Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
June 20, 2018, 08:30:10 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: As you may have noticed, this is a very old backup, I'm still working through restoring the site.  Don't be surprised if you post and it all goes missing....
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 ... 41 42 [43] 44 45 ... 98
  Print  
Author Topic: Fiction  (Read 25261 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Lhoffman
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1989


View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #630 on: September 19, 2007, 10:34:24 AM »

"Only in your worldview."

Not so.  Also in Faulkner's.  Faulkner's views on racism and segregation are well known.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2007, 10:38:46 AM by Lhoffman » Logged
johnr60
Full Member
***
Posts: 206


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #631 on: September 19, 2007, 10:51:56 AM »

"Let me introduce myself. I am, of course, the text. This statement may surprise you. Perhaps you were expecting me to introduce myself as the author. Let this be the first point made in this discussion..."

radford
Logged
Lhoffman
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1989


View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #632 on: September 19, 2007, 11:18:04 AM »

Yes, and the text makes a pretty powerful statement against racism.  "Why do you hate the South?"
Logged
Lhoffman
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1989


View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #633 on: September 19, 2007, 12:37:17 PM »

Even if we only look at the text, and forget Faulkner, the question is: What caused Sutpen's downfall?  Why did Henry kill Bon?  Why the need to take it up to the North and disect it with a Canadian?  The text asks us to study the situation as we would study a sample in a microscope.

To take it back to Faulkner:  Everything he wrote is not about race, but this particular text is. 
« Last Edit: September 19, 2007, 12:52:28 PM by Lhoffman » Logged
Lhoffman
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1989


View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #634 on: September 19, 2007, 01:29:11 PM »

Good point...and it explains the plot device, but it doesn't explain why Quentin chooses to tell this particular story to explain the South.  Quentin could have told any number of stories about horse racing or mansions or picnics on the banks of riverbeds.  But he tells a story about a man whose younger son murdered his older son to protect the purity of the blood.....As you will recall, Henry wasn't all that put off by the idea of incest.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2007, 01:31:11 PM by Lhoffman » Logged
desdemona222b
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1228


That's What I'm Talking About


View Profile Email

Ignore
« Reply #635 on: September 19, 2007, 01:41:50 PM »

On a broader scale, Absalom is a great illustrative narrative for way the actions of a single human being can reverberate down through the generations. 
Logged
johnr60
Full Member
***
Posts: 206


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #636 on: September 19, 2007, 01:53:43 PM »

Race as the central issue of Absalom and racism as we understand it today are completely different things.

test:

Jim Brown= (what Faulkner character?)
Stepin Fetchit=
Ethel Waters=
Paul Robeson=

and you can play that game in what we today call a racist manner forever.


"Because it's something my people haven't got."

The swamp is very far away for the Yankee and the culture merely copies the towns of Western Europe.

"it doesn't explain why Quentin chooses to tell this particular story to explain the South."

I am completely at a loss as to why we would have to explain that.  I remember nothing in the text that says this is Quentin's intent.
Logged
Lhoffman
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1989


View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #637 on: September 19, 2007, 02:38:38 PM »

"As you will recall...."   Ya....I guess that DID sound snottier than I meant.  Cheesy
Logged
desdemona222b
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1228


That's What I'm Talking About


View Profile Email

Ignore
« Reply #638 on: September 19, 2007, 02:40:22 PM »

"As you will recall ..."  Yeah, that one stood out pretty well.

There's so much more to using Shreve, who incidentally tells the story too.  Both boys sit there in that cold room and tell each other the story.  They do so to such a degree that at many points in the reading it appeared as if they had a handful of facts and were together filling in the details.

Not sure why it had to happen at Harvard, or with a Canadian, but the mode of delivery might serve as a  start toward understanding the selection of topic.


Attendance at Harvard has always been tough for southerners, who are generally snubbed and ostracized by the rest of the New England Brahmins going there.  I had a history professor at LSU who was a southerner - he attended Harvard as a southern "charity case" which translates to full scholarship in spite of his being poor on top of being Southern.

