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Author Topic: Fiction  (Read 25345 times)
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #660 on: September 21, 2007, 02:09:52 AM »

Quote
Does that work in with Shreve's comment about how the Jim Bonds are going to conquer the western hemisphere?

The idea of Jim Bond conquering the world may be related to The Sound and the Fury.  Here is the quote that Faulkner based his title on:

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.


There is the idea to be found in AA and in TSATF that life is without meaning.  All the care we put into it, all the monuments we build to our own greatness, in the end all come to nothing.  Sutpen's great designs, his plans for a huge estate and a dynasty, all come down in the end to a fire and an idiot who can only howl.  

  
« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 02:26:28 AM by Lhoffman » Logged
pugetopolis
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« Reply #661 on: September 21, 2007, 06:17:30 AM »


...a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
 

Benjy the retarded Compson boy. I wonder sometimes
why Faulkner began TSATF with him? Why would he start
the novel that way? Was he feeling down after his
publishers rejected his next novel? In his Introduction
he says that's when he started writing for himself...

That and what do you think about doubles in Faulkner?
The Quentin/Henry Shreve/Bon thing he does in AA?
Compared to all that Twin Lit we read...Geek Love,
Jackson's Half
Lite, etc.
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #662 on: September 21, 2007, 06:33:46 AM »


Doesn't take too much imagination.   


Literary séance and reliable narrators

The séance scene at Harvard...

it seems to work with Quentin and Shreve, right?

A literary séance, that is...

Isn't that the model Faulkner is using?

The dialog between Quentin and Shreve?

What's the dialog about?

Unanswered questions from the past?

Reliving the Southern past?

The Sutpen past, the Compson past?

The Faulkner past?

If the past isn't past, where is it?

Is it in the Now? The dialogic Now?

But where's that—this dialogic Now?

Could the Now exist in the storytelling moment?

The dialog of two boys in a Harvard dorm room?

One boy wanting to know more about the South

The other boy knowing too much?

Or rather not wanting to know anymore?

Is this dialog a good way to explore a...

Labyrinth of lies, secrets, skeletons in the closet?

Whose closet? Quentin's closet...?

Is Quentin telling the truth?

Are closet-cases reliable narrators?

The Faulkner family closet?

"I don't hate it!!!"—is that denial?

Is Absalom, Absalom a model...

For the dialogic imagination?

Is that what storytelling does?

Faulkner as Pluto / Persephone descending hell?

Like Orpheus a la Cocteau etc?

Is that how he's channeling down into the Labyrinth?

The Labyrinth of the Deep South?

Remodeling the Now—thru storytelling?

All that antebellum bad karma from slavery?

Human bondage, incestuous miscegenation, love?

Is Quentin a reliable Narrator?

Is Faulkner a reliable Narrator?



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johnr60
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« Reply #663 on: September 21, 2007, 12:20:09 PM »

"both of them were Henry Sutpen and both of them were Bon...."

saramago: "...what one narrates often becomes more real than the actual events narrated..."

Why that quoted has to be more than that is beyond me.  Didn't anyone else have a platonic relationship in teenage years with an older idol?  Part of growing up in my day, especially when the idol falls.
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #664 on: September 21, 2007, 03:38:51 PM »





Didn't anyone else have a platonic relationship in teenage
years with an older idol?  especially when the idol falls.


This quote you keep quoting:

"what one narrates often becomes
more real than the actual events narrated..."


Are you saying the shreve/quentin
and henry sutpen/charles bon
"affairs" are purely platonic?

And therefore sex between them
is, well, some kind of Fiction...
some sort of Fabluation?

Sounds like heads or tails...  Smiley


"especially when the idol falls"

Like do you mean when the idol...
goes down?






« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 04:09:09 PM by pugetopolis » Logged

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johnr60
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« Reply #665 on: September 21, 2007, 08:40:10 PM »

"Are you saying the shreve/quentin
and henry sutpen/charles bon
"affairs" are purely platonic?"

Not quite.  I am saying that there is nothing I have found in the text that establishes otherwise.

"Like do you mean when the idol...
goes down?"

I think you know that I mean.  Why do we have to get into this kind of bullshit?
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #666 on: September 21, 2007, 09:11:29 PM »

"Are you saying the shreve/quentin
and henry sutpen/charles bon
"affairs" are purely platonic?"

