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Mientras agonizo

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Addie Bundren, antigua maestra de escuela, yace agonizante mientras sus hijos y su marido aguardan el momento de su muerte y se disponen a cumplir su voluntad de ser enterrada en el cementerio de Jefferson, a más de sesenta kilómetros de distancia, junto a sus antepasados. La narración de las peripecias que corren los pobres e ignorantes miembros de la familia Bundren a lo largo del extraño y accidentado traslado del cadáver en carromato de mulas, da pie a William Faulkner (1897-1962) para levantar en las páginas de “Mientras agonizo” (1930) una de sus novelas más ricas.
Sirviéndose del monólogo interior de los personajes, crea un relato poliédrico que, cual una piedra tallada, va reflejando, según la faceta a través de la cual apreciamos su unidad, los infinitos claroscuros de la naturaleza humana.

224 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1930

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About the author

William Faulkner

990 books8,734 followers
William Cuthbert Faulkner was a Nobel Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer. One of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, his reputation is based mostly on his novels, novellas, and short stories. He was also a published poet and an occasional screenwriter.

The majority of his works are set in his native state of Mississippi. Though his work was published as early as 1919, and largely during the 1920s and 1930s, Faulkner was relatively unknown until receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature, "for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel." Faulkner has often been cited as one of the most important writers in the history of American literature. Faulkner was influenced by European modernism, and employed stream of consciousness in several of his novels.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 9,773 reviews
Profile Image for AmyAmy.
76 reviews47 followers
August 27, 2008
I know you're "supposed to" love this book because it's Faulker, but I HATED IT! I know you're "cool" and "intelligent" if you read Faulkner, but I can't stand him. Sorry, I don't know what he's talking about (and at the risk of sounding immodest, I am bright). I DON'T think it's cool and "hip" to write in a confusing manner, and I don't try to impress others by liking ambiguity. I had my fill in college with snobs who pretended to like this stuff. Sorry I sound harsh here (I'm really a nice person), but YUK!
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
August 13, 2017
I've been working up to a William Faulkner book for years. His books always appear on lists of "best books of all time" and "books you should read before you die". But when I've felt in the mood for a classic or something "literary", I've always passed him up for other authors, even those with 1000+ page monsters. I think, deep down, I always sensed Faulkner just wasn't for me.

The first problem is my lack of enthusiasm for stream of consciousness narratives. If I'm being honest, I rarely like it. I don't mind working at a book if it's hard-going, but this style of narration makes it difficult for me, personally, to ever settle into the rhythm of the book. And Faulkner takes it to a whole new level. He drops us into scenes and scenarios without any explanation; I genuinely felt like Faulkner wanted to deliberately confuse his readers about characters and ideas he could have easily portrayed in a more accessible way. Confusion for confusion's sake.

Honestly, I can think of little more boring than suffering through every thought, feeling and instinct that passes through the human mind. I have my own mind that plagues me with this randomness; I don't need to read it in someone else's perspective. I want an author to organize language into a structure that is interesting, compelling, thought-provoking... and stream of consciousness, for me, is rarely any of those things.

But that's just my tastes for the style. Trying to take a step away from that a second and view what the novel did as a whole, I can't say I enjoyed the story. Nor do I tend to enjoy books with more than two or three perspectives - and this one had fifteen! In less than three-hundred pages!

The plot follows the Bundren family after the death of their matriarch, Addie. Fifteen perspectives tell the story of the family's journey to Jefferson, where Addie is to be buried. Hauling a wagon with Addie's decomposing body, the Bundren family sets out on a nine-day journey of frequent hunger and discomfort.

Faulkner includes important themes in his work, such as religion, poverty and identity in the Southern United States, but I still feel like other authors have done this in a more palatable way. I would much rather read Steinbeck any day.

One reviewer said this of Faulkner's style and I couldn't agree more:
It is easy to be confusing. It is easy to write something beautiful and understandable for yourself. It's hard to write universal words which we can all connect.

So, so true.

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Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,538 followers
March 21, 2022
Where to start with a masterpiece that is both short like the distance between two thoughts and deep as the thoughts themselves? This is one of Faulkner's true masterpieces: a grotesque road trip with a rotting corpse told in the voices of the extremely dysfunctional and occasionally insane family members. It is Ulysses in the Southern United States, or a Georgian Grapes of Wrath (Faulkner having been inspired by the former and certainly influenced the latter). The writing is some of the most powerful that Faulkner ever produced:

...I would think how words go straight up in a thin line, quick and harmless, and how terribly doing goes along the earth, clinging to it, so that after a while the two lines are too far apart for the same person to straddle from one to the other; and that sin and love and fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never had and cannot have until they forget the words.

