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Preview — The Hamlet by William Faulkner
The Hamlet (The Snopes Trilogy #1)
The Hamlet, the first novel of Faulkner's Snopes trilogy, is both an ironic take on classical tragedy and a mordant commentary on the grand pretensions of the antebellum South and the depths of its decay in the aftermath of war and Reconstruction. It tells of the advent and the rise of the Snopes family in Frenchman's Bend, a small town built on the ruins of a once-stately...more
First Edition of The Hamlet published in 1940
Will Varner ow ...more
Reviewed by V.K. Ratliff
Things were right quiet down at Frenchman's Bend. No, not up at the old Sutpen place. This down south an' east of town.
Ever man knew how things worked. It wasn't the best place to live. Old Will Varner owned about ever thing worth anythin'. Most of the men farmed their cotton on shares on land owned by Varner. But a man could make a livin' on shares and have a roof over his head which he most likely paid Varner for. An wh ...more
Much of the dialog in this book is filled with southern witticisms and colorful metaphor which give the story a humorous tone. But there is u ...more
Faulkner had already been to Hollywood and written some screenplays when he wrote this. I knew this without looking i ...more
Much of it was ridiculous (in more than one sense of that word) -- some of it on purpose, some of ...more
I have no idea how much Faulkner is read outside of required assignments for school, ...more
First of all, I will say that it was unbelievably well written. The imagery and scope of the story are difficult to pull off and Faulkner is obviously a master. Second, I will say that the story of the Snopes clan is pretty fascinating in itself. They are locusts swooping into Frenchman's Bend and sucking the property and people dry until they control everything and everyone.
Having given out that necessary praise, the fact is that the ...more
Set in Frenchmen's Bend on Mississippi's Yoknapatawpha River, this tale begins as Al Snopes and his family sign-on to be tenant farmers on Will Varner's land. By the end of the book, Al's son Flem has married the Varner's daughter, is running the Varner's store, and has pissed off Varner's son. The whole story is told by the very observant V.K. Ratliff, who doesn't miss a be ...more
One of the most memorable books I have ever read.
Maybe I'll review it tomorrow but what can I say?
You'll either read Faulkner someday or you won't.
I can't think of a better novel to start out with, though.
Personally, when I was at Columbia I felt out of place and unwanted, just like Flem Snopes. Maybe that's why I always found the tone of this novel a little too glib, and smug. William Faulkner is a big promoter of the myth of southern gentility, i ...more
You can tell from reading that guy just had a better time writing than most people have doing anything...I like to picture him scribbling away with a bottle of whiskey on the desk...every ten pages or so there tend to be clumps of word repetitions and mispellings (gotta love how the newer editions retain them all), which I figure occurred in cycles whenever the level of that bottle started getting low...
Part of the problem for the book is also part of the point: Frenchman's Bend is being over-ridden by Snopes. As a reader, it's hard to keep ...more
What m ...more
however, i can see why some readers didn't care for it...
i made a comment somewhere else that it was a mystery to me why faulkner all but abandoned his early experimental high modernist style...after finishing this book i can confidently say this is hogwash...
there are portions of this novel that could have come right out of 'absalom! absalom!'...all the faulknerian linguistic mannerisms are there...if possible in even more a proliferation than ...more
The story itself has several funny moments, which seemed to grow as the novel moved ...more
The first section is a glorious depiction of a living, swirling community, that, when read, feels like having witnessed 50 years of life condensed into a dream. The Snopes invasion from the opening, and the violence around Mink, are highlights.
Still, where Faulkner can write passages of timeless beauty, he also tends to get overwrought in his chronicling of Yoknapatawpha county. There are dozens of overwrought sections ...more
The majority of his works are based in his native state of Mississippi. Though his work was published as earl ...more