As I Lay Dying, Faulkner
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Does anyone find the book, As I Lay Dying, to be completely tedious? I have read some tough books, but damn, I could not force myself to read this. ANyone one else have a similar experience with Faulkner?
For Faulkner, I actually found this one to be pretty straightforward. In contrast, The Sound and the Fury jumps around like, like... oh I dunno, like a cricket on crack caught on a frying pan. As with most Faulkner, I listen to audio versions and "cheat" by refering to Sparknotes or some similar online summary. I know it sounds cheesy, but it works for me. Tedious, no. Hard work, sometimes. Stay with it and the characters and their monologues, eventually sort themselves out.
Thank you, and I don't consider that cheating btw. It is a good way to get background and such.
Yeah, and I come from a big family where all the siblings would come home from the movies and tell me the entire plot. I am totally immune to any frustration over spoilers. I usually read guides and plot summaries after reading each chapter but I've no problem reading those study guides first.
As I Lay Dying and Light in August are his easiest books! As I Lay Dying is easy if you catch on to the pattern...the book progresses by each chapter (addie's last days, the funeral procession, her burial, anse's lack of mourning, darl's epiphany that the world is crazy, etc) but also told from the perspective of others. so u get the overall plot, just from diff people. does that make sense?
it's one of my fav books! i love darl!
Never made it through Light in August, though I've tried and tried. As I Lay Dying and The Reivers are my two favorites. Oh, and The Town. And half of The Wild Palms, though which half depends on my mood at the time.
As I Lay Dying has the sickest, blackest, bleakest humor I've ever laughed out loud to, and I'm not much for that sort of thing. I think it should be recommended reading in high school. If nothing else, it'd give the Goth kids something to admire.
When I was a lad, we had to fight our way through The Sound and the Fury. Damn near impenetrable.
Oh yes. I did get the storyline and there were individual segments which were really great, but I loathed the way it was written (especially the habit of introducing new narrators out of the blue without giving any kind of clue who they were).
I don't mind hard books but I hate books which REQUIRE one to read them several times, preferably making notes. There are books which get better with repeated readings but the good ones at least invite the reader to give it another go, this one didn't.
To quote another poor victim of the book, I'd like to resurrect William Faulkner just so I could beat him to death with a copy of that book.
...so, is it to be understood that I should stay away from Faulkner altogether? If I want to read bleak humour I'll go for Flannery O'Connor (who apparently liked Faulkner, but also was much more sensible writer).
7: If it is just the story structure that bothers you about As I Lay Dying, then other Faulkner books are probably not going to be a problem for you. As far as I can recall, he doesn't use the rotating narrator structure in his other books.
Oh, good, maybe I'll give a shot for some other books of him then...
I had thought things jumped around quite a bit in The Sound and the Fury.
Whoa. I already said that in this post. I've got to get some rest!
The Sound and the Fury is at least twice as dense as As I Lay Dying. And Absalom, Absalom! is probably ten times as dense (those three are my favorites of his, incidentally). Faulkner's humor is not the chief value of his writing. If you're looking for 'Southern Gothic' writing that's bleakly humorous, then maybe your best bet is O'Connor. If, however, you're looking for the best writing in the tradition, and some of the best American writing ever done, you can't do better than Faulkner. It's dense; it's hard; you can't understand everything in one reading. If that doesn't appeal to you, and if you're not comfortable not knowing what's going on plot-wise a lot of the time (though, I have to say, that wasn't really a problem for me in Dying), then Faulkner isn't for you. Neither, by the way, is Joyce, David Foster Wallace, McCarthy, Pynchon, Flann O'Brien, and a host of others. Pretty much anything I like, haha.
Had to read AILD at school, which was a while ago now. As I recall, we had no problems with the plot and the narrative structure, though we did find the Bundren family intensely annoying characters after a while, as a result of their stubborn inability to take a sensible course of action, whenever there was an alternative idiotic course available... :-)
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