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The Sound and the Fury (Vintage Classics)

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Product Description The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions Product Description The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner’s masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. “I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire. . . . I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.” —from The Sound and the Fury Review “I am in awe of Faulkner’s Benjy, James’s Maisie, Flaubert’s Emma, Melville’s Pip, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein—each of us can extend the list. . . . I am interested in what prompts and makes possible this process of entering what one is estranged from.” —Toni Morrison “No man ever put more of his heart and soul into the written word than did William Faulkner. If you want to know all you can about that heart and soul, the fiction where he put it is still right there.” —Eudora Welty About the Author William Cuthbert Faulkner was born in 1897 and raised in Oxford, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life. One of the towering figures of American literature, he is the author of The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom!, and As I Lay Dying, among many other remarkablebooks. Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1950 and France’s Legion of Honor in 1951. He died in 1962. From the Trade Paperback edition. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. April Seventh, 1928. Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting. They were coming toward where the flag was and I went along the fence. Luster was hunting in the grass by the flower tree. They took the flag out, and they were hitting. Then they put the flag back and they went to the table, and he hit and the other hit. Then they went on, and I went along the fence. Luster came away from the flower tree and we went along the fence and they stopped and we stopped and I looked through the fence while Luster was hunting in the grass.


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Product Description The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions Product Description The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner’s masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. “I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire. . . . I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.” —from The Sound and the Fury Review “I am in awe of Faulkner’s Benjy, James’s Maisie, Flaubert’s Emma, Melville’s Pip, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein—each of us can extend the list. . . . I am interested in what prompts and makes possible this process of entering what one is estranged from.” —Toni Morrison “No man ever put more of his heart and soul into the written word than did William Faulkner. If you want to know all you can about that heart and soul, the fiction where he put it is still right there.” —Eudora Welty About the Author William Cuthbert Faulkner was born in 1897 and raised in Oxford, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life. One of the towering figures of American literature, he is the author of The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom!, and As I Lay Dying, among many other remarkablebooks. Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1950 and France’s Legion of Honor in 1951. He died in 1962. From the Trade Paperback edition. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. April Seventh, 1928. Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting. They were coming toward where the flag was and I went along the fence. Luster was hunting in the grass by the flower tree. They took the flag out, and they were hitting. Then they put the flag back and they went to the table, and he hit and the other hit. Then they went on, and I went along the fence. Luster came away from the flower tree and we went along the fence and they stopped and we stopped and I looked through the fence while Luster was hunting in the grass.

30 review for The Sound and the Fury (Vintage Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    A review paying homage to BENJY COMPSON'S uniquely disorienting narration: BENJY...narrator... lacks sense of time...merger of past and present merge...all the same...disorientation...1928...Easter... Mississippi...Compsons...aristocrat family...hard times... Benjy... mentally handicapped...33rd birthday...Luster...guardian... quarter lost... minstrel show...golf course... golf balls... memory cues... flashbacks... clothes... nail... sister... Caddy... CAAAAAADDDYY!.. 1902... flashback... A review paying homage to BENJY COMPSON'S uniquely disorienting narration: BENJY...narrator... lacks sense of time...merger of past and present merge...all the same...disorientation...1928...Easter... Mississippi...Compsons...aristocrat family...hard times... Benjy... mentally handicapped...33rd birthday...Luster...guardian... quarter lost... minstrel show...golf course... golf balls... memory cues... flashbacks... clothes... nail... sister... Caddy... CAAAAAADDDYY!.. 1902... flashback... argument... [pause reading, WTF is going on here] ... affair... neighbor... Christmas Party... Mrs. Compson... moan... annoy... [stop reading, pour stiff drink, drink, repeat] ... 1928... carriage house... cue... 1912... graveyard... Quentin... Dilsey... Jason... Uncle Maury... Benjy crying... 1928... barn... [stop reading, bang head against wall and re-read whole book up to this point]... 1902... secret lovers... notes... pockets... interception... scared... Benjy... 1928... stream... Benjy... flashback... 1898... funeral... Damuddy... Versh... wet dress... whipping... 1928... milking cow... [stop reading... go to Wikipedia and read about book... EUREKA... now I get it] ... 1910... wedding... TP... “sassprilluh”... drunk... fight... Benjy... chaos... crying...1898... hill... playing... dinner... jason... snitch... Dilsey... Mrs. Compson... crying... Damuddy... 1928... financial problems... 1910... singing... Roskus... unlucky Compsons... 1912... TP... little Miss Quentin... daughter... illegitimate... Luster... dirt... Benjy... toy... crying... disgrace... 1928... golf ball... 1898... death... Versh... lightning bugs... Frony... funeral... Nancy... horse... buzzards... 1912... Mr. Compson... memory... death...1898... Damuddy... Benjy... buzzards... bones... tree... parlor window... soiled clothing... Benjy crying... 1910... drunken memory... 1905... perfume... CAAAAAADDDYY!... mocking... “prissy dress”... Jason... upset... Caddy smells like trees... 1898... spying... Caddy... scolding... 1928... stream... swing... Miss Quentin... red tie... flashback... Charlie... Caddy... suitor... kissing... Benjy... crying... soap... 1928... swing... red tie and Miss Quentin... upset... used condom... SLUT... red tie... Luster... schoolgirls... 1910... girls... Benjy... screams... attack... no harm meant... Mr. Compson... castration... 1928... golfball... sell... caddie... caddie?... CAAAAAADDDYY!... flower... taunting... insane asylum... Dilsey... Luster... teasing... flashback... fire... name change... Maury to Benjy... birthday cake... Mrs. Compson... uncaring... self-indulgent... wailing... self-pity... ill... annoying Bitch... library... 1900... Caddy... library... comfort... cushion... Jason... asshole... paper dolls... malicious... 1928... quarter... borrow... minstrel show... disdain... Jason... Miss Quentin... red tie... supper... 1909... virginity... Benjy... crying... shame... upset... crying... 1928... dinner... Miss Quentin... Jason... scold... argument... Benjy in past... empty room... Miss Quentin... window... 1898... soiled underwear... Benjy... muddy...1928... Benjy... sleep... QUENTIN... narrator... Harvard... watch ticking... time theme... gift... father... St Francis... death... “Little Sister”... memory... [oh shit, not the flashbacks again] ... Caddy... wedding announcement... Shreve... class bell... Spoade... senior... big asshole... virginity... Caddy... confession... incest... [Wait, wait, WAAAAAIT, what was that about incest?] ... lie [whew, okay go on] ...Dalton Ames... father... nihilist... life is meaningless... [cheery guy ain’t he] ... breaks glass... finger cut...blood... tick tock... tick tock... bath... two notes... father... post office... note to Shreve... Deacon... nowhere... clock shop... time... don’t fix... tailor weights... train... time... wrong... Benjy... Maury... bridge... thoughts... drowning... Gerald Bland... student... river... painful memories... Caddy... slut... Herbert... bank job... Jason... Deacon... Shreve... Quentin... trolley... memory... fight with Herbert... jealous... devastated... sad... miserable... CAAAAAADDDYY!... Mr. Compson... uncaring... “virginity is meaningless concept”... Quentin... sad... bridge... Herbert... cheater... “blackguard”... Quentin... Italian girl... bakery... Julio... accusation... constable... fines... released... Gerald Bland... bragging... Quentin... memory... Caddy... Dalton Ames... suicide pact?... incest... lie... run away... confrontation... fight... depressed... memory... father... uncaring... Quentin... jealous, lonely, sad, rage... JASON... narrator... “Once a Bitch, Always a Bitch”... 1928... asshole... thief... patriarch... fighting mother... raising Miss Quentin... Caddy... divorced... affair... child... lost job... Jason... bitter... farm supplies... anger... stealing money... mean-spirited... devious... cotton market and prostitutes... Miss Quentin... rebellious... stubborn... work... receives 4 letters... father’s funeral... scheme... bully... $10... Mrs. Compson... miserable bitch... Jason... embarrassed... Benjy... red tie... Earl... accusation... stock loss... Jason... furious... car chase... flat tires... home... Luster... tickets... minstrel show... Jason... [What an asshole this guy is] ... NARRATOR AUTHOR... Easter Sunday... 1928... Benjy eating... Jason angry... window broken... Miss Quentin nowhere... Dilsey comforts... Mrs. Compson bitches... strongbox... forced... crime... police... Reverend Shegog... sermon... Jason... sheriff... suspicious... Jason... searches... Miss Quentin... Jason... mistress Lorraine... Jason... rude... old man don’t play... hatchet... Benjy... carriage... new route... scared... scream... change frightens... Jason... beating... familar... Benjy... quiet... THE END. BENJY = Awesome QUENTIN = Weak JASON = Major Assholio CADDY = Tragic Hero MISS QUENTIN = Rebellious/Low Self Esteem MRS. COMPSON = Somebody please shoot the BITCH MR. COMPSON = Life sucks and then you die...SO DIE ALREADY!!. WILLIAM FAULKNER = Maaaaaaaad genius

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bram

    Whew. This is a devastating book. Probably one of the most depressing stories I've read. Incest, castration, suicide, racism, misogyny—this one has it all. Even at the beginning, when it is possible to make out only pieces of the events, a nauseating sense of dread permeates Benji’s narrative per Faulkner’s pungent writing style. And this feeling never really dissipates. Jumping into The Sound and the Fury with no prior introduction is like driving through an impenetrable fog or into a blinding Whew. This is a devastating book. Probably one of the most depressing stories I've read. Incest, castration, suicide, racism, misogyny—this one has it all. Even at the beginning, when it is possible to make out only pieces of the events, a nauseating sense of dread permeates Benji’s narrative per Faulkner’s pungent writing style. And this feeling never really dissipates. Jumping into The Sound and the Fury with no prior introduction is like driving through an impenetrable fog or into a blinding glare—you can't quite tell who is who; male or female; black or white; first, second, or third generation; relative or friend or stranger. But gradually, before frustration has a chance to set in, the fog begins to burn off and the glare becomes less direct. By the time the omniscient narrator closes things out in part four, the scales have been fully removed and you are left with a crystal limpidness in which you can smell the sweet southern honeysuckle and feel the rotting wood of the old barn. It’s interesting to confront another modernist’s take on the human experience of time while concurrently reading In Search of Lost Time. While Proust gently but thoroughly leads us through the inner-workings of our past, present, and future, Faulkner attempts to capture the continual and forceful vying of these elements within the mind—at the intentional cost of a coherent linear narrative. The results are disorienting, yet powerfully emotive. Adding subtly to this effect, Faulkner often relays visual experience egocentrically, particularly in the case of Benji, for whom objects and views vanish before his eyes when he has simply shifted or been turned by Luster or Caddy. Because the first section takes place on the day between the third and fourth sections, I skimmed through some of it again before reading the final part. I was surprised by what I could glean from snippets that had initially seemed inscrutable and incomplete. This is a book made for rereading; an American masterpiece, undoubtedly.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