Not quite.  I am saying that there is nothing I have found in the text that establishes otherwise.


The interesting thing about this point is that there is also nothing in the text that establishes that the relationships are platonic.  It is a bit ambiguous, especially when you factor in that Quentin commits suicide because of his obsession with his sister, but then, in the AA narrative, we hear nothing of her.

I think there is room for multiple readings here. 
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johnr60
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« Reply #667 on: September 21, 2007, 09:42:48 PM »

"there is also nothing in the text that establishes that the relationships are platonic."

Do you really think that an author writing in 1930 would have to establish that as opposed to a homosexual bent?

"especially when you factor in that Quentin commits suicide"

Not in the text I just read.  Even if we allowed that event, I dont know the time frame involved in the writing of the stories.

"I think there is room for multiple readings here. "

I dont think it's me that disallows multiple readings.  I haven't written 10 lines on the gay issue.
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weezo
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« Reply #668 on: September 21, 2007, 10:06:38 PM »

This discussion has certainly taken an interesting turn. It may not be homosexual liaisons being described? It was all in the mind and POV of the reader? Hmmmmm.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #669 on: September 21, 2007, 10:21:53 PM »


"especially when you factor in that Quentin commits suicide"

Not in the text I just read.  Even if we allowed that event, I dont know the time frame involved in the writing of the stories.


The time frame for Faulkner's writing of the novels? or regarding Quentin?
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #670 on: September 21, 2007, 10:49:46 PM »

Absalom, Absalom


Why do we have to get into this kind of bullshit?


This is the kind of attitude I'm challenging with our reading discussion.

I'm somewhat amazed and flummoxed by it when it rears its ugly head...

Calling our discussion "bullshit" denigrates the whole proposition of adults discussing a Novel.

The Yoknapatawpha Conference at Ole Miss doesn't think Faulkner and Sexualty is "bullshit."

In fact the recent conference Topic is just that...I've posted the conference agenda several times.

When major American writers and well-known university Ph.D.'s agree to discuss this topic...

I don't think they consider the subject to be mere mediocre embarrassing "bullshit."

Therefore in my next post to the Fiction Forum -- I'm outlining more questions germane to this Topic.

Beginning with three Faulkner quotes which I consider to be keys to this complex issue...

These quotes are from Absalom, Absalom...

William Faulkner and sexuality in the Deep South...

It's something I've lived thru and know fairly well.

Something I've been open about with my fellow readers...

And something I've shared with my friends here in Elba...

Thank you.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 11:00:35 PM by pugetopolis » Logged

“Other people's obsessions
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #671 on: September 21, 2007, 10:56:46 PM »



Was Henry Sutpen—Queer for Charles Bon?

“There must have been nights and nights
while Henry was learning from him how
to lounge about a bedroom in a gown
and slippers such as women wore, in
a faint though unmistakable effluvium
of scent such as women used, smoking
a cigar almost as a woman might smoke
it, yet withal such an air of indolent and
lethal assurance that only the most
reckless man would have gratuitously
drawn the comparison…”—William
Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom, New
York: Vintage: 1990, 253-254

“four of them and then just two:
Charles-Shreve and Quentin-Henry…”
—William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom,
New York: Vintage: 1990, 267

“two young embattle spirits and the
incontrovertible fact which embattled
them, since neither Henry and Bon,
anymore than Quentin and Shreve,
were the first young men to believe
that wars were sometimes created
for the sole aim of settling youth’s
private difficulties and discontents.”
—William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom,
New York: Vintage: 1990, 269


Was Henry Sutpen queer—for Charles Bon?

Was Henry queer—for his handsome mulatto half-brother?

Was Henry in love with Charles—at Ole Miss?

Was Henry in love with Charles—in New Orleans?

Was Henry in love with Charles—during the War?

Did Eulalia Bon—set Henry Sutpen up?

Did Eulalia Bon send Charles—from New Orleans to Ole Miss?

Did Eulalia send Bon to Ole Miss—to seduce Henry?

Did Eulalia do this knowingly—to get even with Colonel Sutpen?

Did Eulalia send Bon to Mississippi—to seduce Judith Sutpen too?

Did Eulalia do this—to queer the Sutpen Dynasty?

Did Eulalia know exactly—where Sutpen’s Achilles heel was?

Did Colonel Sutpen—know he was being had?

Did Henry kill Charles Bon—because of his sister Judith?

