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Collected Stories of William Faulkner (1951)

by William Faulkner

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I tried - and failed - to read a Faulkner novel, so thought his short stories would be a more accessible introduction to his work. Be advised, this is a pretty mammoth tome: 42 stories over 900 pages, and by no means all the stories are easily comprehensible. I found myself numerous times on Google, trying to check out the interpretation of a particular tale.
Faulkner writes in a 'blokey' style: his stories feature war, American Indians, the racial divide, drink, revenge. I don't ever see myself reading anything else by him, but I absolutely appreciate the quality of his writing. The final story, for example, 'Carcassonne', describing rats:

"It was dark, a darkness filled with a fairy pattering of small feet, stealthy and intent. Sometimes the cold patter of them on his face waked him in the night, and at his movement they scurried invisibly like an abrupt disintegration of dead leaves in a wind, in whispering arpeggios of minute sound, leaving a thin but definite effluvium of furtiveness and voracity."

My favourite stories were : 'Two Soldiers', narrated by a child whose beloved elder brother is off to War; 'Red Leaves' (once I figured what's going on) where two American Indians are in pursuit of a slave, who is destined to die with his dead master; 'Turnabout' (where two arrogant American soldiers come to realise the courage of the young English marine who they initially despise). I also liked 'Elly' and 'Carcassonne' (I may not have correctly understood the latter, but it's intensely moving.)

Would give this 3.5. I'm glad I've finished it, but glad too that I read it ( )
  starbox | Jul 3, 2014 |
This collection of Faulkner's short fiction is divided into geographical settings, starting in the familiar land of Yoknapatawpha County and extending outward to encompass the rest of the country and beyond, with the final section involving elements outside of this world. I personally found the stories in the first few sections the most compelling. They involve many of the characters and settings familiar from his novels and provide us with a variety of viewpoints of life in the county. Of the latter stories, many involve military service and utilize unexplained lingo and events I was unfamiliar with, so that may have colored my perception. A few favorites for their unique narration and/or unexpected plot: "A Rose for Emily", "Dry September", "Elly", "That Will Be Fine", "Turnabout" and "Beyond".
1 vote sholt2001 | Jun 22, 2010 |
3443. Collected Stories of William Faulkner (read May 11, 2001) I saw that I had read every National Book Award fiction winner from the institution of the award in 1950 till 1968 except this book. So I thought I would read this since it was at the library. There are 42 stories and I found it a chore to read one after another for 900 pages. Some of the stories are very good, but some are poor and dull. Many have the defect common in modern-day short stories--not telling what happened and kind of leaving the reader up in the air. "A Rose for Emily"--which I believe has been anthologized quite a bit is, I thought, probably the best story in the book, if I had to choose one. ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Nov 23, 2007 |
I was blown away by this collection. I've never come across a better collection of stories than this one. His WWI stories, I don't particularly care for, but I was mesmerized by almost everything in this book. Faulkner is my ultimate hero. ( )
  BeaverMeyer | Jul 29, 2007 |
"A Rose For Emily" is, well, perfect
1 vote thm61 | Jan 20, 2006 |
Showing 5 of 5
Faulkner is no longer known for his short stories, except perhaps for “The Bear,” which appeared both as a stand-alone and as part of Go Down, Moses, but the collection for which he won the National Book Award is really a stunning achievement, and as unsettling as they come.
 
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The store in which the Justice of the Peace's court was sitting smelled of cheese.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679764038, Paperback)

“I’m a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can’t and then tries the short story which is the most demanding form after poetry. And failing that, only then does he take up novel writing.” —William Faulkner
 
Winner of the National Book Award

Forty-two stories make up this magisterial collection by the writer who stands at the pinnacle of modern American fiction. Compressing an epic expanse of vision into hard and wounding narratives, Faulkner’s stories evoke the intimate textures of place, the deep strata of history and legend, and all the fear, brutality, and tenderness of the human condition. These tales are set not only in Yoknapatawpha County, but in Beverly Hills and in France during World War I. They are populated by such characters as the Faulknerian archetypes Flem Snopes and Quentin Compson, as well as by ordinary men and women who emerge so sharply and indelibly in these pages that they dwarf the protagonists of most novels.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:17 -0400)

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A selection of short stories by William Faulkner.

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