping names. I’ve got my first book of gay poetry—down there in that LSU Library. It’s called Chicken (Gay Sunshine Press, SF: 1979)—you can look it up in the online catalog. It’s there baby—between Ginsberg and Proust. Right there in the stacks—where I once skulked alone and moody. I put my queer shoulder to the fascist Wheel—and gave it a little push…

Just like Shreve and Quentin—in that Harvard dorm room…
« Last Edit: September 18, 2007, 03:15:12 PM by pugetopolis » Logged

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desdemona222b
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« Reply #622 on: September 18, 2007, 03:58:30 PM »

pugey -

By the time I was at LSU (1972 - 1976) there were plenty of opening gay guys there - that's where I made friends with gay men for the first time.  There was a great atmosphere of tolerance on the campus as far as I was concerned - at least as long as you didn't try to be part of that noxious bunch of Greeks along fraternity and sorority row.  But who needed them anyway?  We were vacationing in Destin, Florida when I declared to my father in the late summer of '72 that I absolutely would not go there for rush.  Absolutely not.  Dad was plenty angry - he wanted me to be a perky Chi Omega, not a rebellious loner who questioned the value of social climbers and snobs.

Anyway, your observation vis a vis Quentin's suicide are interesting.  So you think Quentin committed suicide because he was gay?  The common interpretation is that he jumped off that bridge because of the deflowering (and inevitable disgrace of) his sister, Caddy Compson.  I always thought that was so strange - why would a brother kill himself because his sister ran off with some man she had obviously been having sex with?  Especially if he was gay?

I always took it to be a hyperbolic moment Faulkner was using to show the reader the obsession that southerners had over chastity issues with single women.  I lived that out first-hand - if I lost my maidenhead before marriage, according to my mother, for ANY reason, even a horseback riding accident (uh, no, horseback riding does not break that infamous piece of tissue that dictates whether women are worth having or not, contrary to my mother's belief), no decent man would "have me".  The complete nonsense of women having to tolerate this type of treatment in their young lives was such a horrible thing, and I have always thought that perhaps Faulkner, even though he was a man, could somehow see how ridiculous and cruel that obsession was.
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johnr60
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« Reply #623 on: September 18, 2007, 07:55:00 PM »

"like all those birds -- simultaneously driving in from multivalent points and angles, swerving and swooping and always coming back to the point -- which is what by the way?"

  There is no point, everything exists for the story.   


"backward against the very current of the stream"

"swam up and vanished and were replaced; the earth, the world, rising ..."

"How many times did Faulkner feel obligated to tell us these two college boys were sitting there in the cold either naked or with little on?  Why was that a point he felt needed emphasis?"

  One of Faulkner's primary themes is the SouthLAND and the   people it creates.  It's not unusual that he would juxtapose   the coldness of the North.

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Lhoffman
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« Reply #624 on: September 18, 2007, 08:06:06 PM »

"There is no point, everything exists for the story."


But John, how do you know this?  The patterns Reader describes seem to mirror the narrative.

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johnr60
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« Reply #625 on: September 18, 2007, 11:26:59 PM »

"It is the motion and fluidity that is important here. (The way the story is told and not the story itself.)  It is the structure, the drive, the pattern of those valley swifts and those leaf beating robins, the hop of the grouse, the zig zag run of the little swamp birds as they poke here and then there.  Faulkner wants us along for the ride (it seems to me more so than he's worried about our getting to the end.)"

Eliminate what's in parentheses and I have no problem.  The story is important and if one insists on emphasizing how its told the magic moment of the birds will disappear, as did Averroes.  Faulkner immerses us in the unending words, drone if you will, in order to make those words disappear and leave only their effect.  The effect is our take on what the story IS no morality, no lesson, no point.   
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #626 on: September 19, 2007, 07:28:52 AM »



Growing Up Gay in the Deep South

Dear Desdemona,

Yes, I know—I had many gay friends on campus too. From New Orleans, Baton Rouge & around the Deep South. Many Mardi Gras good times—rich like Pecan pies…

My gay friends were like “sisters” to me—we were close like Stella and Blanche in Streetcar Named Desire. But I needed more than just sisterhood—I needed love

The ‘60s were different—than the ‘70s sweetheart. Things were changing fast—the civil rights movement was just beginning to arrive on campus. Stonewall and Viet Nam were on the horizon—Dallas had happened… I was stunned like everybody else—it was bad times ahead for us baby boomers...

