Kasa Cotugno's Reviews > Absalom, Absalom!

Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
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's review
Jun 06, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: to-read
Read in January, 1994

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message 1: by mark (new)

mark Four stars? I'm puzzled not a little. Was the Oracle of Delphi sipping Southern Comfort during her progress through Yoknapatawpha County?

Mind you, a novel - on its first page no less - containing the immortal sentence unscrolled below, earns a five star rating. I haven't the space here to dilate on the sentence's merits, but this matter is one of art and so I will simply argue by example.

But before you plunge, take a few minutes. Stretch your legs. Clear your mind. Pour a glass of ice tea. Then return and sit and become a mote suddenly made sentient by a gnomon shaft of sunlight in an antique room in Jefferson, Mississippi where a wake's in progress, a single witness in attendance, Quentin Compson, alone if not for "a wisteria vine blooming for the second time that summer on a wooden trellis before one window, into which sparrows came now and then in random gusts, making a dry vivid dusty sound before going away: and opposite Quentin, Miss Coldfield in the eternal black which she had worn for forty-three years now, whether for sister, father, or nothusband none knew, sitting so bolt upright in the straight hard chair that was so tall for her that her legs hung straight and rigid as if she had iron shinbones and ankles clear of the floor with the air of impotent and static rage like children's feet, and talking in that grim haggard amazed voice until at last listening would renege and hearing-sense self-confound and the long-dead object of her impotent yet indomitable frustration would appear, as though by outraged recapitulation evoked, quiet inattentive and harmless, out of the biding and dreamy and victorious dust."*

Now, Oracle, a glass if you would, on the rocks.

*Vintage International, 11/1990, ppg 3-4

Kasa Cotugno You're right you're right. But there was the day when I didn't give anything a 5 star rating except for Sound & Fury, and wouldn't give any other author except for Faulkner 5 stars just because they weren't Faulkner. When I discovered him, late in life in the early 90's, I thought I'd discovered my reason for living.

message 3: by mark (new)

mark An honorable recantation, my delightful Oracle. Share with me a few glasses of SC (my treat), and we'll toast to Faulkner who, if he were there, would drink us both under the table into the biding and dreamy and victorious dust.

Kasa Cotugno You are a treat and I don't need SC for further intoxication. Meet you under the table.

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