    The first time I attempted this book, I made my way through a mere three pages before deciding it would be a waste. To date, it is the only book that I had the good sense to leave until later, as my usual response is to barrel through the pages come hell or high water. Perhaps it was a good thing that I had just finished slogging my way through a monstrous tome that left my brain incapable of facing down the beginning of Benjy's prose. I don't remember the title of whatever book left me in that The first time I attempted this book, I made my way through a mere three pages before deciding it would be a waste. To date, it is the only book that I had the good sense to leave until later, as my usual response is to barrel through the pages come hell or high water. Perhaps it was a good thing that I had just finished slogging my way through a monstrous tome that left my brain incapable of facing down the beginning of Benjy's prose. I don't remember the title of whatever book left me in that state, but I do remember staring at the beginning pages of this one, my mind wandering in frozen disbelief over the contorted fragments that supposedly made up a story. So I left it until later, four years later if I remember correctly, and I'm glad that I did. The writing in this book is notoriously difficult. Insert reference to quote from Macbeth, something something signifying nothing and all that jazz. You've heard it before, and I won't waste anyone's time reiterating it. However, now that I've finally reached the end, I can't say that I would change any part of it. Had the entire book been written in the style of the last section, largely cohesive with rare flares of descriptive prose and sudden jumps in point of view and timeline, it would not have been nearly as powerful. The story IS sound, the story IS fury, and you can't convey that without dipping the prose in that septic pool of chaotic madness. If I hadn't battled my way through Benjy, if I hadn't pulled myself inch by inch through Quentin, I wouldn't have understood the horror of Jason, or the final tragedy of the conclusion. To be frank, I wouldn't have cared. But I did care. I did care because the haphazard mess of the beginning readied my mind for a reading that, instead of demanding a tenacious follower, asked for a bucket to fill with errant drops. A drop of plot-line here, a drop of context there, many drops that filled in the blanks of the neurotic frenzy that is the Compson family. Nature versus nurture. Nature planted a singular seed of madness in the blood, and nurture drove each along different paths. You'll be gathering bits and pieces of this tangential story, wondering what it's all for, and then a single phrase will narrow the story to a focal point of singular rage and despair. When that happens, you'll understand what all that seemingly headless running about was for. All the disconnected hints and teases will culminate in an awful truth, and it isn't a feeling that any sort of linear timeline can convey. For, if you read an edition that contains the foreword appendix written by the author, you'll be given that linear timeline right at the beginning. You'll know the hard, cold facts of this family long before the story begins. You'll know their furthest ancestor, and you'll know their ignominious end, and you'll even get the major, notable events in between. You won't care about Benjy's plight, or Quentin's, or Jason's, or the whole family's, this Southern strain of blood that ends in a lost oblivion of death, bitterness, and idiocy. All you'll have is context, that collection of straightforward no-nonsense tidbits that make perfect sense and ultimately mean nothing. You can't expect them to, long before you have delved into the lives of these characters, the agonizing push and pull each one of them suffers in their respective place. You can't expect them to if you still wish to put this story in its place with each character neatly categorized and every loose end resolved in a satisfying conclusion. This story is one concerned with the long slow death of lineage, the inexorable tugging and tearing of ideologies and timelines on a collection of souls that have been slung together in a collusion of familial blood and social connections. No one escapes the hell on earth that was apportioned to them, embodied in poisonous words that are fueled by a poisonous life conditioned by a poisonous world. Not even the idiot, who does not know the context and yet feels the agony, much as we the reader feel our way through the chaotic text of this story with an underlying sense of grief and despair, one that cannot be contained in a single quote, paragraph, page, or section. Not until it's much too late, and somewhere along the twisted path we lost our hearts to this tragic mess of a family that we knew was doomed from the start. Somewhere amongst the sound and the fury that pain touched us, and the most we can do is join Benjy in the bellowing in response to that fearful anger. We know it signifies nothing. We know it does, much as anything with a beginning and an end will eventually be lost in the mists of time, and the world will roll on in ignorant bliss of its history. We know that. But it sure as hell doesn't feel that way.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Reading some books is like clambering through a barbed wire fence at the bottom of a swamp with your oxygen tank about to run out and this is one of those. When you’re done with it you look round expecting someone to notice and rush up with the medal and citation you completely deserve for services to literature. You finished it! Yeahhh! But no one does and if you try to explain to your family “Hey wow I finished The Sound and the Fury, man was that difficult, wow, my brain is like permanently Reading some books is like clambering through a barbed wire fence at the bottom of a swamp with your oxygen tank about to run out and this is one of those. When you’re done with it you look round expecting someone to notice and rush up with the medal and citation you completely deserve for services to literature. You finished it! Yeahhh! But no one does and if you try to explain to your family “Hey wow I finished The Sound and the Fury, man was that difficult, wow, my brain is like permanently rearranged, that Faulkner, what a writer” they just smile placatingly and open another tin of gunk for the cat.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    William Faulkner's unforgettable 1929 novel of the "rotting family in the rotting house." It's a somber tale of the tragically dysfunctional Compson family, told with insight and remarkable talent, though it’s definitely not readily accessible. Mostly set in the year 1928, and in the US south in the days of segregation and prejudice (the N-word makes a frequent appearance), The Sound and the Fury has four sections plus an appendix. Three of the sections are narrated by the three Compson William Faulkner's unforgettable 1929 novel of the "rotting family in the rotting house." It's a somber tale of the tragically dysfunctional Compson family, told with insight and remarkable talent, though it’s definitely not readily accessible. Mostly set in the year 1928, and in the US south in the days of segregation and prejudice (the N-word makes a frequent appearance), The Sound and the Fury has four sections plus an appendix. Three of the sections are narrated by the three Compson brothers, Benjy, Quentin and Jason. I think the usual no-spoilers rules doesn't work well with this book: it's so difficult to put the pieces together than I think most readers (like me) need all the help they can get. So I'm going to lay the plot all out here. If you're a hardcore non-spoiler person, skip the next several paragraphs of this review, until you get down to the Macbeth quote. Benjy, the 33 year old brother who was born severely mentally handicapped, narrates the first section, though in actuality he can't speak. He moans and wails and roars. Benjy has no sense of time; all is present to Benjy. So his section very frequently skips from the present to flashbacks of different times in his life, giving us glimpses of the people in the Compson home, and their troubles. Often the shift in time is marked by italics, but it's still pretty confusing. I recommend using a detailed resource that helps you track what year it is in the narrative, like this Cliffnotes page. Benjy is castrated by his cold-hearted brother Jason when he's a teenager and got loose one day and chased some schoolgirls, though he was probably just trying to tell them how much he missed his beloved sister Caddy (Candace). All of the brothers lose their balls in one way or another in this story, Benjy literally and the others metaphorically. To make matters more confusing, Benjy is named Maury, after his shiftless, flashy uncle, until he's 5 years old. There are also two Quentins: Benjy's older brother (who commits suicide in 1910) and Caddy's illegitimate daughter, born a few months later, who lives with the family. Benjy’s ramblings set the stage for the rest of the novel. The second section, narrated by Quentin (the brother) shifts back to June 1910, the last day of his life. Quentin has just completed his first year at Harvard University, but is so distraught by his sister Caddy's promiscuity and marriage that he is planning to commit suicide at the end of the day. Everything that happens in this section is colored by that intention. Quentin also has a number of mental flashbacks in his section, which are easier to follow than Benjy's, but Quentin's depressed, neurotic mind made his narrative difficult to follow and unpleasant for me to read, until the last ten pages or so, which were weirdly fascinating, as you become more and more aware of how unhealthy Quentin’s obsession with his sister and purity and honor is. For the third section, we leap forward to April 1928, a day in the life of Jason, the most venal and unpleasant of the brothers. Jason is now effectively the head of the family. He mistreats his 17 year old niece Quentin, who is rebellious and shamelessly promiscuous. Jason has been stealing the money that Quentin’s mother Caddy sends to Jason for Quentin, gambling it away on cotton futures. Jason is all about control, and he justifies his thefts because back in 1910 Caddy's husband was going to give him a job in banking, which fell through when the husband divorced Caddy because she was pregnant with another man's child. But Quentin ultimately proves not as easy to manipulate as Caddy. It's ugly being inside of Jason's mind. So it's a relief to come to the last section, told by an omniscient narrator, mostly from the point of view of an old family servant, Dilsey. Dilsey tries to keep the family together and protect the others from Jason's rages and abuse, with mixed success. The conflict between Miss Quentin and Jason comes to a head, as Quentin finally gets some of hers back and Jason ineffectually chases her. At the beginning of this section, it reads: The day dawned bleak and chill. A moving wall of grey light out of the northeast which, instead of dissolving into moisture, seemed to disintegrate into minute and venomous particles ...It's an apt metaphor for the Compson family's disintegration. The title of this book comes from a Macbeth quote:To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.Benjy's literally meaningless sound and fury is the most obvious reference here, but in a broader sense it's about the Compson family generally ... though their distressing tale actually has deep significance to us as readers. Faulkner made me work so hard to put the puzzle pieces together, with stream-of-consciousness and non-linear storytelling, that when I was able to understand the elusive parts of the story, it felt like a major achievement for me as well as him. The most helpful online source I found while reading this book is this detailed essay: http://www.amerlit.com/novels/ANALYSI.... It follows the plot of the book and helps clarify what's happening, and comments on some of the symbolism. I found it incredibly helpful. This was a reread/buddy read with Jen. Our discussion is in the thread to this review. There are some interesting comments, but beware of spoilers that may or may not be tagged. Initial comments: I haven't read this since I was a college English major. I vaguely remember writing a senior essay on it and getting an A on my grade, so I'm sure that partly explains the affection I still have for this novel, even though I remember absolutely nothing about the plot except that there are four (I think, maybe?) different narrators and one is mentally challenged. But! I've been on a Faulkner roll lately, starting with a couple of his short stories (A Rose for Emily and Barn Burning) and I checked this book out from the library yesterday.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    671. The Sound And The Fury, William Faulkner The Sound and the Fury is a novel written by the American author William Faulkner. It employs a number of narrative styles, including stream of consciousness. Published in 1929, The Sound and the Fury was Faulkner's fourth novel, and was not immediately successful. In 1931, however, when Faulkner's sixth novel, Sanctuary, was published—a sensationalist story, which Faulkner later claimed was written only for money—The Sound and the Fury also became 671. The Sound And The Fury, William Faulkner The Sound and the Fury is a novel written by the American author William Faulkner. It employs a number of narrative styles, including stream of consciousness. Published in 1929, The Sound and the Fury was Faulkner's fourth novel, and was not immediately successful. In 1931, however, when Faulkner's sixth novel, Sanctuary, was published—a sensationalist story, which Faulkner later claimed was written only for money—The Sound and the Fury also became commercially successful, and Faulkner began to receive critical attention. Characters: The Compsons, Dilsey Gibson, Quentin Compson III, Jason Compson IV, Caroline Bascomb Compson, Candace "Caddy" Compson, Benjamin "Benjy" Compson, Miss Quentin Compson عنوانها: خشم و هیاهو؛ غوغا و خشم؛ نویسنده: ویلیام فاکنر؛ انتشاراتیها: (پیروز، نگاه، نیلوفر، فرانکلین، ماهابه، بوتیمار)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه می سال 1978 میلادی عنوان: خشم و هیاهو؛ اثر: ویلیام فاکنر؛ مترجم: بهمن شعله ور؛ تهران، انتشارات پیروز، فرانکلین، چاپ چهارم 1353، در 422 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، نگاه، 1383؛ در 414 ص؛ چاپ دوم نگاه، 1387؛ شابک: 9789643512304 چاپ چهارم نگاه، 1392؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، علمی فرهنگی، 1394؛ در 534 ص؛ شابک: 9786001216398؛ عنوان: خشم و هیاهو یا غوغا و خشم؛ نویسنده: ویلیام فاکنر؛ مترجم: صالح حسینی؛ تهران، نیلوفر، 1369، در 317 ص؛ چاپ سوم 1376؛ شابک: 9644480627؛چاپ پنجم 1381؛ در 430 ص؛ ششم 1386؛ هفتم 1388؛ هشتم 1390؛ نهم 1392؛ شابک: 9789644480621؛ مترجم: مرضیه خسروی؛ تهران، ماهابه، 1395، در 412 ص؛ شابک: 9786005205954؛ مترجم: کریم فرهادی، مشهد، بوتیمار، 1395، در 658 ص؛ شابک: 9786004042512؛ ویژگی تکنیکی و برجستهٔ: «خشم و هیاهو»، سود بردن از چهار نگاه، برای روایت فروپاشی خانواده ی «کامپسون» است. از ذهن ناتوان «بنجی»، به ذهن وسواسی «کونتین»، و سپس به ذهن متفاوت و یا بی‌اندازه وسواسی «جیسون»، و در پایان نیز به سوی دنیای «دیلسی». حرکتی از ساده‌ لوحی و معصومیت، به سوی روشنگری فزاینده. عناوینی که «فاکنر» برای داستانهایش برمیگزیدند، بیشتر ذهنی و معنایی برای خود نویسنده داشت. اما: «خشم و هیاهو»، عنوان کتاب، کلیدی واقعی دارد، و با همان ابیات: «شکسپیر»، در نمایشنامه ی «مکبث»، که می‌گوید: «زندگی قصه‌ ای است، که توسط ابلهی روایت می‌شود، سرشار از خشم و هیاهو، ولی پوچ» کاملاً هماهنگی دارد؛ و همچنین با بخش نخستین داستان، که شامل روایت: «بنجی» ست شباهت دارد. بخش «کونتین» نیز پژواکی از عنوان رمان است. او فلسفه ی مأیوس‌ کننده ی پدر را آموخته‌، که انسان‌ها را صرفاً به شکل عروسک‌هایی ببیند، که با خاک پر شده‌ اند. و ...؛ ا. شربیانی

