Pierce's Reviews > The Wild Palms

The Wild Palms by William Faulkner
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's review
Oct 08, 2008

really liked it
Read in October, 2008

My parents' bookshelves are filled with minor works by major authors. I've never been sure why this is the case, it is as if bigger titles were plundered in the past and never returned or replaced.

Because of this I have read, for example, two almost unknown and quite undistinguished (although very enjoyable) early novels by Gore Vidal and nothing else. I read a bunch of Huxley before I ever laid my hands on Brave New World. We have piles of Golding you've never heard of.

And so, when I went looking for Faulkner, knowing they'd have something, I found The Wild Palms, a novel not even in print anymore. The initial work was edited heavily, and Faulkner had it restored and rereleased later as If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem. But I read what I had, and I am not sorry. It is a lovely 60's Penguin edition, scratched and falling apart. I had to stow it in an envelope between readings.

So this is heavy, dense, gorgeous writing. 85% cocoa-solids dark chocolate. You and I both know that I don't know what I'm talking about, but it feels like the last remnants of that formal 19th century, early-twentieth century prose. Non-conversational, verbose and long sentences. It's very beautiful. Are there modern novelists who write in this manner?

I guess if I want to read The Sound and the Fury I'll have to buy it. I certainly wont find it on the bookshelves at home.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Fanning What Golding are we talking about? Free Fall? Pincher Martin?

message 2: by Pierce (last edited Nov 04, 2008 12:52PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pierce We have.. uh.. Free Fall I believe. Also The Pyramid and I think the Scorpion God (had to check Wikipedia). Actually, we have a good bit more than that, I'd have to check. Some essay volumes also?

Touché, Fanning.

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