Benjamin's land was sold and turned into a golf course in order to send Quentin to Harvard - eventually Benjy grabbed one too many girls passing by the Compson fence and was permanently committed to an institution under the auspices of Jason Compson, that blackguard...

So Quentin has an existential meltdown at Harvard and the pride of the Compson family ends up in the river Charles, a suicide case.
Logged
desdemona222b
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1228


That's What I'm Talking About


View Profile Email

Ignore
« Reply #639 on: September 19, 2007, 02:42:17 PM »

An aside:  My parents lived in Andover, Massechussetts for several years.  My mother tried to make an appointment with a doctor's office and was told,  solely because of her southern accent, that the doctor's office did not accept medicaid.
Logged
Lhoffman
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1989


View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #640 on: September 19, 2007, 03:19:18 PM »


"it doesn't explain why Quentin chooses to tell this particular story to explain the South."

I am completely at a loss as to why we would have to explain that.  I remember nothing in the text that says this is Quentin's intent.


The premise of the book is that Quentin is explaining the South to Shreve, who is always bothering him to tell him about the South.  And so....why does Quentin choose this particular story?  How is Sutpen illustrative of the South?

"...'You mean she was no kin to you, no kin to you at all, that there was actually one Southern Bayard or Guinevere who was no kin to you?  then what did she die for?' and that not Shreve's first time, nobody's first time in Cambridge since September:  Tell about the South.  What's it like there.  What do they do there.  Why do they live there.  Why do they live at all...."  Vintage page 142....chapter 6.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2007, 03:24:58 PM by Lhoffman » Logged
Lhoffman
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1989


View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #641 on: September 19, 2007, 03:21:50 PM »

Desdemona....the interesting thing about Quentin in Absalom, Absalom is that the reader knows about his relationship with his sister Caddie, and his feelings about incest, but he gives no hint of it in his narrative of the Sutpen downfall.
Logged
Lhoffman
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 1989


View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #642 on: September 19, 2007, 03:23:46 PM »

And as for cold college rooms and near naked boys, the undercurrent of love (if not sexuality) is undeniable both with respect to Quentin/Shreve and Henry/Charles, but there are other reasons for the temperature too.

South to North, Life to Death, Past to Present, Friendship to Honor, all can be seen as moving from hot to cold.  All are themes that could see development by way of a close look at that cold theater in which this drama unfolds.

I'm interested in your thinking on South to North, Life to Death...
Logged
pugetopolis
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 2513


Ink Inc.


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #643 on: September 19, 2007, 07:05:35 PM »



Bad Boy Faulkner (2007)

“I have always thought that perhaps
Faulkner, even though he was a man,
could somehow see how ridiculous
and cruel that obsession was.”
—Desdemona


william faulkner was no nice guy—nice guys don’t write novels— and as far as obsessions are concerned—it all depends on which obsession you’re talking about—like lon chaney—faulkner was a man of many faces—and each face—had a different obsession…

faulkner wasn’t a nice guy—in fact he was just the opposite—nice guys got jobs—and families—nice guys watch football on tv—they enjoy nice long lazy six-pack couch-potato saturday afternoons—after working their fucking balls off all week—what’s the use of all that hard work and familial responsibility—if a guy can’t kick back and get drunk every once in awhile—that’s the way is—that’s the way the world ticks—that’s what nice guys do—but not writers…

nice guys don’t invent imaginary yoknapatawpha counties—inside their heads—populating imaginary towns with all sorts of delta bourbon aristocrats—and lordly mandingo slave barons—nice guys don’t write white-trash pulp fiction novels—they’d rather just live white-trash lives the way the way things are—why fictionalize it anymore than it already is—why not just be alive and enjoy the fleeting white-trash moment—there’s nothing quite like it—some of my best boyfriends—are white-trash boyz—they’re lava-lamp trailer-trash boyz who never grew up—lazyboy deadbeat daddy boyz—divorced and numb—moody baby daddies everyday of their lives—living inside that great eternal sordid moment—that only white-trash boyz know—whole dynasties of deep south young phallocentric manhood—going down the drain every day and night—mute like child idiot ike snopes—there in the red barn of love…