  7. 4 out of 5

    Violet wells

    This is one of those books that makes a gigantic claim. As if it’s either genius or it’s Emperor’s New Clothes. It won’t settle for anything in-between. On every page I felt Faulkner was straining at the bit to prove to me he’s a genius. The title has always put me off reading this. The Sound and the Fury. It’s melodramatic, humourless, a bit pompous. It sounds like one of those American war films of the fifties starring John Wayne. But what is it with southern writers that they only seem able This is one of those books that makes a gigantic claim. As if it’s either genius or it’s Emperor’s New Clothes. It won’t settle for anything in-between. On every page I felt Faulkner was straining at the bit to prove to me he’s a genius. The title has always put me off reading this. The Sound and the Fury. It’s melodramatic, humourless, a bit pompous. It sounds like one of those American war films of the fifties starring John Wayne. But what is it with southern writers that they only seem able to write books if they can believe they’re geniuses? Look Homeward Angel makes that claim too. Except Look Homeward Angel is probably the most overwritten novel in the history of literature. Wolfe maybe had some genius but he wasn’t in control of it. Faulkner unquestionably is different. Faulkner has genius and is in control of it. But… Essentially to enjoy this you’ve got to also enjoy codebreaking. I don’t. I’ve never even done a crossword puzzle in my life. I doubt if I’ll ever try Finnegan’s Wake again after failing to make head or tail of it the first time. Also, you’ve probably got to be prepared to read it twice. It’s probably every English teacher’s dream book – a book that requires notes formulated by someone with a higher intelligence than your own. It’s not very flattering to realise your own intelligence isn’t up to the job. Should a novel require notes? Shakespeare might be enhanced by notes but he doesn’t need them. I needed to refer to notes to understand what was going on in part one. Okay, I’ve got it now but did you really need to be so wilfully obtuse? It’s not like you’re explaining particle physics. This is essentially a family melodrama, not a treatise on the meaning of life. If you strip away all the literary devices, that’s what it is - a family melodrama. Sure it has a broader social reach – but only bad novels don’t have that. It didn’t for me have the wide cultural reach of Gatsby. It felt parochial, claustrophobic. But putting aside the decryption demands of the novel I also think it has some more obvious flaws like the character of Jason His villainy was somewhat coarse. He wouldn't even get in my top 100 best villains in literature! I’d like to read another Faulkner – but one where he isn’t trying quite so hard to prove he’s a genius.

  8. 4 out of 5

    İntellecta

    "Schall und Wahn"is not easy reading. The plot is shattered by flashbacks, cuts, and inner monologues. In each part the narrative perspective changes. In spite of this experimental and innovative narrative, the author succeeds again and again in capturing the reader with the tragic force of history and language and to keep the tension alive. Faulkner portrays his protagonists realistically, without spoiling their character weaknesses. Resume: A dense language, a great atmosphere ... A unique "Schall und Wahn"is not easy reading. The plot is shattered by flashbacks, cuts, and inner monologues. In each part the narrative perspective changes. In spite of this experimental and innovative narrative, the author succeeds again and again in capturing the reader with the tragic force of history and language and to keep the tension alive. Faulkner portrays his protagonists realistically, without spoiling their character weaknesses. Resume: A dense language, a great atmosphere ... A unique novel ... This world-wide work of art, at the height of Faulkner's creativity, leads to a linguistic treasure. It must be read absolutely.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    The first thing that comes to mind in regard to The Sound and the Fury is Eliots a heap of broken images. Deciphering TSTF is like reassembling a shattered mirror; difficult, and likely to end in pain. On the other hand, its hard to deny that its a great book, if only from the standpoint of workmanship. The skill it took to create this piece, composed of so many seperate perspectives, confined to such a narrow and specific moments of time, makes me think of interlocking puzzles carved from a The first thing that comes to mind in regard to ¨The Sound and the Fury¨ is Eliot´s ¨a heap of broken images.¨ Deciphering TSTF is like reassembling a shattered mirror; difficult, and likely to end in pain. On the other hand, it´s hard to deny that it´s a great book, if only from the standpoint of workmanship. The skill it took to create this piece, composed of so many seperate perspectives, confined to such a narrow and specific moments of time, makes me think of interlocking puzzles carved from a single piece of wood or stone. Whether you like it or not, you have to admire the workmanship. That being said, I believe that this book is so highly regarded for exactly the qualities that make it inaccessible to the majority of readers. If you have the patience to finish it, and the tools to decipher it, you become one of the select few, the literati elite. It´s regarded because it excludes. Unfortunately, many lovers of literature want writing to need decoding; they want layers of meaning inaccessible to the uninitiated. I am not one of those readers. After all, once you do decode the book, once you´ve assembled the shattered mirror, is the image you see there really that unique or fascinating? I admit that I do have a certain sympathy for the characters in TSTF; I believe them. They feel real for me. However, it´s hard not to care about the characters after you´ve worked so hard to understand exactly what the hell is going on with them. You´ve already invested so much time with them that they´re practically family. It vaguely smacks of manipulation for an author to use such a device to get his readers invested with his characters. Finally, I guess that my issue is not with Faulkner, a master of his craft who managed what is nearly impossible, to do some thing new in the field of writing. My issue is with the literature community, who chose to so highly esteem such a difficult nut to crack. The Sound and the Fury; a masterpiece of form, and one of the most inaccessible books I´ve ever picked up. Again, it´s hard to argue with the quality of the book; I would recommend the book to very few readers, but I´ve still been moved to write a couple of hundred words about it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Fabian

    This Monster of a Book is equally profound & puzzling. Somewhere between naked consciousness and brutal incomprehension, the novel is nothing if not cerebral. The events occurring one Easter weekend at the end of the roaring 20's are sliced off at emotional markers & then mixed in with events from the sad, sad past. Beginning the labyrinth with Benjy's POV is like the set of rules proposed by the mad Faulkner. He more than asks, he DEMANDS one put everything away to partake in the This Monster of a Book is equally profound & puzzling. Somewhere between naked consciousness and brutal incomprehension, the novel is nothing if not cerebral. The events occurring one Easter weekend at the end of the roaring 20's are sliced off at emotional markers & then mixed in with events from the sad, sad past. Beginning the labyrinth with Benjy's POV is like the set of rules proposed by the mad Faulkner. He more than asks, he DEMANDS one put everything away to partake in the Southern Gothic, the drama involved in the lives of the members of a doomed clan. There are occasional dips into 3 distinct psyches and it is interesting to see just how random or planned the trajectory of each one's personal destiny becomes. This is a reverse MRS. DALLOWAY: whereas that one treats one day as an emblem for the titular character, the different characters representing a whole, the Compsons, are made from the same source and yet time is mostly inconsequential as there are enormous spans of time in which the protagonists lingers, and deep gaps where the audience is left to wonder. The whole experience is one of near madness as the SOUND is described at full length by several sources of consciousness while the FURY is all the reader's own in piecing together all the strands. Give Faulkner half your month! :It took a Professor THAT long to make a chart of the more than dozen story-lines making up this monolith of the fierce (& post-Civil War) south.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    I'm done. My third and final attempt has failed miserably. No, not miserably. Gladly actually. So it's official. I'm now as thick as two short planks, an intellectual misfit, I Wouldn't know literary greatness if it shot me in the buttocks from close range. Well, that's likely what Faulkner would be thinking anyway. Fine. But then I'd most certainly whip his ass at a game of chess, and drink him under the table (as long as it's my special cocktails) as a way to get even. The only reason I returned I'm done. My third and final attempt has failed miserably. No, not miserably. Gladly actually. So it's official. I'm now as thick as two short planks, an intellectual misfit, I Wouldn't know literary greatness if it shot me in the buttocks from close range. Well, that's likely what Faulkner would be thinking anyway. Fine. But then I'd most certainly whip his ass at a game of chess, and drink him under the table (as long as it's my special cocktails) as a way to get even. The only reason I returned to this novel, was I thought that 'Light in August' was really good and was hoping for more. Nope. I didn't get it, and couldn't be bothered to even try. I got so frustrated I started Chain smoking. This coming from someone who is dearly trying so hard to quit! Thanks Bill. The only thing Faulkner did do for me was make me realise just how much I adore the likes of Hemingway and Fitzgerald, now even more. They were true geniuses. What's the likelihood of me reading Faulkner again? Only time will tell I guess. But at the moment, there is more chance of Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker having an affair.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    A tale of two books . . . At times a 1 star book. Incoherent ramblings - which I know are praised by some as the essence of stream of consciousness. Random time jumps - apparently they released a special edition with the dialogue from each timeframe color coded so it is easier for the reader to keep track. Missing punctuation - at times there is back and forth dialogue, no punctuation and no indication of who is talking. People with the same name and name changes in the middle of the story. Etc. A tale of two books . . . At times a 1 star book. Incoherent ramblings - which I know are praised by some as the essence of stream of consciousness. Random time jumps - apparently they released a special edition with the dialogue from each timeframe color coded so it is easier for the reader to keep track. Missing punctuation - at times there is back and forth dialogue, no punctuation and no indication of who is talking. People with the same name and name changes in the middle of the story. Etc. Etc. Etc. It is my impression that all of these things have been studied extensively and praised by critics. For me, it's a nope! At times a 5 star book. Interesting characters - troubled, imperfect souls suffering life with each other and the changing tide of the South. Each chapter told from a different person's point of view capturing their dynamic personalities. Race relations - reflections on the relationship between races and how black people are viewed differently between the North and South in 1920s America. Colorful anecdotes - while I am not sure I ended up understanding the point of the story as a whole, the individual stories throughout were lively, sometimes humorous, frequently dark, and often heart wrenching. There is definitely a lot to like about this book. So, I will settle on 3 stars. After the first hundred pages or so I was sure it would be a 1 star read, but after that I started to get into it and experience those 5 star moments. So, if you are the type of person that needs to get into a book from the get go, you either need to have extra patience with this one or pass on it. Many people give it 5 stars, so this may truly resonate with you as a classic. I start off on the fence with my opinion.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Somehow I earned a degree in English Lit w/o ever reading Faulkner. This was the first book I’ve read of his and I can’t say enough about it. This book haunts you. Here’s the thing. You know that feeling you get when you hear a song or see a face that sparks some vague memory? The memory may have been a dream, or may have been something you saw in a movie. It might well have been something that never actually happened to you, but was some fantasy you had years ago. Maybe there’s even a physical Somehow I earned a degree in English Lit w/o ever reading Faulkner. This was the first book I’ve read of his and I can’t say enough about it. This book haunts you. Here’s the thing. You know that feeling you get when you hear a song or see a face that sparks some vague memory? The memory may have been a dream, or may have been something you saw in a movie. It might well have been something that never actually happened to you, but was some fantasy you had years ago. Maybe there’s even a physical reaction? There is a connection, but damn it if you can put your finger on it. Still, it occupies your mind for an afternoon and inspires a train of thought you might not have had otherwise. That’s good right? Of course. That’s what you get with this book. you're trying to find that connection. Another reviewer said reading the Sound and the Fury was like trying to assemble a jigsaw puzzle with 50% of the pieces missing. I understand the point, but I don’t know if that’s exactly right. I don’t think there are any missing pieces. you just have to alter your expectation of what the completed puzzle will look like. I've come to understand what people mean when they say "Faulkner is not just chronicling the fall of the south.” I think the more important themes here have less to do with the post-reconstruction era/turn of the century south, and more to do with a broader examination of time and history as it relates to the human/family experience. This is a book that unfolds like nothing I’ve ever read. You're sort of lost for the first 70-100 pages. Our understanding of time as a linear process will confound your experience with the first section of the book. Benjy’s narrative is difficult to be sure, but when the book is said and done, his is the most memorable and maybe the most important. In all, the book is divided into four sections with four different viewpoints. We see through Benjy the past, present, and future existing on a plane rather than a line; Quinton's inability to accept time’s passing at all and his longing for the past (a past he was not necessarily a part of); Jason living only in the present and obsessing over an up to the minute existence; and finally Dilsey who seems the only member of the household with the ability to absorb the past as a part of the here and now, and lives without fear the future. This theme is explored through style. The book is filled with sentences that have no beginning or end, some tete-a-tete with no indication given as to who’s speaking, and all throughout the punctuation isn't exactly wrong, but it certainly isn't correct. Lots of flashbacks, shifts in perspective, and often pages and pages with few if any paragraph breaks. Each character’s perception of time is understood through Faulkner’s experiment with language. It’s like reading a dream. The idea is to pull together all these moments, images, and broken bits of dialogue in order to get to the heart of that feeling I was talking about earlier. “where did this come from? why am I thinking about this? When will I be able to pull it together and figure it out?” you might not get there but it’s heartening to try. 5 stars, A+, thumbs up... all that shit. read this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette "Astute Crabbist"