The campus was still segregated. The first African-American student I met at LSU—showed up in my writing class and wanted to do poetry. He became one of the first black editors of The Delta—the student writing publication coming out of Allen Hall…

This young black writer became my friend and chose one of my submissions. He published it in The Delta. It was an atrocious piece of shit—an imitation of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. I keep it hidden—somewhere deep in my filing cabinets. It was so tacky and louche—it’s embarrassing to even think about it. I hadn’t found my voice yet—there’s nothing worse than that. It’s the pits—not knowing who your are. Not having your Voice yet…

This young editor turned me on to the Harlem Renaissance—especially the gay poet Bruce Nugent. It was Nugent's “Smoke, Lilies and Jade”—his long rambling poem taught me how to flow with it. Flow with myself...and who I was. Nugent used a gay hyphenated stream of consciousness—I’d never seen anything like it before. He connected short phrases and conversations—with a long series of dot-dot-dots:

“…they were at Forno’s…everyone came to Forno’s once maybe only once…but they came…see that big fat woman Beauty…Alex pointed to an overly stout and bejeweled lady making her way thru the maze…that’s Maria Guerrero…Beauty looked to see a lady guiding almost the whole opera company to an immense table…Alex lit a cigarette…and that florid man with white hair…that’s Carl…”

—Richard Bruce Nugent, “Smoke, Lilies and Jade,” Gay Rebel of the Harlem Renaissance, ed. Thomas Wirth, Durham: Duke University Press, 2002, page 75-87.

that’s "carl"—carl van vechten that is—and then the whole thing opened up—langston hughes from way back then—all the way up to alex hemphill and ishmael reed now—that’s how i got into gay poetry—thru black gay stream of consciousness—i started using my white-trash gay imagination—thanks to my cute delta boyfriend—with hyphenated haste i might add—plus miss faulkner in the back of my mind—not minding losing my way now and then—there in the labyrinth that was absalom, absalom—luxuriating in lazy yoknapatawpha consciousness— deep south decadence with a harlem twist—feeling the bougainvillea crawl up my legs—dancing in my dorm room with the supremes playing loud—“stop in the name of love’’—with him in my arms— smelling the magnolia thru my dorm room window—feeling the ghost of huey p. long nostalgia flowing thru me—the thirties still clinging to the decaying spanish revival architecture—the cracked red brick tile roofs and rotting stucco walls—the fading gone times of another era—me lounging like norma desmond by the pool—all those potted palms up in the balcony—there by the huey p. long fieldhouse—with its ancient wrought-iron railings—oozing and melting down in the delta heat and humidity—flowing down over me like saltwater taffy—slow and thick like oozing black molasses—me and my lover boy—like charles bon and henry sutpen at ole miss—except it was lsu now not mississippi then—and i was young and foolish—letting the languid lazy sad spanish moss—pull me down, baby—all the way down to my knees—down into my own heart of darkness—down there where quentin and shreve made love—channeling old dynasties of dead love and betrayed desires—down there by the levee late at night—south of campus by the river—the slow sluggish pull of the mississippi—flowing thick thru my sluggish veins—as we drove late at night—in my red beat-up mg—my cute mulatto lover-boy—sleeping there next to me—“smoke, lilies and jade”—running thru my dizzy head—way back then and even now...





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Lhoffman
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« Reply #627 on: September 19, 2007, 09:47:36 AM »

"It is the motion and fluidity that is important here. (The way the story is told and not the story itself.)  It is the structure, the drive, the pattern of those valley swifts and those leaf beating robins, the hop of the grouse, the zig zag run of the little swamp birds as they poke here and then there.  Faulkner wants us along for the ride (it seems to me more so than he's worried about our getting to the end.)"

Eliminate what's in parentheses and I have no problem.  The story is important and if one insists on emphasizing how its told the magic moment of the birds will disappear, as did Averroes.  Faulkner immerses us in the unending words, drone if you will, in order to make those words disappear and leave only their effect.  The effect is our take on what the story IS no morality, no lesson, no point.   


I think you have something there on the immersion in words.  In Faulkner's story, The Bear, there is a sentence that runs six pages.  There is something of the Mississippi River itself in his writing.  He addresses the idea directly in his novel The Wild Palms.  In the chapters called "The Old Man," he tells a story of a convict trapped on the Missippi during the flood of 1927.  The only way to beat the river is to let it take him where it will. 

I would disagree about Absalom, Absalom having no morality, no lesson, no point.  Faulkner was quite outspoken on the problems of racial inequality.  The idea that a man would sacrifice his son to keep his bloodline "pure" certainly speaks to that.

   

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Lhoffman
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« Reply #628 on: September 19, 2007, 09:53:26 AM »



http://www.brucenugent.com/About%20Frameset.htmhttp://
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johnr60
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« Reply #629 on: September 19, 2007, 10:21:25 AM »

"The idea that a man would sacrifice his son to keep his bloodline "pure" certainly speaks to that."

Only in your worldview.  Would it be a problem in the Iliad?
See ff already prepared before your post.



reader:

"think that's what Faulkner is really doing; bringing about either that experience or one like it and not simply telling a story."

I know it seems like semantics, but I think it's important to insist that the experience is generated BY the story.  We identify with the narratization.

As I remarked before, when pressed by the pundits, Faulkner usually responds with:  I tell stories about people. 

In a little book called "The Tragic Mask" John L. Longley very wisely says:

"(Faulkner's) temperament, his genius, his habits of mind, are more congenial to the narrative, the epic, the bardic attitudes in the creation of literature.  What he has done in creating the mythical kingdom of Yoknapatawpha is to establish the myths and epics of his particular place and people--both past and present--and then by the alchemy of genius to convert myth and epic into history, a history both particular and universal.  Thus, the Yoknapatawpha chronicle more nearly resembles the Odyssey thsan Ulysses."
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