in fact, faulkner was just as bad or even worse than all the other men down there in mississippi—he liked young things dontchaknow—he liked the young stuff like temple drake—he didn’t write sanctuary for the women’s lib movement—not with characters like popeye, alabama red and their skanky gang of bootlegging thugs—and what could be more oozing with misogyny—than that tacky awful notoriously criticized crummy soup de jour corn-cob scene in the hayloft—or that simply shameless blowjob temple gives popeye on the road to evil memphis?

naturally i was shocked—simply shocked the first time i read sanctuary—my ogling eyeballs glued to each page—it was pretty racy stuff—like that bedroom scene in miss reba’s memphis whorehouse—you know the scene don’t you?—like when red is buck-naked having intercourse all day and night with temple—poor innocent naïve young temple drake—with popeye holding onto the rock ‘n’ roll bedposts—howling like a hound dog until he got hoarse—enjoying red doing what he was good at—all for the benefit of gangster voyeur popeye—but red was too good at what he did—ending up dead in a memphis barroom coffin—dumped out on the dance floor like a sack of potatoes…

popeye was just another skanky double—doing what faulkner wanted to do himself—he’d been to memphis a lot—that’s where delta bourbons went to party—that’s where they built mansions—that’s where fortunes were made and lost—bootleg capitol of the deep south—where there was booze there were whorehouses—and dead bodies stacked to the city limits—with everybody on the take—and everybody on the make—just like las vegas now—the house always winning and winning again…

and then there’s the sound and the fury—that’s when faulkner really discovered his skanky miss sodom and g voice—that’s when he started writing for himself—not the new york city publishers—that’s when he starting writing—what he wanted to write—even tho he had no idea what it was he was writing—knowing only that he was a failed southern writer—with some novels behind him—but now something different was needed—simply living in the child-idiot immediate moment—his version of miss proust—remembering time the way he wanted to remember it—letting time itself remember him the way she wanted to remember him—even before it happened the way they said it did—even before time stopped and stopped again—the past never was past—it never even got there—it didn’t even have a chance—that’s how quick & streamlined it is—like skating on thin ice—reliving the moment again—like quentin and shreve did in their harvard dorm room—like charles bon and young sutpen in their ole miss quarters—disenthralling themselves even before lincoln said it—disenthralling themselves from the moment—from the still bloody  battleground all around them—still stinking with the night of the living dead…

faulkner said in his sound and fury introduction in the southern review—that he started off not writing a novel at all—he was just doing what writers like to do—doing what writers have to do—doing what comes natural—doing what their compulsions tell them to do—telling them what to say instinctively—faulkner having a nice tall cool one—and then another one—and then another one—writing a story he’d like to read himself—good juicy white-trash murder detective pulp fiction—sanctuaries where even angels fear to tread…

well, just shut my mouth!!! pop goes the weasel—and look what jumped out of pandora’s box?—what do most red-blooded southern men think about all the time—what do cheesy guys like popeye and the skanky snopes gang—do to pass the time?—let’s forget about ike snopes—that naïve charming mental retard boy—or benjy the compson throwback kid—sucked down by pluto--into more simple more primitive more savage antebellum times…

yes let’s forget about benjy the blithering child idiot—living in the hair-lipped plutonian moment—the moment when pluto grabs your persephone ass—and hauls you screaming down into hell—pulling down all the way—along with euboeleus the young shepherd—and all his squealing swine—pulling you down into the hellish raging moment—stream of consciousness turning into the river styx— forget that child-idiot benjy is cocteau’s heurtebise—forget that  faulkner is falling like orpheus—falling down thru liquid mirrors—falling down fast—down into the land of dis and disappointment…