    Okay, here I go with another one of my dissenting viewpoints. This was my first attempt at reading Faulkner, and I assure you it will be my last. I don't know how this pile of crap ever got published, let alone became a classic! It's absolutely unreadable! Pure upchuck in print. (As always, just my opinion, so don't be offended if you like the book.)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing. William Faulkner Shakespeare (view spoiler)[(1)Much of this is sheer speculation on my part. (2) The imitative though poorly so stream of consciousness in most of what follows is not the way most of the novel is written. One part is and a second is somewhat but most is not. Absalom Absalom is however mostly if my memory serves and it may not written this way and is hence by no means the place to start Faulkner since if done it will a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing. William Faulkner Shakespeare (view spoiler)[(1)Much of this is sheer speculation on my part. (2) The imitative though poorly so stream of consciousness in most of what follows is not the way most of the novel is written. One part is and a second is somewhat but most is not. Absalom Absalom is however mostly if my memory serves and it may not written this way and is hence by no means the place to start Faulkner since if done it will likely be the place where Faulkner will also end for a reader. (hide spoiler)] The book in which Faulkner broke through as a thoroughly modern writer, whilst at the same time lodging himself into the Southern Gothic literary tradition. Many reviewers liked it, many thought it was worthless – but once the academics began studying it for the reviewers most of them could not be bothered with study nor could most of the reading public, its reputation began rising. They the academics saw in it a quintessentially American (and Southern) example of the Modern stream of consciousness narrative pioneered by Joyce and Woolf on the other side of the Atlantic, and by the time Faulkner received his Nobel Prize in 1949 he and his greatest novels this and light in august and absalom absalom had taken a place in the pantheon of the century’s greatest in English. he read the novel in his youth meaning in his early 20s or at least read part of it since early pages of it touched still intact corners of his not yet faded memory though much of it seemed unfamiliar either because those corners in which recognition might have been found were clogged with the dust of years or perhaps rather never existed because the entire book never had been read and he well knew that the truth of the matter was lost forever but he knew also that this and or perhaps or those other greatest novels had left an indelible though not fully accurate idea of the stream of Our Father’s writing since he had tried to emulate it many times over the years the imperfect idea having taken a place in his literary imagination which will likely never be lost until either his memory or his life and if the latter surely both is or are irrevocably lost. he knew that the novel was not an easy read but knew also that Our Faulher had years later written for inclusion in the portable faulkner an appendix which makes the task much easier and which he knew would help any new reader of Our Faulker’s prose at least of the great novels to make headway into the story that spans all or most of his books the story of the imaginary county in mississippi named by its creator yoknapatawpha a name made of two chickasaw words and the imaginary town within it jefferson though both the county and the town can be traced by location and more than simple location to lafayette county and its county seat of oxford. so some quotes whether or not you consider it courageous is of more importance than the act itself and and i it was to isolate her out of the loud world so that it would have to flee us of necessity and then the sound of it would be as though it had never been and he did you try to make her do it and but you are still blind to what is in yourself to that part of general truth the sequence of natural events and their causes which shadows every man’s brow even benjys you are not thinking of finitude you are contemplating an apotheosis in which a temporary state of mind will become symmetrical above the flesh and it will not quite discard you will not even be dead and I temporary and he and now we’re getting at it and thing is that man who is conceived by accident and whose every breath is a fresh cast with dice already loaded against him will not face that final main which he knows before hand he has assuredly to face and the dark diceman and i temporary and he it is hard believing and it might be a good thing watching pennies has healed more scars than jesus and and and he then you will remember that for you to go to harvard has been your mothers dream since you were born and no compson has ever disappointed a lady and i temporary it will be better for me for all of us and he every man is the arbiter of his own virtues but let no man and and I temporary and he was the saddest word of all there is nothing else in the world its not despair until time its not even time it was and i the narrative the and i and he despite but more because of it achieves a mythical quality or rather a sound not really like but more not unlike that of myth driving drowning droning our thoughts down and into and below the chasm utterly dark and too up and toward and over the mountain top utterly bright of myth southern or otherwise to the realms both utterly deep and utterly ascendant the realms of gods but not gods here rather the decadent progeny of forebears once perhaps in Mississippi capable of passing for gods to the slaves and dirt farmers by means not of transcendent belief but simply of their possessions and power and local yes only local standing in a society cursed and doomed . and the characters which Our Faulknr wrote of in the aforementioned Appendix Ikkemotubbe and Jackson as having a place too in the long story that rolled on down the years from 1699 to 1945 and more important the Compsons Quentin MacLachan and Charles Stuart and Jason Lycurgus and moving closer to the time of telling Jason III and his offspring Quentin III who went to Harvard and Candace (Caddy) the daughter and mother and Jason IV the son and Benjamin the last son first named Maury and Quentin not a son but the daughter of Caddy she Quentin the last of the Compsons and those not Compsons they were black TP and Frony and Luster and Dilsey especially Dilsey of whom Our Faulkner says simply of them all they endured. (view spoiler)[If you think you can parse the entire review and know exactly what's going in with every word - you're probably wrong - even if you have a copy of the book and are using it to help unravel things. (hide spoiler)] But if you're not wrong, if you understood and unraveled what this reviewer attempted to say and perhaps even though not for certain did say then you are well ready, perhaps more ready than I am or have ever been or will ever be to engage the author's prose and understand his narrative and immerse into the shades and memories and sins and emphatic utterances of that mythical county buried not only in the deep south but deep also in the psyche of Mr. Faulkner ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Previous review: Much Ado About Nothing Next review: Nations and Nationalism Older review: Light in August Previous library review: Sartoris Faulkner Next library review: Robert Frost: A Collection of Critical Essays

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    First off, I couldn't finish this book. It has to be the most painful and pointless book I have read since The Sun Also Rises. (I know I am treading on precious ground here.) I have read reviews and SparkNotes on the book, so I understand the premise and format. But what is the point of endless, vague, flowery dialogue without background? How do I learn about the fall of an important Southern family if it is just the fragmented sentences of various people who haven't even been introduced? When I First off, I couldn't finish this book. It has to be the most painful and pointless book I have read since The Sun Also Rises. (I know I am treading on precious ground here.) I have read reviews and SparkNotes on the book, so I understand the premise and format. But what is the point of endless, vague, flowery dialogue without background? How do I learn about the fall of an important Southern family if it is just the fragmented sentences of various people who haven't even been introduced? When I read reviews on books like this I can only come to two conclusions; 1) I am an idiot or 2) It is a case of the Emperor's New Clothes. No one wants to admit that they can't tell what in the crap this author is trying to tell them, so it must be brilliant work. Based on all the reviews I have read, it must be #1.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Perry

