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Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner

Go Down, Moses (1942)

by William Faulkner

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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 |
more powerful than ever; the connections between stories are enhanced on the second reading; the sense of narrative and tragedy are heightened by foreknowledge
  FKarr | Apr 20, 2013 |
parts of this were much better than others. the first story was pretty hard to follow, and even though you figure it'll be clear later, it made for difficult reading.

*spoiler in this paragraph* i absolutely loved what he did in the story the bear when he talked about freedom and how the bear would risk his freedom each year with the hunters in order to more fully appreciate that he had it, and how his death and loss of freedom at the hands of the hunters is what killed sam. beautiful and impossible to do justice in a review.

i always like reading things about race, but a lot of this was hard to read, although he's coming from a place that would fit in better today than 60 years ago. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Apr 2, 2013 |
Faulkner não considerava Go Down, Moses como antologia de contos, mas como um romance em episódios sobre a relação do homem com a natureza. Isaac McCaslin é um dos personagens mais interessantes do autor.
This delta, he thought: This Delta. This land which man has deswamped and denuded and derivered in two generations so that white men can own plantations and commute every night to Memphis and black men own plantations and ride in jim crow cars to Chicago to live in millionaires’ mansions on Lakeshore Drive, where white men rent farms and live like niggers and niggers crop on shares and live like animals, where cotton is planted and grows man-tall in the very cracks of the sidewalks, and ursury and mortgage and bankcruptcy and measureless wealth, Chinese and African and Aryan and Jew, all breed and spawn together until no man has time to say which is which nor cares…. No wonder the ruined woods I used to know don’t cry for retribution! He thought: The people who have destroyed it will accomplish its revenge. ( )
  JuliaBoechat | Mar 30, 2013 |
William Faulkner's Go Down, Moses has a mind-blowing centerpiece in "The Bear", however the rest of the short stories fall short of this standard. "The Bear" ranks with the top of Faulkner's writing (As I Lay Dying and The Sound And The Fury) but the other stories show that this was an author who more or less got lucky rather than set out to distinctly create nothing but masterpieces. This is okay- after all, it worked for Shakespeare, but even he wrote a "Merry Wives Of Windsor", even he wrote "The Two Gentlemen of Verona." ( )
  Salmondaze | Sep 9, 2012 |
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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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:47 -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.

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