The words leap off the page and both draw you into their language’s inner beauty and repulse you for the violence he depicts. It is as visceral as a slaughterhouse (complete with awls piercing caskets) and yet more optimistic than this generation’s Walking Dead.

“I enter the hall, hearing the voices before I reach the door. Tilting a little down the hill, as our house does, a breeze draws through the hall all the time, upslanting. A feather dropped near the front door will rise and brush along the ceiling, slanting backward, until it reaches the down-turning current at the back door: so with voices. As you enter the hall, they sound as though they were speaking out of the air about your head.”

Amazing, isn’t it. And it feels so effortless as prose.

One of the greatest American novels ever written and one that will still be as moving and relevant centuries from now as it speaks eternal truth in the American vernacular. A must.
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,424 reviews3,380 followers
July 4, 2021
Take life as it comes… Take death as it comes…
The quilt is drawn up to her chin, hot as it is, with only her two hands and her face outside. She is propped on the pillow, with her head raised so she can see out the window, and we can hear him every time he takes up the adze or the saw. If we were deaf we could almost watch her face and hear him, see him. Her face is wasted away so that the bones draw just under the skin in white lines. Her eyes are like two candles when you watch them gutter down into the sockets of iron candle-sticks. But the eternal and the everlasting salvation and grace is not upon her.

She is dying; she lies still… But everything around her is in motion, all things are on the move, the world is spinning.
The narration consists of the character’s fragmentary thoughts, feverish mental impressions as if painted with the bold strokes of brush by the intrepid and furious impressionist…
I had a nightmare once I thought I was awake but I couldn’t see and couldn’t feel I couldn’t feel the bed under me and I couldn’t think what I was I couldn’t think of my name I couldn’t even think I am a girl I couldn’t even think I nor even think I want to wake up nor remember what was opposite to awake so I could do that I knew that something was passing but I couldn’t even think of time then all of a sudden I knew that something was it was wind blowing over me it was like the wind came and blew me back from where it was I was not blowing the room and Vardaman asleep and all of them back under me again and going on like a piece of cool silk dragging across my naked legs.

As I Lay Dying is a road book…
Back running, tunnelled between the two sets of bobbing mule ears, the road vanishes beneath the wagon as though it were a ribbon and the front axle were a spool.

It is an unimaginable chronicle of the long and calamitous funereal trek.
Obstinacy combined with foolishness is a deadly force…
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,194 reviews9,459 followers
November 25, 2015
Once you get past the ungainly oddness and wild strangeness which assails you from every direction, then you can see the weirdness which lies beyond.

The story, and there is a very strong clear linear narrative here, is wonderfully stupid. A back country family in Mississippi in the 20s has their dear mama Addie Bundren up and die on them and the lazy-ass sumbitch daddy thinks he then has to carry out her settled dying wish which, very unreasonably, was to get buried with her own kin 40 miles away in Jefferson. This wouldn’t be so bad except it’s the height of summer and there’s just been bad rains and a flood, so the bridges over the river are down. The whole passel of them, four sons, one daughter, one daddy, two mules and one horse, nevertheless trek off to do the right thing. To say they encounter obstacles would be to say nought but the truth. One such is that before very long Addie starts to decomp, to which many passing strangers take exception.

So it’s kind of a comic tale but it ain’t told comically. No sir. No ma’am.

The guides will say the same thing about this short but dense-like-a-black-hole novel:

As I Lay Dying is written as a series of stream-of-consciousness monologues, in which the characters’ thoughts are presented in all their uncensored chaos, without the organizing presence of an objective narrator.

That’s from the online Spark Notes. Fair enough , except that it’s just completely not true. All the short chapters are headed up with a character name, and it kind of naturally seems as if that character is narrating, but a) only occasionally could you call anything in this book stream of consciousness, and even then it’s nothing at all like our old beloved friends Virginia Woolf or James Joyce because these interior monologues come at you in perfectly formed and mostly graceful sentences; and b) The chapters obey no consistent rules or they change the rules all the time which is the same thing, so that in the middle of a paragraph it is suddenly the author’s omniscient voice popping up.

And another thing - what Faulkner does all the time is bend the credibility of the characters’ voices until they break.