    The Twilight-Colored Smell of Honeysuckle One raised or with extended family in the rural South may get chills as I do reveling in Faulkner's enduring phrase, "the twilight-colored smell of honeysuckle." This might stir hazy, almost-haunting memories from childhood of crepuscular visits on the veranda with relatives long since passed, of lilting voices and smiling faces somewhat obscured by time, among them a great-grandparent with a foreign accent who migrated from Europe and would break into The Twilight-Colored Smell of Honeysuckle One raised or with extended family in the rural South may get chills as I do reveling in Faulkner's enduring phrase, "the twilight-colored smell of honeysuckle." This might stir hazy, almost-haunting memories from childhood of crepuscular visits on the veranda with relatives long since passed, of lilting voices and smiling faces somewhat obscured by time, among them a great-grandparent with a foreign accent who migrated from Europe and would break into the foreign language, for me his name was Giovanni and he had landed at Ellis Island in 1910, as an eleven-year-old child from Bologna, Italy and by the time I recall visiting him in the early 1970s, he was a jovial, bald man with a thick accent and thicker glasses. Traveling forward fifteen years to my college days, I saw The Sound and the Fury as I was perusing a national bookstore chain and bought it because I felt like any educated native Mississippian must read that mythical author from the northern part of the state to be whole. I read ten pages and concluded that Faulkner must have been a sadist to write anything like this. As a university student, I was idealistic and naive. I thought that reading this novel might prove to the world, once and for all, that I was better than the past of my State, that I found despicable these ghosts, this hate I had no part of, the white sheets, fulgent from flames on a cross (a symbol of my religion, for goodness sakes), the evil beneath those sheets, the ignorant men who passed down bigotry and hatefulness as their only heirlooms to their sons and daughters. I thought if I could read this novel, I would show that I was more intelligent than what people from afar believed. I did not want to be labeled since, as Kierkegaard said, "Once you label me, you negate me." A few years later I tried to read it again and ended flustered. The sentences were still disjunctive, the thoughts totally scrambled, characters appeared and disappeared and, though it seemed to be changing time frames, I could gain no sense of time. I have since learned that in the first of the four part novel, Faulkner plunges the reader into the mind of the autistic Benjy without any contextualization and then constantly switches the point of reference among Benjy's many memories of childhood. After my mother passed away six years ago, I drove from the service at the Natchez, Mississippi cemetery, passing the sage green kudzu-blanketed bluffs of the wrinkled and outspread Mississippi River under a canopy of colossal oaks bountiful with pendulant Spanish moss, then turned onto the rugged streets of old Natchez, and traveled past a number of the town's many antebellum mansions. At the time, it had been twenty-five years since my last go at the novel, and I'd been a father myself for twelve years and was five years into a literary self-renaissance. That day, it dawned on me that I must conquer that crazy novel, but only to prove to myself I could, understanding by then the meaning of the now overused Faulkner quote, "The past is never passed, it's not even past." That is to say, I cannot do anything about the stereotypes and prejudiced ignorant thinking of others from outside the South. They will forever see the ugly truth of fifty years ago laid out in their archived images from television footage and newspaper clippings, and, on their way through to south Florida, they will see a few instances of a glorified rebel flag on the pickup trucks of racist rednecks, an ever-diminishing population here, and wrongly assume that all Southerners are racist, talk slow and think backwards. Two out of three is bad. Yet, I cannot change others' thoughts. I can do what I've done, raising my kids in a way that the racism of the South's past was evil and they should never prejudge anyone, not by the color of their skin, their religion, or where they came from. And I can believe they will raise their children the same way. I finally read The Sound and the Fury a few years ago, with help from a companion guide I'll admit. This was certainly more difficult to read than any novel I've read, but the most rewarding once the code was cracked and I understood and appreciated the brilliance of the complex literary devices Faulkner used and the meanings of things like the smell of wet trees, time ticking by, and the redolence of honeysuckle. Any Southerner, educated and/or intelligent, who has not read it, should try. And try and try.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    Yes. Sitting in the office thinking of this book I was reminded of the drowsy afternoon duing my early twenties in my bedroom at my ancestral home at Thrissur, the house with its cavernous rooms and musty attic with its smell of toddy-cat urine and the East Wind blowing in through the windows and I read this novel and could not make head or tail out of it as I am struggling now with an engineering proposal: still I plodded on and on and on dragged in by the strange beauty of William Faulkener's Yes. Sitting in the office thinking of this book I was reminded of the drowsy afternoon duing my early twenties in my bedroom at my ancestral home at Thrissur, the house with its cavernous rooms and musty attic with its smell of toddy-cat urine and the East Wind blowing in through the windows and I read this novel and could not make head or tail out of it as I am struggling now with an engineering proposal: still I plodded on and on and on dragged in by the strange beauty of William Faulkener's prose as the afternoon moved into evening and the geckos started chirrupping among the eaves and my Grandma started calling me again and again for tea; still plodded on as the twilight slanted in at the windows and I remember the dust motes changing their colour and the smell of the night flowers adding their fragrance to the tale of Jason and Quentin and Benjy. Yes, I remember that.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    Yeah, fine, Ms. Adler, you were right. This is a great book. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. This is a weird weird book. And maybe not in Yeah, fine, Ms. Adler, you were right. This is a great book. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. This is a weird weird book. And maybe not in a good way. But let's be real - there are parts of this novel that I deeply powerfully loved on a level that I have not felt with 75% of literature. And I respect that. [This review took me three hours to write. Please validate me.] The Sound and the Fury is split into four sections. There’s the confusing-but-super-cool-to-analyze Benjy section, which skips time with no warning and throws you into 400 different moments that don’t really make sense and makes you really empathize with Benjy [I’m so sorry Benjy]. There’s the probably-my-favorite Quentin section, which is compelling because besides Benjy, Quentin and Caddy are the only white characters in this whole book I don’t want dead. There’s the Jason section, which I fucking hate because it’s boring and all about the two worst characters in this book and that one underdeveloped character I should like, with occasional Dilsey cameos and a couple of entertaining instances of Miss Caroline Getting Dragged [iconic]. And then there’s the still-about-the-two-assholes I-thought-it-would-be-my-favorite-and-then-it-wasn’t I-still-love-you-Dilsey Dilsey section. And then, for added bonus, the summary of all the people in this book section that ruins my until-then-valid interpretation of Caddy’s character and is really only worth reading for the one PAGE on Luster and Dilsey. I wish I had not read the second half of this book. Sighs. But okay, ignoring the confusing bits, and the fact that none of it really makes very much sense [Faulkner is a brilliant writer but also a demon] this is a really interesting and brilliant novel about the demise of the South, and especially the demise of Southern whitehood. → Benjy and the Benjy section ← I don’t know if Faulkner intended for me to like Benjy this much but I honestly don’t care. Benjy is described as a “manchild” on a lot of descriptions for this book, as those around him believe he has the mind of a child. He doesn’t. Benjy, though he doesn’t understand much of what is going on around him, in some ways understands more than anyone gives him credit for. But no one tries to understand. No one tries to communicate. No one except for Caddy and Dilsey even makes the barest attempt to understand him. [This is why Caddy and Dilsey are the only two characters I like.] I mean, it’s a 1930s-style depiction of mental disability, don’t get me wrong. I don’t know if I like that mental illness is used as a stain on the family line [to be fair, the message is a lot more complicated and nuanced than that]. But I also... found it really interesting. Also, I hated this section upon first reading it too. You’re valid. You’re okay. Here’s the how-to: every time a time-switch occurs, draw a line across the page. Then once you finish the section, reread and try to figure out the timelines. I assigned clumsy year guesses to everything and I was right about like, half of them. And yes, I’m aware that sounds awful, but listen, that was the most fun I had in my whole annotating life. And you can also always go here for reference. Although it does spoil stuff like how the Quentin section ends, so I’d maybe wait until you at least finish that to go through this link? → Quentin and the Quentin section ← The thing I like [/ hate / find heartbreaking] about this section is the profound tragedy in Quentin and Caddy and Benjy’s fate. These are three people who, all in their own way, are victims of the South’s obsession with appearances. Quentin is obsessed with the appearance of virtue within his family and with how Caddy has destroyed that, yet he takes all her agency in making those decisions within his inner narration. Caddy is desperate to hide her sin at all costs, even when it means ruining her life. The family is desperate to hide the shame of having Benjy. The family is desperate to hide themselves. And in the course of this, they destroy themselves. If you look at this book in a cynical light, Quentin is meant to symbolize the death of the Southern planter generation. But in a more nuanced light, he’s not - his father is. Quentin is the product of the Southern planters, the product of constant worries about time and honor and appearance and how to preserve them as they quickly disappear. He would rather die than fail to preserve this construct. He would rather die than be without his sister, who - despite some pretty twisted elements of their relationship - he genuinely loves and who genuinely loves him back. He is torn apart by losing her. Since I think she’s the most on-display here [and in the Benjy section], let’s talk about Caddy. Caddy is fantastic. An icon. An intellectual. I love her. She’s literally the only character in this book who isn’t a dick to Benjy, Quentin, OR Dilsey, and thus is automatically my favorite. She’s a character who goes through a lot of shit during this book and somehow manages to be easy to empathize with in every moment. Here's how I read her: she is doomed to rebel against the constructs of the South and she knows it and she dooms herself again to conforming of the constructs of the South, to marrying off and losing her life and dooming her brother and Benjy all at once, because she feels she has no other choice. But then she is divorced. And then she is free. [Except that one moment during the ending that I just… don’t claim, as it doesn’t make any sense. Of course, this is coming from the man who tried to interpret his book’s timeline twenty years after reading it and was literally incorrect, so why am I surprised?] → Jason and the Jason section ← Jason’s section begins with the line “once a bitch, always a bitch, I says” which is funny because that’s exactly what I think about him. I hate this man so much. I am trying to push it down to accurately interpret and review this novel but I literally would write an AP-level analytic essay entirely to call Jason a dick and he would totally deserve it. Yeah, anyway. Jason is another archetype of Southern white manhood - he is a narcissistic, self-victimizing, and hypocriticial player of the stock market. He is a thief because he believes he deserves the money. And he is someone who, without failure, believes that he is the victim of the city people - and he might be right. Maybe? Who knows. But either way, The Dick Compson is a product of his upbringing by an awful mother and always feeling like the shafted one in comparison to older siblings Quentin and Caddy. And I hate to admit that I also didn’t care that much. Jason, you fucking asshole. Also, there’s something so hilarious to me about widely read acclaimed author William Faulkner using a daddy kink to villainize a character. Acclaimed writers: they're just like us. We’ve mentioned the awful mother, so let’s talk about one character whom I have little to no sympathy for - Ms. Caroline. Oh my god. I fucking hate this woman so much. Let’s just take a look at one specific scene in this book - a scene in chapter four, where she believes girl Quentin has committed suicide. And responds like this: ➽“At least she would have enough consideration to leave a note. Even Quentin did that.” [Because obviously, this is the response of any caring mom when they notice that their grandchild has committed suicide. Duh.] ➽ “What reason did Quentin have? It can’t be simply to flout and hurt me. Whoever God is, He would not permit that. I’m a lady. You might not believe that from my offspring, but I am.” [I don’t really have to say it, do I? But this is a bit of a narcissistic response to your child being dead. Also, I support your children in all their nonexistent efforts to flout and hurt you.] Caroline is a weak-willed, selfish, emotionally manipulative, and self-victimizing person, one who I dislike with a fiery passion. Yet I'll admit that she is also emblematic of post-bellum Southern white womanhood - obsessed with appearances and caring more for the appearances of the suicides than the suicides themselves, weak-willed because she knows she has no power. She's a tragic figure and a tragically awful figure. Let’s also talk about that one character I really think I should like and I just don’t - Quentin. Yeah, no, not brother Quentin. Spoiler spoiler spoiler Quentin who confused you in section one. She is so woefully underdeveloped, guys, and it is really obvious in a book that up until now has been so nuanced in its portrayal of each character, so harsh but so understanding. It pains me to admit this, believe me, but Jason and Ms. Caroline both have a lot of depth - hateful depth, but depth nonetheless. Quentin… just doesn’t make sense. She doesn’t read real to me. I know she’s selfish, but I don’t understand it. Caddy and Dilsey are kind to her but she cares nothing for either of them - why? I found her to be an overall weak character and disappointing addition to an otherwise fantastic book. I don’t know if you can tell, but I was not a fan of this section. It’s basically three assholes being assholes to each other. Poor Benjy and Dilsey. → Dilsey and the Dilsey section ← The thing I like and appreciate about this section is that the literal thesis of it is “southern white people are awful and southern black people are going to outlive them.” Which is… really not the thesis I expected from a book written by a Southern white dude in the 1930s. But sort of the most badass thesis of all time. The thing I did not like about this section is that Dilsey is not in it enough. I kind of liked watching Jason get fucked over, but I would’ve preferred more Dilsey, ya know? The moment of this section I liked the most was that moment in which Luster basically says the 1930s version of “white people are crazy” and sums up this entire book in one sentence. Anyway, I guess the thesis of this review is I kind of like Faulkner. I like that Faulkner clearly remembers his childhood in the South fondly and also recognizes the toxicity of his society. I like that he writes both in homage and in despair. I like the nuance of thought displayed here. And I like that I cried reading this at once point. And here is what will stay with me, about this book, years from now: it is what happens to a family after a life of giving themselves away for honor, for dignity, and about the power in enduring . It is tragic and beautiful and one of the most powerful things I have ever read. Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Youtube