let’s forget about raising cotton and sugar cane—let’s forget about  breeding horses—let’s forget about breeding mandingo boyfriends— like william rufus de vane king did—down there on his plantation in alabama—william rufus de vane king our vice president for awhile before the war—before he kicked the bucket down there in cuba— andrew jackson calling him miss nancy—because of queenly king’s entourage of young handsome black studs—teenage horsemen, surly footmen and pouty chicken valets—miss king living it high on the hog—down there on his alabama plantation—up there north with all the other proud southern senators—up there in the proud antebellum beltway usa…

sanctuary a good place to begin—to begin the descent into hell— temple drake and sanctuary taking some time and research—faulkner needing money as usual—reading a lot of white-trash murder mystery magazines—the kind of pulp fiction that makes your toes curl and your ass wiggle in your sleep—the kind of novel full of your typical morbid southern creepazoids—the kind you’d meet in some evil dark memphis back alley—but let’s skip that novel too—going straight to hell—the original ur-baby doll—that’s cute young caddy compson—all of the sound and the fury—revolving around her—caddy and her dirty drawers…

caddy’s dirty muddy drawers—they’re not just normal dirty muddy drawers—they’re dirty muddy drawers—way up there in the dirty muddy branches—of the gnarly old dirty muddy tree of knowledge—cute young caddy peering thru the window—thru the window over into the old dirty muddy bedroom—with her grandmother’s pale white corpse—lying there in the pale white bed—the boys standing far down below—waiting to hear what caddy saw up there—peering into the window of the dark house—the boys gawking up at caddy’s cute little bottom—her dirty panties stained with mud by the stream—twisted up there between her nice cute legs—that’s where faulkner eyeballs were ogling dontchaknow—his dirty old man’s white-trash eyeballs of love—his baby doll voyeur literary eyeballs—varicose veins popping out along his forehead—sitting at his desk with a jar of corn and a pile of paper—scribbling away into the humid dark night—when all you could hear for miles around—was the beating of his own heart—her heart and quentin’s heart—their hearts and dalton ames’ heart—fainting on the bridge…

writing his way into the pulp fiction moment—the pure and perfect incestuous moment—the old colonel’s mulatto shadow family moment—looming over him—the father of his mulatto slave emeline’s daughters—fannie forrest faulkner (1864-1866) and lena faulkner (b. 1867)—the old colonel’s great-grandson retelling the story—the story telling itself once again thru him—the incestuous miscegenation and adulterous love affair—ike mccaslin’s sullen discovery in the ledgers—the loneliness of quentin in new haven in 1918—his own grief over the loss of estelle—the morphing of old carother’s incest with his slave daughter—thinking “his own daughter his own daughter—no no not even him!”—

horace benbow’s guilty attraction to little belle—the bad karma of all that southern slavery—all that human ownership and antebellum blaxploitation—the apocryphal history of the faulkner family set forth first in flags in the dust—faulkner trying to explain himself to himself—thru philoprogenitive gardens of a thousand paths—full of blackness, mixed blood and sexual exploitation—

going down on moses—old carothers mccaslin making the three-hundred mile journey down to new orleans—to buy his slave thucydus a wife for awhile—then using her as his black mistress—to breed his own love-child daughter—to make a mistress out of that daughter too—the $1000 legacy to ike didn’t make up for it—

“did you love him?—did you love him like caddy did?—did you love dalton ames?”—obsessed young shreve—relentlessly delving deeper and deeper into the deep south—he had to know the awful truth—it was his compulsion to want to know why and how and how much—wanting to know all the juicy details—“did you love him quentin— did you love dalton ames?”—

faulkner sitting at his desk—listening to the night—feeling his own family history moving thru him—moving forward and backwards in time—but mostly up and down time—vertical moments—veridical moments—venusian moments—shreve excited by the moment—wanting to know more about it—about dalton ames’ lanky goodlooks and shrewd manliness—why did quentin think he was such a loser—with so little time left when he had all the time in the world—benjy and quentin and jason and caddy—all these seemingly seminal doomed denizens of the dark house—oozing with bad blood and bad seed—oozing out of faulkner’s own sordid decadent bad seed mississippi gone delta mind—

