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As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
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As I Lay Dying (edition 2009)

by William Faulkner, Michael Gorra (Editor)

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469631,624 (3.85)7
Member:artistlibrarian
Title:As I Lay Dying
Authors:William Faulkner
Other authors:Michael Gorra (Editor)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2009), Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:fiction, Your library
Rating:****
Tags:classics, American, southern, banned/challenged

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As I Lay Dying [Norton Critical Edition] by William Faulkner

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» See also 7 mentions

English (5)  Dutch (1)  All languages (6)
Showing 5 of 5
Compelling, beautiful (and ugly), sad. Deserving of its place defining 20th century Southern American lit. I read this back in high school and did not understand the hype. This is an entirely different book once you are a grownup. ( )
1 vote Narshkite | May 6, 2013 |
Brilliant characters, beautiful descriptions and a combination of graphic images and dark humor make this a must read. Fires, floods, rotting flesh, sexual infidelity, are blended into this multiple point of view narrative. It is filled with poetic descriptions, lazy hillbillies, and characters with strong hearts.
I love the multiples points of view through which this compelling narrative unfolds. ( )
  blackglasses | Mar 24, 2013 |
I'm a computer programmer and far from the world of high literary culture. I do like to make occasional visits to that world, however. Sometimes I head for the frontiers, but other times I will go right to the core. Norton Critical Editions seem like a workable definition for "core". I am clearly in no position to offer meaningful comments on the value of Faulkner's work or that of the editor of this edition - all that is the distilled product of a huge industry. I feel like a schoolchild on a factory tour! Still, I can offer my impressions.

Faulkner's novel itself is a total onslaught. I expected to be confused - I find a lot of this high modern literature very hard to grasp - but actually this novel is easy enough to read and to follow. OK, a lot of the language runs miles outside the neat city streets of proper grammar, but just reading it gives one a good impression of the issues the characters are struggling with. The whole plot is laid out quite directly. The real assault is just the intensity of experience, both the raw sensory experience of the characters and then all the emotion turmoil this drives and is driven by. Or the kind of emotional rigidity that, like smoke implies fire, implies some kind of traumatic cutting off. Reading this novel is a bit of a traumatic shock itself. Life really can be brutal - some kind of underlying brutality seems almost pervasive sometimes - and this novel rips off the pretty wrapping. It's easy to see how it has earned its place in the literary canon.

What's really funny about this book is that the overall structure is almost a mirror of the novel. The novel is a collection of snippets, reflections on events from the points of view of a variety of characters. Then the Norton Critical Edition duplicates this, giving us reflections on the novel from the points of view of a variety of characters. The variety is about as diverse as the characters in the novel! It amazes me how these different analyses pull such different interpretations out of the one short novel. Of course, the novel is a bit of a Rorschach ink splot - such a rich incoherence that one can build any number of palaces atop it. And here they are! But each of them seemed at least like a legitimate perspective, even if at times the rich interpretation of minor details seemed a bit overdone. Even then, it's a great tool to help the reader look again, to revitalize one's reading. ( )
  kukulaj | May 3, 2011 |
I don't think he did such a good job with the colloquial dialect. Cormac McCarthy does a much better job, but that is my subjective opinion. The story was great. The matriarch of the family dies and the husband oversees her wishes to be buried among her own kin, which requires a long ride. I kept thinking this entire family had a screw loose, somewhere, because they couldn't do anything right. Lots of allusions going on here, to Greek mythology, to God and Christianity, to female sexuality. This stuff is heady.

I felt stupid at the end when I had to look on Wikipedia just to confirm that I thought I knew what happened. It was a little confusing so it helped to have the confirmation. Perhaps I'll try The Sound and the Fury, next. ( )
  carrieprice78 | Feb 23, 2011 |
I read this when I was on my 'I need to read the classics' kick. I didn't expect to like it, but I did. ( )
  bohemiangirl35 | Jul 3, 2010 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Faulkner, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gorra, MichaelEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Agee, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baker, Julia K. W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bedient, CalvinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bleikasten, AndréContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brooks, CleanthContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Canby, Henry SeidelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clark, Thoms D.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coindreau, Maurice-EdgarContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dawson, Margaret CheneyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fadiman, Clifton P.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fowler, DoreenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gray, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hobson, FredContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kartiganer, Donald M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Larbaud, ValeryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Limon, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lytle, Andrew NelsonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McCullers, CarsonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, C. D.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Muir, EdwinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
O’Donnell, PatrickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ross, Stephen M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, Henry NashContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sundquist, EricContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vickery, Olga W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Do Not Combine: This is a "Norton Critical Edition", it is a unique work with significant added material, including essays and background materials. Do not combine with other editions of the work.

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393931382, 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 18:14:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"First published in 1930, As I Lay Dying has long been recognized not only as one of William Faulkner's greatest works, but also as the most accessible of his major novels. This Norton Critical Edition is based on the 1985 Corrected Text and is accompanied by detailed explanatory annotations." "In addition to the text's essays and criticism, a chronology and a selected bibliography are also included."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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