  20. 4 out of 5

    J. Yandell

    This book really made me work for it -- I had to read it three times to figure out what the heck it was all about. I read it first in college. I was absolutely lost. Yeah, I understand the whole stream-of-consciousness stuff, I do -- but I read this going: "What the [email protected]?" I was so freaked about taking the test on this book, that I went and got the Cliff notes on it. I read the Cliff notes and literally turned back to the cover to make sure I'd gotten the right notes. I mean, I read them, and This book really made me work for it -- I had to read it three times to figure out what the heck it was all about. I read it first in college. I was absolutely lost. Yeah, I understand the whole stream-of-consciousness stuff, I do -- but I read this going: "What the [email protected]?" I was so freaked about taking the test on this book, that I went and got the Cliff notes on it. I read the Cliff notes and literally turned back to the cover to make sure I'd gotten the right notes. I mean, I read them, and asked myself: "What the [email protected]? Is this the same book I read?" I tried reading it again a few years after graduating, because I just didn't want to let this book defeat me. Still didn't understand what the heck was going on. A few years ago, I was cruising the audio books in the library, and came upon this one. I thought, maybe, just maybe, damnit, this time I'll get it. Because I've found that sometimes I just read too fast, and audio books force me to slow down -- you're at the reader's mercy; you can't skim. And finally, with the audio version, I FINALLY got this book. I can see the brilliance of what Faulkner was trying to do, but it still pissed me off. Why? Because I think that the point of a book is to communicate, to share an idea or emotion or experience. The point is not some convoluted self-masturbatory exercise in "ain't I brilliant and profound." I know that not everybody shares this idea -- they'll talk about "pushing the boundaries of writing, exploring new styles, yada yada yada." Whatever. But for me -- damnit, i'm not stupid. I graduated with honors, i went to a prestigious college on a merit scholarship, I majored in English, and I have read many books that others consider a "difficult read." I am not some schmuck who only reads supermarket paperbacks. And if a book is so d*mned inaccessible as this one, that a college graduate, writer and dedicated reader can't get it without three readings -- then to hell with it. For me, the book is a failure and a bastardization of what a book is truly supposed to be. That's my opinion. Your mileage may vary.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Parthiban Sekar

    I guess that there will be no shame in admitting that this is so-far the most challenging book I read, as the narration kept changing not just from person to person but also from time to time. So, this "Stream of consciousness" style (introduced to me by Aakansha) can make you lose your head, if you don't follow every word of at least first two chapters. There will be times when you just want to see any hint of punctuation (especially last few pages in second chapter) or you might think that I guess that there will be no shame in admitting that this is so-far the most challenging book I read, as the narration kept changing not just from person to person but also from time to time. So, this "Stream of consciousness" style (introduced to me by Aakansha) can make you lose your head, if you don't follow every word of at least first two chapters. There will be times when you just want to see any hint of punctuation (especially last few pages in second chapter) or you might think that printing is messed up. However, there will be something in it which you need to look for. Even after reading this book (Read first two chapters twice), you have less or no clue about appearances of some of the characters. So, that is how he plays. There are few things which was initially hard for me to understand. For example, Uncle, niece, and a horse have the same name and there is no clue who is who! This is not a book where the readers would be told everything in the beginning or even the ending. It took me close to three chapters to understand who all are/were in family and who are who! Nevertheless, once We get the knack of it, it all goes down smoothly as the fragrance of honeysuckles slowly diffuses into the damp air on a rainy night. So, Pay attention to the one of the greatest books of all-time!!! **********Added later************ Between the lines of confusing words, the paragraphs of punctuation-less sentences, the pages of unreliable narration, there lies the ineffable tragedy of this basic unit of so-called society, also known as a family which, in this case, is of the Compsons. It has been indescribable and confounding how the people from same family can have different opinions or thoughts about something. Is it because of the parents who failed to teach or guide all of their children in same direction? Or It is because of their indifference towards all or few of their progenies? Keeping these questions aside, this harrowing story is about the fall of Compson’s family infused with the mixture of poisonous rivalry, infatuated promiscuity, family-or-society-imposed chivalry, materialistic cynicism and developmental disability in forms of the Compson’s children, as nonchalantly mixed and manned by their black servants. (view spoiler)[ The self-torrent Quentin, one of the brothers, has to go through, on hearing about the unexpected and unaccepted pregnancy of his dear sister Caddy who he is supposed to protect/ keep safe from becoming impure. Benjamin, a 3-year old of 30 years, affected by developmental disability, who is, otherwise, unaware of almost everything, happens to be acutely sensitive his sister’s loss of her virginity. and i you dont believe i am serious and he i think you are too serious to give me any cause for alarm you wouldn’t have felt driven to the expedient of telling me you had committed incest otherwise and i i wasnt lying i wasn’t lying and he you wanted to sublimate a piece of natural human folly into a horror and then exorcise it with truth and i it was to isolate her out of the loud world so that it would have to flee us of necessity and then the sound of it would be as though it had never been (This conversation between his father and Quentin, is kind of difficult to comprehend and more like a puzzle. This is how the last two pages of second chapter were!) Quentin claiming to his father that he is into an incestuous relationship with Caddy, to protect her from other men is quite unthinkable. But, the nihilistic certitude with which his father refuses his claim and says that Virginity is invented by men, is even more unthinkable. When the protector failed to protect the mausoleum of the family honor and pride, he sets his soul in the streets of emptiness, surrounded by the inculpating walls towards the river which welcomed him with a tranquil indifference. Another brother, Jason, the only favorite child of his mother, troubled by financial loss of the family and frustrated by the family responsibility, embezzles the funds sent by Caddy to her daughter Miss Quentin. The frequent accuses against Miss Q of her promiscuity by Jason roots deep in his ruthless cynicism poisoned by materialistic desires and disregard for his family. This whole story seems to be centered around Caddy’s apparent loss of her virginity and her pregnancy which eventually ensued from reckless and passionate adventures. How the ineffable collapse of Thompson’s ensued from Caddy’s (claimed to be) blunder into End-Life immersion of the distressed protector, alcoholic submersion of the nihilistic father, plummet of the pride and glory of the family, and so on. Conluding with my favorite quote from this book, “It's not when you realise that nothing can help you - religion, pride, anything - it's when you realise that you don't need any aid.” (hide spoiler)] The story seems to have taken interesting turns in the latter-released appendix. (If you are buying this one, make sure the appendix is attached, unlike me!) “Wonder. Go on and wonder.” P.S. While reading Faulkner's other book, I thought of fixing some mistakes in this old post of mine.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Ansbro