Did Henry kill Bon–because Bon was mulatto?

Did Henry kill Bon—because Bon was Judith’s half-brother?

Did Henry kill Bon—because of race and incest…or something else?

Did Henry kill Bon—because Bon rejected Henry’s love?

After the War—did Charles Bon want to dump Henry?

After the War—did Charles want to go back home?

Back home to New Orleans—his mulatto wife in the Big Easy?

Back to his wife and son—Charles Etienne De Saint Valery Bon?

Did Henry feel betrayed by Bon—like a rejected lover?

Did Charles Bon—really care anymore about the Sutpens?

Did Charles Bon—feel the hatred of his mother Eulalia anymore?

Did Charles Bon—give a damn about the Sutpen Dynasty?

Did Quentin know all this—thru his father and Miss Coldfield?

Did Quentin identify with Henry—locked up in the attic?

Did Quentin see Henry—as the Portrait of Dorian Gray?

Did Quentin feel the same queer feelings—that Henry did?

Did Quentin fight it—like a closet case always does?

Did Quentin hate the South—did he hate himself?

Did Quentin get too much into Southern queerdom?

Did Shreve McCannon push Quentin over the Edge?

Was Quentin queer for Shreve—like Henry for Bon?

Did Quentin fall into a state—of homosexual panic?

Is that why he jumped off the bridge—into the Charles River?

Is this twisted tale of thwarted love—just pulp fiction?

Just a tale of sound and fury—told by an idiot?

Just a Southern Decadent story—signifying nothing?

Just another novel—about tragic Mississippi boylove?

Just a strange fabulation—on incestuous miscegenation?

Just an unreliable narrative—for gullible naïve readers?

« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 11:06:44 PM by pugetopolis » Logged

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« Reply #672 on: September 21, 2007, 11:11:23 PM »

Of course you and I and anyone paying attention knows that the bullshit refers to your conversion of my line "fallen idol" to "going down".

You've been a challenge for a long time puge and I think I've weathered it well.  I will no longer.
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pugetopolis
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« Reply #673 on: September 21, 2007, 11:30:20 PM »


This discussion has certainly taken an interesting turn.
It may not be homosexual liaisons being described?
It was all in the mind and POV of the reader? Hmmmmm.



Yes, interesting isn't it?

John has raised an intriguing point...

And that is the reader...as unreliable narrator...

The last time a readers group got into this literary topic
was during the Pale Fire Nabokov discussion with the
NYTimes Readers Group...

1. Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire is like Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom.

2. The reader plays an important role as reliable/unreliable narrator.

3. Pale Fire is like a game-text, a jack-in-the-box...depending on where the reader begins.

4. The Poem, the Commentary, the Index and the Preface -- all of it adds ambiguity to both reader and text.

5. The reader reading the text from beginning to end has one interpretation.

6. The reader beginning with the poem and moving back and forth from lines to commentary has another view.

7. I've noticed the same thing with Absalom, Absalom as well as its companion novel TSATF.

8. Both Faulkner novels and Nabokov's Pale Fire have multiple reliable/unreliable narrators.

9. Plus the reader himself/herself must be considered in the narrative strategy of these two masters...

10. To me this is the richness of Literature that makes life worth living...
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #674 on: September 21, 2007, 11:50:59 PM »

Two other interesting passages:

Page 77 (Vintage)  "In fact, perhaps this is the pure and perfect incest:  the brother realising that the sister's virginity must be destroyed in order to have existed at all, taking that virginity in the person of the brother-in-law, the man whom he would be if he could become, metamorphose into, the lover, the husband; by whom he would be despoiled, choose for despoiler, if he could become, metamorphose into the sister, the mistress, the bride."

Page 95 (Vintage)  (Bon)"could not have wanted Judith without Henry since he must never have doubted but what he could marry Judith when he wished, in spite of brother and father both, because as I said before, it was not Judith who was the object of Bon's love or of Henry's solicitude.  She was just the blank shape, the empty vessel in which each of them strove to preserve, not the illusion of himself nor his illusion of the other but what each conceived the other to believer him to be--the man and the youth, seducer and seduced, who had known one another, seduced and been seduced, victimised in turn each by the other, conqueror vanquished by his own strength, vanquished conquering by his own weakness, before Judith came into their joint lives even by so much as girlname."
« Last Edit: September 22, 2007, 11:07:18 AM by Lhoffman » Logged
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