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Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner

Go Down, Moses (original 1942; edition 1942)

by William Faulkner

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2,303232,757 (3.89)72
Title:Go Down, Moses
Authors:William Faulkner
Info:Modern Library (1942), Edition: Modern Library Edition, Hardcover
Collections:Your library, Books Adrian has read
Tags:Fiction, American Literature, 2012, Nobel Prize in Literature

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Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner (1942)



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As a literature student or a reader, I'm not sure how to rate this. It is my first experience with Faulkner (how did I get so far without having read him before).

Overall, a very interesting novel that challenges what a novel IS.

As an example, the central "chapter" - "The Bear" - could be argued to be a novella on its own. But the surrounding stories, which build up the narrative of the family and its history, all contribute something to it.

Faulkner does some amazing things with sentence structure, stretching the rules of English syntax to their limits in some of the most astounding ways.

Not sure if this would be the work I'd suggest as someone's "first Faulkner".
  jennaelf | Jan 5, 2016 |
I'm sort of surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I expected it to be a struggle, like Little Women was -- which I gave up on and decided I honestly just don't care how those women turned out. This one I enjoyed.

I'm listing it as "History" because I think recently we've been trying to rewrite history ... "It wasn't THAT BAD! People are making more of the Civil War and slavery than it was!" ... and this book almost beats you about the face with the true reality of the time. Part of me wants to keep it for that reason. I can also foresee books like these -- that liberally use the "N-word" -- being collected and burned in order to better control what we remember about the past.

I think I will keep it.
Adrianne ( )
  Adrianne_p | Jul 12, 2015 |
A series of Southern short stories by a master. Great work. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
Having never read Faulkner, I was pretty happy with this one. I enjoyed each story for itself, as well as how well each story fit in with the whole. The only thing that I would have liked better was if he had "ordered" the stories in chronological order, & not had them skip back & forth in time the way they did. Hemingway did this with the Nick Adams stories, but when they were released as a book after his death, the publishers put them in order so that they made sense. I would have loved to have seen that done with this book, as it can throw you when you go from one time period to another, then back again. ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 17, 2014 |
Some beautiful and truly touching stories, and certainly some of Faulkner's best. Oddly enough, The Bear, which is often mentioned as Faulkner's best story, fell dead and completely flat after Ike's beautifully described encounter with Old Ben and the monstrous dog Lion, when the story becomes a tedious (and probably academically interesting) chronical of the family's next few decades, which moves more or less like notations in a wage book. This is historically intriguing, since apparently the ledger was copied almost word for word from an actually post-Civil War document. Still, THE BEAR is probably the biggest let down I've ever read, since the first 20 pages are among the best I've read anywhere. Thematically, the story's conclusion makes sense, since it deals with greed, land, bloodlines and family, but it just did not have the narrative thrust of the earlier sections.

Faulkner at his best makes you feel and understand and entire world, working in the background. His greatest stories grab you by the throat and never let go.

Faulkner at his worst becomes a sort of confusing historical chronicler, devoid of emotion or even tangible scenes.

Still,The Fire and the Hearth is brilliant (10/10), Pantaloon in Black is a truly weirdo depiction of mythbuilding and racial oppression (9/10), and the other pieces are all great in their own ways (WAS is a hilarious and disturbing story of race, love and a poker game).

Greatly recommended. ( )
  blanderson | Mar 4, 2014 |
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To Mammy /
Mississippi /
[1840-1940] /
Who was born in slavery and who /
gave to my family a fidelity without /
stint or calculation of recompense /
and to my childhood an immeasur- /
able devotion and love [As shown in 1955 1st Modern Library ed.]
First words
Isaac McCaslin, 'Uncle Ike', past seventy and nearer eighty than he ever corroborated any more, a widower now and uncle to half a county and father to no one.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679732179, Paperback)

“I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.” —William Faulkner, on receiving the Nobel Prize
Go Down, Moses is composed of seven interrelated stories, all of them set in Faulkner’s mythic Yoknapatawpha County. From a variety of perspectives, Faulkner examines the complex, changing relationships between blacks and whites, between man and nature, weaving a cohesive novel rich in implication and insight.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:16 -0400)

Faulkner examines the changing relationship of black to white and of man to the land, and weaves a complex work that is rich in understanding of the human condition.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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