    "I'm bad and I'm going to hell, and I don't care. I'd rather be in hell than anywhere where you are." -William Faulkner I once had to wrestle with this as an English lit student and found the read to be altogether magnificent, perplexing and also bloody frustrating. William Curmudgeon Faulkner described it as being his 'son-of-a-bitch' piece of work, and the author's innate intransigence percolates into each page of this, his opus magnum. Faulkner snarls at you, provokes you and dares you to hate "I'm bad and I'm going to hell, and I don't care. I'd rather be in hell than anywhere where you are." -William Faulkner I once had to wrestle with this as an English lit student and found the read to be altogether magnificent, perplexing and also bloody frustrating. William Curmudgeon Faulkner described it as being his 'son-of-a-bitch' piece of work, and the author's innate intransigence percolates into each page of this, his opus magnum. Faulkner snarls at you, provokes you and dares you to hate his book. And you just might.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    The clock tick-tocked, solemn and profound. It might have been the dry pulse of the decaying house itself, after a while it whirred and cleared its throat and struck six times. Like the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth, the sound of the clock announces a tale of doom and despair: the fall of the house of Compson, once proud community leaders in Jefferson, Mississippi, now destitute and morally corrupt. Faulkner is mapping this decadence by getting inside the head of three members of the Compson The clock tick-tocked, solemn and profound. It might have been the dry pulse of the decaying house itself, after a while it whirred and cleared its throat and struck six times. Like the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth, the sound of the clock announces a tale of doom and despair: the fall of the house of Compson, once proud community leaders in Jefferson, Mississippi, now destitute and morally corrupt. Faulkner is mapping this decadence by getting inside the head of three members of the Compson clan: an idiot, a suicidal youth, and a paranoid, cynical ‘businessman’. As a coda and conclusion, there is a fourth section, narrated by one the family’s black servants. The style is clearly reminiscent of the ‘stream of conscience’ approach to the modern novel pioneered by Proust, Joyce and Woolf. What separates Faulkner from his European counterparts is for me the decision to follow not the meditations of highly educated intellectuals and artists, but those of ordinary characters. Instead of references to Classic and Renaissance culture, he explores the darker side of our psyche, people tormented by inner demons and petty concerns. It may be the most confusing section in the story, but after I finished the whole novel I think I understand why Faulkner has chosen Benjy as the first narrator. He is an idiot, but in his unique way of looking at the world, and in his speechless revolt at the cards he has been dealt by Fate, he is maybe the most honest of all the Compsons. He has simple needs, and screams like a toddler when they are taken away from him: to walk in the grass fields near the house, to watch fires burning, and to have his sister Caddy near him. Then Ben wailed again, hopeless and prolonged. It was nothing. Just sound. It might have been all time and injustice and sorrow become vocal for an instant by a conjunction of the planets. His frustration is a recurrent theme throughout the novel, a dark summation of the whole human condition that is destined to end in death and sorrow, and explains the title borrowed by Faulkner from a Shakespeare play: Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. I know many readers might be put off by Benjy and his skewed perspective, but I love puzzles, and I found it fascinating to try to build a coherent picture from the broken pieces he offered me. The key that opens his section is the fact that Benjy lives in the ‘now’, he makes no distinction between the past, the present and the future, between the waking world and his dreams. He jumps back and forth from childhood to his middle age from one line to the next, he sees and hears the other family members moving around him, but he doesn’t rationalize their actions. I simply followed his emotional outbursts and his tidbits of fact, trusting in the many other critics and readers who consistently vote this novel as one of the best written in the twentiest century. I am a convert now, and my recommendation is not only for patience, but also for multiple readings, as coming back to earlier sections will make clear most of the mysteries surrounding the events witnessed by Benjy in this first part. The second section is narrated by Quentin, the smartest scion of the family who is the sent to Harvard at great cost. He is closer to what I expected from a stream of conscience protagonist, with a vivid imagination, rich cultural background and beautiful phrasing. He makes me want to check out the poetic works of Faulkner with passages like this, another reference to time and its destructive nature: I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire. [...] I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you may forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools. We get to meet Quentin as he is preparing to say goodbye to the world. Life has proved to hard a nut to crack for him, and he is ready to throw in the towel. His elegy takes us on a prolonged walk through the alleys and parks in the student campus, locked inside his troubled mind, trying to come to terms with an illicit passion for his sister Caddy, with homosexual inclinations, with a rigid and outmoded Southern code of honour, with the decay he sees in even the most beautiful flowers. And I will look down and see my murmuring bones and the deep water like wind, like a roof of wind, and after a long time they cannot distinguish even bones upon the lonely and inviolate sand. He is not explaining or justifying his decision. In a way, he is not so far emotionally for Benjy, but Quentin screams are silent and ignored by all his friends. His recurring theme is not musical, but a pervasive smell of summer nights, a pheromone of both peace and forbidden passion: Honeysuckle was the saddest odor of all. Most of the quotes I saved in the novel are from Quentin’s tale, subtle and poetic reaffirmations of the central theme. They are also important to me because, beside enjoying puzzles, I prefer to follow my emotional reactions and not my analytic mind when judging a book. Here’s one more fragment of verse, to serve as Quentin’s epitaph: A problem in impure properties carried tediously to an unvarying nil: stalemate of dust and desire. In a progressive march towards sanity, the third narrator is both articulate, and firmly anchored in the life of the town. He knows what he wants (money, power, fame) and he is ready to do anything - lie, beg and steal - to get to the top of the social ladder. Jason, the fourth of his name, is bitter, vengeful, hateful, a despicable person without any redeeming quality, but to the purpose of the novel he is also delusional, like the rest of the Compsons. The world he lives in may have all the appearances of the real one, but what defines it is the constant filtering and adjusting Jason engages in in order to make himself the hero of his own story. I didn’t care at all for Jason and his hatred of blacks, foreigners, jews, women, but I admired how Faulkner is able to convey his secretive and envious mind, his paranoid and selfish personality: Last time I gave her forty dollars. Gave it to her. I never promise a woman anything nor let her know what I’m going to give her. That’s the only way to manage them. Always keep them guessing. If you cant think of any other way to surprise them, give them a bust in the jaw. To finish the saga of the Compson family, the author changes gear in the fourth section and abandons the first-person narration, following Dilsey, the old and loyal family cook, as she performs her daily chores around the mansion, and her nephew Luster, tasked with the daily care of the idiot Benjy. Never you mind. I seed the beginnin, en now I sees de endin. exclaims Dilsey as she goes around her kitchen, silently judging the Compsons and finding them lacking. Luster echoes the sentiment: Dese funny folks. Glad I aint none of em. . I like to see the servants as symbols of a simpler, more natural life, as the true pillars of common sense and honesty that keeps the edifice of civilization standing, where their more sophisticated white counterparts have wasted the gifts they were born with and locked themselves inside their selfishness and pride. Stylistically, Faulkner does again a slide in tonality, not unlike the changing styles in Mitchell’s six-part Cloud Atlas, exploring the Southern vernacular and experimenting with spelling and punctuation. Since I am a big fan of Delta blues, I really enjoyed gems like this : Dat’s de troof, he says. Boll-weevil got tough time. Work ev’y day in de week out in de hot sun, rain er shine. Aint got no front porch to set on en watch de wattermilyuns growin and Sat’dy dont mean nothin a-tall to him. In an appendix the author added several years after the first publication, many of the questions about the Compson family are answered, but he needs only two words to describe Luster and Dilsey they endured I have reached the end of my notes, yet I feel I have only scratched the surface of the novel. A whole separate review could, and should be written about the women in Jefferson, Mississippi, about the weakness and fragility of the matriarch Caroline, about the wild, seductive, elusive grace of Caddy or about the rebellious and finally liberated Quentin, named after her ill-fated uncle. A re-read is a must for the serious scholar. And the position among the best 20 century novels seems justified for this mausoleum of all hope and desire

  24. 4 out of 5

    Luís C.

    "The Sound and the Fury" has the quality of being a novel that like the great poetry is reviewed in the wonder of the discovery; at every step we give details that have passed us unnoticed and on each page we are moved. In this novel, first published in 1929, Faulkner created the apple of his eye, the beautiful and tragic Caddy Compson, whose story tells us through the separate monologues of his three brothers. It is his fourth novel and the first of his undisputed masterpieces, one that more "The Sound and the Fury" has the quality of being a novel that like the great poetry is reviewed in the wonder of the discovery; at every step we give details that have passed us unnoticed and on each page we are moved. In this novel, first published in 1929, Faulkner created the apple of his eye, the beautiful and tragic Caddy Compson, whose story tells us through the separate monologues of his three brothers. It is his fourth novel and the first of his undisputed masterpieces, one that more than any other, confirmed Faulkner as the central figure of twentieth-century literature.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I didn’t enjoy this as much as I expected. I marveled at the portrayals of thought in language and felt some of the futile anguish of people stuck in their family history. I gleaned something from the story as some kind of epitome of the South struggling to surmount racism, sexism, and classism at the cusp of modernity between the two world wars. I’d experienced long ago Faulkner’s storytelling knack with short stories (“Go Down Moses”) and recently was wrenched and blown away by the radical I didn’t enjoy this as much as I expected. I marveled at the portrayals of thought in language and felt some of the futile anguish of people stuck in their family history. I gleaned something from the story as some kind of epitome of the South struggling to surmount racism, sexism, and classism at the cusp of modernity between the two world wars. I’d experienced long ago Faulkner’s storytelling knack with short stories (“Go Down Moses”) and recently was wrenched and blown away by the radical language and mind-states of “Absalom Absalom!” However, this one didn’t reach my emotions or transport me with mental epiphanies nearly as well, the lessons about any metamorphoisis of Southern consciousness is still murky with me. We are treated here to a four-part harmony of an aristocratic family in decline in the 20’s in rural Mississippi. We fly and careen along through the minds of three male siblings of the Compson family and then are freed into perspectives of others such as their servants. I struggled at the beginning with the fragmented but fascinating perspective of Benjy, a 33-year old with the mind of a five-year old, his simple pleasures, vivid sensations, bending of time, and frequent frustrations that set him to bellowing. Next we tour the world of Quentin, a disengaged student at Harvard who is slipping into madness and despair. I loved the language of his form of fragmentation and dark secrets bubbling up in his memories. Next in line is Jason, an angry racist and misogynist who clutches at an identity as gentry in the lowered state of helping to manage a hardware store, tending to the remnants of family plantation, his dotty and ill mother, and playing the stock market with any funds he can hide or squirrel away. In closing we get the muted views of the black help, who are along for the ride with this family, their status and outlook little different than slaves. So much of the concerns of the three siblings relates to their emotions and memories about Caddy, the sister who escapes into wild teen behavior and promiscuity. If you are like me, you will be frustrated with getting only pieces of reflected knowledge of her mind and life, as she is the one whose rebellion seems most likely to break the patterns of futility. She is the only one who truly cares about Benjy, and his love for her suffuses his world, forever tied up with a childhood memory that “she smells like trees”. Quentin was Caddy’s close companion throughout childhood, but he can’t get over the loss of her maiden innocence or his failure to defend her honor with the older cad, Dalton James, who takes advantage of her. He’s all twisted up over his own incestuous feelings for her. In the case of Jason, he is defeated in his attempts to curb her with more violent controls and ends up in the same situation later on when her daughter ends up in the family care at the farm. The high point for me was the prose portraying Quentin’s thinking and the metaphors behind them. Like his concern for being trapped by time and his attempt to escape it by taking the hands off his watch, defeated by church bells. I loved his continual attention to shadows as another dimension on reality or distorted illusion like those in Plato’s cave. And his haunting by the smell of honeysuckle, which is bound up with his early emerging lusts for Caddy. If the plot and story elements I’ve shared don’t seem enough to pursue this book, just see if these samples of writing change your mind. Here is Quentin’s memory of tracking her down in the woods after he hears her slip out one night: I ran down the hill in that vacuum of crickets like a breath travelling across a mirror she was lying in the water her head in the sand spit the water flowing about her hips there was a little more light in the water her skirt half saturated flopped along her flanks to the waters motion in easy ripples going nowhere renewed themselves of their own movement I stood on the bank I could smell honeysuckle on the water gap the air seemed to drizzle with honeysuckle and with the rasping of crickets a substance you could feel on the flesh … Caddy don’t Caddy it wont do any good don’t you know it wont let me go the honeysuckle drizzled and drizzled I could hear the crickets watching us in a circle she moved back went around me on toward the trees you go on back to the house you neednt come I went on … why don’t you go on back to the house damn that honeysuckle Here Quentin’s despair is so weighty he is led to imagine drowning himself with irons in his pockets, the name of Caddy’s violator tolling like a bell in his mind: If things just finished themselves. Nobody else there but her and me. If we could have just done something so dreadful that they would have fled hell except us. I have committed incest I said Father it was I it was not Dalton James. And when he put Dalton Ames. Dalton Ames. Dalton Ames. When he put the pistol in my hand I didn’t. That’s why I didn’t. He would be there and she would and I would. Dalton Ames. Dalton Ames. Dalton Ames. If we could have just dome something so dreadful and Father said That’s sad too people cannot do anything that dreadful they cannot do anything very dreadful they cannot do anything very dreadful at all they cannot even remember tomorrow what seemed dreadful today and I said, You can shirk all things and he said, Ah can you. And I will look down and see my murmuring bones and the deep water like wind, like a roof of wind, and after a long time they cannot distinguish even bones upon the lonely and inviolate sand. Until on the Day when he says Rise only the flat-iron would come floating up. It’s not when you realize that nothing can help you—religion, pride, anything—it’s when you realize you don’t need any aid. Dalton Ames. Dalton Ames. Dalton Ames I have sympathy for those who feel that Faulkner did literature a disservice by making his writing so obscure you almost need a college course to figure it out (e.g. see Jason Pettus' review). Is all this family drama a tragedy on the order of MacBeth, as implied by the title? Or is it a case of a family once riding high now meeting their just desserts? I would have felt the tragedy more if there was a character struggling to remove blood that can’t be washed off. The whole issue of slavery and finding a worthy path for the South after the Civil War doesn’t play in an explicit way in this story as it did for the earlier Compsons featured in “Absalom Absalom!”. Somewhere out there some scholars must have parsed the elements of early existentialism in Faulkner’s connection to Shakespeare’s lines: Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    DNF I don't currently have the patience to give this book the attention it requires. The stream of consciousness used in the first part of the book was a challenge to get through, though it wasn't entirely unenjoyable. I thought it would be easier after finishing that first part, but the writing style of the second part continues to be a challenge. I can't handle it right now. I'm going through grad school and get enough challenging reading there thank you very much. One day when I have more DNF I don't currently have the patience to give this book the attention it requires. The stream of consciousness used in the first part of the book was a challenge to get through, though it wasn't entirely unenjoyable. I thought it would be easier after finishing that first part, but the writing style of the second part continues to be a challenge. I can't handle it right now. I'm going through grad school and get enough challenging reading there thank you very much. One day when I have more brain capacity freed up I'll come back to this.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Images...I see them. They are beautiful, but I...The images...There goes someone. What is she doing?...Those images, what do they mean?...There she goes again... And then, as if you weren't confused enough, in the second section of The Sound and the Fury, the narration is taken over by Quentin, a quick-witted, but nearly no more reliable a narrator than before. He is the somewhat confused but chivalrous Harvard-educated brother, who clings to Southern ideals. He is so passionate about his fight Images...I see them. They are beautiful, but I...The images...There goes someone. What is she doing?...Those images, what do they mean?...There she goes again... And then, as if you weren't confused enough, in the second section of The Sound and the Fury, the narration is taken over by Quentin, a quick-witted, but nearly no more reliable a narrator than before. He is the somewhat confused but chivalrous Harvard-educated brother, who clings to Southern ideals. He is so passionate about his fight to uphold his beloved sister's virtue that it may be the very thing that actually undoes it. Just as you feel you're getting your bearings, we're off again! Jason. The family bread winner. No-nonsense. Unhappy. Money over ideals. It's his way or the highway. Aside from the at-first confusing addition of "Miss Quentin," this section - as bleak and tense as it is - is the easiest to follow....so Faulkner switches it up again. Dilsey, the head of the black servants, is the strong counterpoint to the decaying white folks she works for. While them and their way of life in late 1800s/early 1900s Mississippi falls apart, she is rock solid. Through her voice, in this final section we see the story from another perspective, which helps fill in some more of the pieces to this complicated tale. William Faulkner is a shapeshifting devil of a writer. His pen creates impenetrable morasses of language and plot, and whether you ever emerge from his labyrinthine swamp or not is almost entirely up to you. Few lifelines will be found, and you may easily miss one amid an impossibly long descriptive drenched in the Southern artist's canvass painted lavishly with molasses and sweat. This is Faulkner at his finest. To craft a tale told four times over from disparate sources - one nearly impossible to follow - and expect to keep the reader rooted to the page is an incredible feat. By the end you're sure you've just witnessed black magic.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Behrokh