as if queer quentin really cared about caddy’s virginity—most gay guys probably encouraging their sisters to get laid—even maybe helping their sisters get laid—help their sisters with their troubled love-life—sloppy seconds soup de jour baby—with those sullen moody boyfriends moping around the house—isn’t that what happens when quentin falls for dalton ames—tracking down caddy’s boyfriend—the handsome suave sophisticated dalton ames—challenging him to a fight—outside of town by the bridge—call it sibling rivalry—call it penis envy—caddy getting it—quentin wanting it too—can you blame him—the poor kid obviously upset—but not about caddy’s maidenhead—it was dalton ames they wanted—every long lanky inch of him—

dalton knew quentin was in love with him—for the same reason caddy loved him too—dalton ames was a mature confident man—and a manly man knows dontchaknow—knows what he needs to know—knows what others want to know—they want to know him all the way—that’s the only way to go—both caddy and quentin want him bad—wanting him bad enough—wanting to know him all the way—all three of them—bad and beautiful children of the night…

there on the bridge—dalton ames looking into quentin’s eyes—he sees caddy’s big blue eyes looking back at him—there in quentin’s troubled face—seeing caddy’s pale soft beauty—quentin’s young face—dalton feeling caddy’s smooth skin—smooth as quentin’s skin—her petite boyish body—the same with quentin in his arms—because dalton ames is a man—he can feel the incestuous vibes—knowing what quentin wants—knowing what quentin wants even more than quentin does—knowing quentin is virgin—knowing he’s a closet-case—knowing quentin needs it just as bad as caddy—maybe even worse than caddy—because quentin’s green with jealousy—wanting what caddy wants—wanting it just as bad as she does—maybe even worse—

dalton ames handing quentin his pistol—telling him to go ahead and shoot—but quentin can’t do it—he can’t even touch it—it’s the wrong pistol—quentin’s the one who needs it—he needs to be pistol whipped and bitch-slapped—they struggle on the bridge—it’s more  a long extended lover’s embrace than a fight—dalton pinning quentin up against the railing—up against the cold iron girders—holding quentin tight in his arms—feeling sorry for the kid—but excited at the same time—brushing back the kid’s long hair—so he can see the curve of quentin’s long neck—reaching down and kissing quentin there—where he kisses his sister when they make love—smelling quentin like he smells his sister—his beautiful infrared nostrils—wide as zeus going for leda—biting quentin hard on the neck—where he bites caddy—right there on her neck—feeling her up in the orchard—bruising quentin’s skin with a huge hickie—wrapping his big lips around the kid’s bulging pouty lips—the vein of love wiggling down the side of the kid’s neck—down his flat hard stomach—down where quentin could feel himself losing it—quickly  slowly fainting at the same time—it’s what he secretly wants—even tho what he gets is unexpected—finding out he likes it—being manhandled by a goodlooking man—and wanting it some more—liking it like young sutpen liked it—making love with charles bon the beautiful—and liking it—and wanting some more—being manhandled and pulled down by big strong arms—down into darkness in the dark house of love—going down like leda—going down like Helen of troy—going down like persephone--down into the male darkness—going down like euboeleus along with all the swine—going down on the beauty of the moment—dalton’s big thick lips—doing what pluto does best—

“it’s what every closet case needs”—the nelly queen from new orleans said to me—sitting in a bar in the french quarter—was it lafitte’s or that mixed bar—where i picked up the awol sailor—during mardi gras that year—the year when hurricane betsy—the cute roustabout from the gulf—flown in just for me—one could smell the decadent city for miles off—the rotten smell of decaying old damp buildings ready to be torn down—the clinging humidity and clammy stickiness—the smell of attractive dirty-looking young lounge lizards in the french quarter—the claustrophobic feeling of being entombed by the big easy tragic past—living in the voodoo-hoodoo moment—the big easy moment—the wrought-iron balcony moment—oozing down onto st. charles—ending up with a sulky popeye hustler—who’d either rob me or slit my throat—if i’d turn my back on him…

