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As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

As I Lay Dying (1930)

by William Faulkner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,140158338 (3.9)543
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    aethercowboy: Getting Mother's Body is a reimagining of As I Lay Dying through a different culture's point of view.
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» See also 543 mentions

English (149)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (157)
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
As I Lay Dying is a very difficult book and, like many of the Bundren clan must feel at its end, one where you don't know if it has been rewarding for your soul or just that someone else has taken you for a ride for their own purposes.

Many of Faulkner's affectations conspire to make the book a toil: the stream-of-consciousness style, the unreliable (and numerous) narrators, the Southern vernacular, the wordy, tongue-tied prose, the pseudo-lyrical indulgence of minutiae and the bleak, joyless outlook on life. When you read that Faulkner wrote the book in six weeks and bragged that he didn't change a word of it, you do wonder if maybe he was a charlatan (my mother is a fish?). The book drips humidity; this is a writer who fancies himself a writer, and even if it does come good, you think about all those pretentious disciples who have followed the path Faulkner forged, deliberately overcooking their prose and providing needless time- and point-of-view switches, solely because it is 'artsy' and says 'I am smarter than you' without actually saying it.

That said, As I Lay Dying is a legitimate piece and my scepticisms proved unfounded, no matter how hard it was for me to reach such a point. There is a method here from Faulkner, about how we process death and how we treat family. How each of us are dying in our different ways and at different paces, and we can't see it in each other and – Faulkner seems to say – how it is all for nothing. Like Anse, Faulkner makes you work here, and how you feel about that at the end depends on the choices and the rationalizations and the omissions you have determined along the way. Sadly, I found I hadn't moved an inch. I wish I had. ( )
  MikeFutcher | Jul 4, 2018 |
Captures the voice and outlook of the Southern rural poor. The darkly comic telling, through the voices of the family and their neighbours, shows how poverty and ignorance produces a domestic version of gothic horror. 13 May 2018. ( )
  alanca | Jun 13, 2018 |
I found this to primarily be an exploration of grief and the various ways the members of Addie's family dealt with her passing. I didn't think it was a good as [i]The Sound and the Fury[/i], but was definitely typical of Faulkner. I did find the constant changing of point of view more distracting than in [i]The Sound and the Fury[/i] where there was just the four sections. If you are a fan of modernist American literature or Southern literature I would definitely recommend this book, but just be forewarned this employs quite a few unconventional techniques and formal experimentalism. Highly recommended for those interested in study literature but if you are more of a casual reader probably not something to just pick up on the spur of the moment. ( )
  never_sam | May 16, 2018 |
Dark, gloomy about unfortunate family as in some ways each of the characters lay dying.

As I Lay Dying is a 1930 novel, in the genre of Southern Gothic, by American author William Faulkner. Faulkner said that he wrote the novel from midnight to 4:00 AM over the course of six weeks and that he did not change a word of it. Faulkner wrote it while working at a power plant, published it in 1930, and described it as a "tour de force". Faulkner's fifth novel, it is consistently ranked among the best novels of 20th-century literature. The title derives from Book XI of Homer's Odyssey, wherein Agamemnon tells Odysseus: "As I lay dying, the woman with the dog's eyes would not close my eyes as I descended into Hades."
  gmicksmith | May 1, 2018 |
"In the afternoon when school was out and the last one had left with
his little dirty snuffling nose, instead of going home I would go down the hill
to the spring where I could be quiet and hate them." Best. Line. Ever. ( )
  knp4597 | Mar 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (58 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Faulknerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Raver, LornaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Hal Smith
First words
Jewel and I come up from the field, following the path in single file.
"She's a-going," he says. "Her mind is set on it."
Sometimes I aint so sho who's got ere a right to say when a man is crazy and when he aint. Sometimes I think it aint none of us pure crazy and aint none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-way. It's like it aint so much what a fellow does, but it's the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it.
My mother is a fish.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067973225X, Paperback)

Faulkner's distinctive narrative structures--the uses of multiple points of view and the inner psychological voices of the characters--in one of its most successful incarnations here in As I Lay Dying. In the story, the members of the Bundren family must take the body of Addie, matriarch of the family, to the town where Addie wanted to be buried. Along the way, we listen to each of the members on the macabre pilgrimage, while Faulkner heaps upon them various flavors of disaster. Contains the famous chapter completing the equation about mothers and fish--you'll see.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:17 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

At the heart of this 1930 novel is the Bundren family's bizarre journey to Jefferson to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Faulkner lets each family member--including Addie--and others along the way tell their private responses to Addie's life. As I Lay Dying is the harrowing, darkly comic tale of the Bundren family's trek across Mississippi to bury Addie, their wife and mother, as told by each of the family members--including Addie herself.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

Legacy Library: William Faulkner

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