    When you start a book it looks very dumb and pointless ! You may have to read a one line several times to understand it . I wish I was not aware of the passage of time like Benji. I think you have to have a lot of patience to read this book :) " Man is equal to the sum of his miseries"

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sidharth Vardhan

    “Caddy smelled like trees.” There is a bollywood movie Gujarish about an ex-magician who meets an accident and is now suffering paralysis from neck down for several years. Finally he requests an amendment in law to make Euthanasia legal, so that he could kill himself. In one scene when he is asked if he wishes to say something before the verdict is given; he says he wishes to show a magic trick to the court. When it is allowed, his assistant brings in a box. The magician asks the lawyer of the “Caddy smelled like trees.” There is a bollywood movie Gujarish about an ex-magician who meets an accident and is now suffering paralysis from neck down for several years. Finally he requests an amendment in law to make Euthanasia legal, so that he could kill himself. In one scene when he is asked if he wishes to say something before the verdict is given; he says he wishes to show a magic trick to the court. When it is allowed, his assistant brings in a box. The magician asks the lawyer of the state to volunteer, judge orders the lawyer to do so. The magician requests the lawyer to sit in the box and his assistant locks the door upon him. A few moments pass - as people expect magician to do something. He just sit calmly, till the lawyer starts screaming from inside the box. The magician starts talking about some random subject(weather) and thus further frightening the lawyer. After a couple of minutes,the magician signals to assistant to let the lawyer out. "Are you stupid?" the lawyers says, breathing heavily, after coming out of box, "It was so dark inside, I couldn't see anything, I couldn't breathe.." The magician replies calmly, "It is what my life has been like for years. Two minutes and you wanted out." This is what reading Benjamin's story is like. Faulkner does an incredible job putting us in the brain of an idiot. There is a good chance you will feel frustrated - I did. You may think this is how the book got the title - Faulkner makes random sounds, you get furious. You check on the internet and find out that it is, in fact, taken from a quote by Macbeth. "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." You may actually want to murder the author but than you remember he is already dead. You look into Wikipedia to find out cause of his death and are surprised to find that he died of totally natural reasons. ... but really that is the point. Now you know how Benjamin feels like - he couldn't differentiate between flashbacks and present and he is probably suffering from synesthesia without knowing anything about it. Even so much as Caddie's wearing a perfume sets him crying for he couldn't associate the smell of perfume with her - to him she must smell as she always did - likes trees. And he doesn't even know anything about Gods or he too would have curse them .... of course, you are supposed to guess all this by yourself. Faulkner is not going to doubt your intelligence by telling you all this. There is a good chance you won't understand anything from that first section but that is the point. You may want to read it again after having finished the book - to properly understand it. It is one of the best things that I've read. Now talking about confusion, there are too many character which are never introduced (except in an appendix in the end) and just thrown on to you; there are different characters having same names and also characters having multiple names and so on - which is justified at least for first section. However there are unjustified confusions too - When you go to second section; you may be surprised how come Benjy, the narrator is in Harvard. He isn't - it is just our run-of- the-mill change of narrator with out so much as a by-your-leave. I don't know why Faulkner didn't feel need to announce the change, for example, by giving name of narrator in title. It happens again in third section but by then, you are somewhat used to Faulkner's trickery. Of course he will still surprise you by bringing back a dead character - and upon that, with a change of sex ... but remember he is already dead. you can't do anything to revenge yourself. Having seen three different narrators in three sections, you want to quickly identify narrator in fourth section. Of course Faulkner will beat you again for this time narrator is none other than God himself. Go Guess! Each successive section is easier to read than the last one and also more boring. The second one is easier compared to first but Quentien the narrator won't tell whether he is fantasizing or remembering. Also, he can occasionally go on for whole pages without using punctuation marks of any sort (Even Benjy had better sense than that.) The last two parts are pretty straight forward but have nothing good about them. Years after the novel was published, Faulkner got into good mood and was good enough to provide an appendix (more of a character guide) knowing what he has written are only fragments of story - anytime you feel like leaving the book, you may want to check it. Reading it in the end feels like reading answers to a puzzle after you have tried your best to solve it. “I took out my watch and listened to it clicking away, not knowing it couldn't even lie”

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    Of course I have read this - but it was ages ago! Would what I thought of it then match up with what I think now? I am not so sure! So how do others award stars for books read long ago? I do it by the strength of the memories left by the book. Or I just don't add the book. My memory can sometimes be hazy. I will reread this in August 2016. Will I give it four stars the second time around? I am in tears. I wrote a review carefully explaining why I can only give this two three stars after rereading Of course I have read this - but it was ages ago! Would what I thought of it then match up with what I think now? I am not so sure! So how do others award stars for books read long ago? I do it by the strength of the memories left by the book. Or I just don't add the book. My memory can sometimes be hazy. I will reread this in August 2016. Will I give it four stars the second time around? I am in tears. I wrote a review carefully explaining why I can only give this two three stars after rereading it. Somehow the whole thing got lost. This is my fault. I didn’t save it correctly. I am so annoyed with myself. **************** Here goes – a second try! I hope this review will help others. Between completing this book by Faulkner and writing my second review I have read another book - The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Dilsey in The Sound and the Fury is compared to Miss Jane Pittman in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. This comparison is laughable. In both books a strong character is delivered and both are religious, but that is where the comparison ends. More importantly, the two books are completely different. I don’t think one should promote one book through incorrect comparisons to another. Faulkner's creative ability and beautifully descriptive lines are nowhere to be found in Gaines' book! The following is just an example of the lines that I loved. Here is one describing Dilsey at the black congregational service on Easter Sunday (on the last day in the novel): As the scutting day passed overhead the dingy windows glowed and faded in ghostly retrograde. A car passed along the road outside, laboring in the sand (and) died away. Dilsey sat bolt upright, her hand on Benjy’s knee. Two tears slid down her cheeks, in and out of the myriad coruscations of immolation and abnegation and time. In this book one can understand the the poor and the Blacks’ absolute need for and solace afforded by religion. These lines beautifully draw the relationship between Benjy and Dilsey. Who is Benjy with on this Easter Sunday? Do you like these? -Pencils of sun slanted in the trees. -There was another yellow butterfly like a sun flick had come loose. -The honeysuckle was in her throat like paint and soap. -Caddy smelt like trees. But be careful; some of these lines mean much more than you suspect. Faulkner draws characters through dialogs and stream of consciousness. Even if I missed much of the significance of what I read I did certainly capture the personality of each character. Stream of consciousness was a new technique at this time and we today fail to be as impressed by its usage as when it first was employed. In this story Faulkner looks at events on four different days and by four different characters. These compose the four separate parts of the book: -First Benjy Compson (the youngest son who is mentally retarded) on April 7, 1928, -then Quentin Compson (Benjy’s older brother) on June 2, 1910, -then Jason Compton (the oldest son) on April 6, 1928, -and finally Dilsey (the black housekeeper) on April 8, 1928. The first three are told from the first person point of view. The last employs the third person omniscient point of view. We are looking at events in the life of a family from different family members. Dilsey is as much a part of this family as any of the others. There are others – Caddy (the sister) and the mother and the father. Each in this family affects the others, but none are seen with the same eyes. How do we judge who they are? Who do we listen to? What is Faulkner saying in designing the story in this manner? Perhaps he means to emphasize that no two people emotionally respond to an event in the same way. A relationship between two people is in fact two different relationships. So what didn’t I like about this book? What gave me the biggest problem, and why was I so annoyed at its end? Faulkner deliberately confuses the reader. He does this with a vengeance and on purpose. There are time shifts, name changes and even peculiar choices of names which are bound to confuse a reader. After completing the book I went to Wiki. What did I discover? I had totally missed clues and misunderstood some of the events?! There it is stated that the jumps in time sequences were to be designated through the use of italics or code- colored texts. Faulkner also added an appendix that was to be included in all future publications. I listened to the 2003 Books on Tape Recording. Obviously neither italics nor color coded texts could be made visible in an audiobook and there was no additional appendix! At least I was comforted by learning that my confusion is shared by most readers. What is the purpose of deliberately confusing readers? Whatever the reason, it annoyed me a lot. By the end of the novel I was groping for understanding. Despite my huge annoyance at being so confused, I did appreciate the writing and the in-depth character portrayals. I also have to admire Faulkner for the intricate construction of the novel, that he could make all the parts fit together so well is a marvel. Another thing I liked was how Faulkner draws Benjy. For me he is the soul of the whole book. I admire Dilsey’s strength and Caddy is important in her very absence, but Benjy I love. No, I love how Faulkner drew Benjy. I don't think you need to have a high IQ to perceive kindness or to understand people's intentions. Benjy’s intuitiveness and perceptive understanding of others is what I liked and that Faulkner chose to draw Benjy in this light. A word about the audiobook narration by Grover Gardener. This is not an easy book to narrate, given the stream of consciousness, disjointed lines and lack of chronology. Gardener does a good job. Three of the four parts are set in Mississippi, but the second part, the one that goes back to the year 1910 is not set in the South, but outside Cambridge, Massachusetts. In this section it is particularly difficult to distinguish between thought and dialog. To know when the Southern dialect should or should not be employed is here difficult to determine. I was totally thrown in this part. There are so many variables – place, timeframe, person, inner thought or event or dialog! Help! It seemed to me that all was intoned with a Southern dialect. After further consideration and having compared the two books, I have chosen to give The Sound and the Fury three stars. I do admire Faulkner’s imagination, his creativity and some of the novel’s resonant lines. And Benjy.

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