faulkner skipping what happens next—it isn’t just quentin fainting in dalton’s arms—there’s more to it than that—give me a break—it’s more than just a fainting episode—more than quentin merely fainting and losing it—losing it bad in dalton’s strong arms—down under the bridge—lying in the grass by the river—quentin feeling dalton’s arms around him—dalton’s sharp teeth—sinking into his neck—isn’t that what he wants to feel—what caddy feels when they make love—down by the stream—the spanish moss hanging down from heaven—ancient cypress roots moaning and groaning—down deep in the muck and mud—the smell of bougainvillea and wisteria—suffocating in the afternoon heat—the iron girders overhead—there in the cool shade beneath the bridge—down there where the big old huge catfish swims silently in the deep dark pool—that’s where dalton does quentin—that’s where dalton makes love to caddy’s brother—quentin sinking faster than the titanic—taking everything with him—including the kitchen sink—down quentin goes—going down on dalton—until caddy rides up—galloping up afterwards—knowing quentin was doing dalton—knowing quentin was in love with  dalton—knowing dalton loved her but he’d do her brother too—knowing dalton had a lot of young manhood—plenty for both  quentin and her—

later on at harvard—shreve mccannon the young butch canadian—quentin’s next butch lover—goodlooking smart harvard freshman—later going on to be captain—royal army medical corps—canadian expeditionary forces—france 1914-1918—then practicing surgeon in edmonton alberta—

shreve playing quentin like a violin—a delicate mississippi stradivarius—in the teenage dark dorm room at night—young men’s dormitories notorious for exploring male libido—the first chance some men have to find out what they really like—all that ouija board hocus-pocus stuff—oozing out quentin’s pores like perfume—both of them channeling back to sutpen’s plantation—back to ole miss and the civil war—back into timeless time far beyond that harvard dormitory room—two boys huddled in some damp cold garret—it could just as well be Verlaine and Rimbaud—there in some dark cold winter parisian night—

quentin’s unhappy freshman year—his campus troubles with bad-boy bullies—his problem with the little girl from town—the boys fishing off the bridge—quentin pulling the hands off his watch—as if that would make time stand still—not wanting to grow up—not wanting to know himself and hating his family—not wanting to know his southern heritage—not because he hated the south—but because he hated himself—with the hate and self-loathing that only closet cases know—no one possibly can know—what really goes on inside a closet-case’s mind—unless you’ve ever been a closet case yourself—the labyrinth of lies and deceptions—the useless don’t ask don’t tell—the taboo feeling of being untouchable—being the portrait up there in the attic—the portrait of dorian black or white or gay—crammed and hidden in the closets—the ghostly closetry of the dark house—with every room locked—every room with its own portrait—each portrait doomed like henry sutpen—dying in the plantation mansion attic—

the labyrinth—not like cool sophisticated borges—not like calm studious library of babel—not like cerebral tlön, uqbar or orbis tertius—not the magic garden of forking paths—but rather a rundown rotting county in mississippi—somewhere out in the sticks—that’s where the carnival is—that’s where the geek show pitches its tent—not just for one generation—but for a whole genealogy of freaks and malcontents—and snopesian monsters on the make…

bad seed—cute baby dolls—mystery detective stories—pulp fiction paperback romance novels—and short stories—william faulkner’s life—not for everyone to read—not for everyone to see—thru the hole in the wall—baby doll sleeping in her baby bed...
« Last Edit: September 19, 2007, 10:04:49 PM by pugetopolis » Logged

“Other people's obsessions
are more often funny than tragic.”
—Vincent Canby, The New York Times
Eva
Full Member
***
Posts: 127


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #644 on: September 19, 2007, 08:45:49 PM »

"Now, Mr. Faulkner," she said, "what were you thinking of when you wrote that?"

"Money", he replied.

And this one, regarding a particularly convoluted passage:

"What does that mean, Mr. Faulkner?"

"Damned if I know," Faulkner replied after a moment.  "I was readin' that the other day and wonderin'.  I remember I was pretty corned-up when I wrote that part."
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 41 42 [43] 44 45 ... 98
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!