Here’s two examples of purely natural monologue

Because be durn if there ain’t something about a durn fellow like Anse that seems to make a man have to help him, even when he knows he’ll be wanting to kick himself the next minute.


Sometimes I think it aint none of us pure crazy and aint none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-way. It’s like it aint so much what a fellow does, but it’s the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it.

But here’s an example of Faulkner’s own voice breaking in. The narrator here is Vardaman, aged around ten :

I can cry quiet now, feeling and hearing my tears It is dark. I can hear wood, silence. I know them. But not living sounds, not even him. It is as though the dark were resolving him out of his integrity into an unrelated scattering of components

The last sentence is not Vardaman. It’s Faulkner.

Here’s the daughter Dewey Dell – her usual mode is like this

About his head the print of his hat sweated into his hair. His shirt is blotched with sweat. He has not washed his hands and arms.

But then

The cow breathes upon my hips and back, her breath warm, sweet, stertorous, moaning.

(even my spellcheck does not know stertorous, much less an uneducated 17 year old country girl. So what is Faulkner doing here? Messing with us readers, I think.)

And now, here’s Darl, one of the sons. Now as this family is the
purely uneducated rural poor, how is it one of their sons (the one who narrates about half of the book) thinks in this lushly textured poetic and highly intellectual language?

He looks up at the gaunt face framed by the window in the twilight. It is a composite picture of all time since he was a child…. For a while, still, she looks down at him from the composite picture, neither with censure nor approbation. …

Then she flings herself across Addie Bundren’s knees, clutching her, shaking her with the furious strength of the young before sprawling suddenly across the handful of rotten bones that Addie Bundren left, jarring the whole bed into a chattering sibilance of mattress shucks, her arms outflung and the fan in one hand still beating with expiring breath into the quilt.

She looks down at the face. It is like a casting of fading bronze upon the pillow, the hands alone still with any semblance of life : a curled, gnarled inertness; a spent yet alert quality from which weariness, exhaustion, travail has not yet departed, as though they doubted even yet the actuality of rest, guarding with horned and penurious alertness the cessation which they know cannot last.

Check out these examples of Darl’s vocabulary:

We go on with a motion so soporific, so dreamlike as to be uninferant of progress, as though time and not space were decreasing between us and it.

How do our lives ravel out into the no-wind, no-sound, the weary gestures wearily recapitulant

A cubistic bug

Starkly re-accruent

Don’t sound like no poor white trash I ever came acrost, dunt know about you. Sounds more like Marcel damn Proust than Hank Williams. Shoot, sounds more like this William Faulkner hisself talkin. Seems he didn’t want to write no normal book but one a them whatchacallem modernist efforts but like he jes couldnt hep hisself & had to git that thar poetic jawbreakin stuff in there someways n so turned one a his ole country boys into some kinda god damn genius.

It doesn’t really work, a few pages of Darl and my suspension of disbelief came crashing down and really bruised my left shoulder, I can still feel it now.

And there’s another thing about old Darl. He frequently launches off into Deep Space, like this:

I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not. Jewel knows he is, because he does not know that he does not know whether he is or not. . He cannot empty himself for sleep because he is not what he is and he is what he is not.

I had to look round and ask here, who let Samuel Beckett in here?

Even so, and also taking into consideration a couple of apparent plot holes in the rather-too-neat O Henryish ending (how did bumbling Anse fix up all that in such a short space of time?) I still loved the bravery and confidence of this novel. It ramified my brain, and there is hardly any higher praise. It was great.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Nicholas Armstrong.
264 reviews48 followers
March 11, 2012
"And since sleep is is-not and rain and wind are was, it is not. Yet the wagon is, because when the wagon is was, Addie Bundren will not be. And Jewel is, so Addie Bundren must be. And then I must be, or I could not empty myself for sleep in a strange room. And so if I am not emptied yet, I am is."
............ There are people who actually like this?

Seriously though, I'm pretty sure I get it, I just don't like it. There is a family and each one is a reflection of a way of living, or in some cases, a way of dying. Anse is the 'woe is me' type and Addie is the 'Serve your purpose and die' type and that's all well and good, and it's a pretty cool idea for a book, I just don't like Faulkner. Do you know that skill has very little to do with the process of inventing a concept? I'm still not entirely convinced that Faulkner is the genius he is made out to be. In fact, I'm not entirely convinced I should like him at all. Based off his biography he is kind of a pathetic, lying, failure - so what am I supposed to think of his writing?

Stream-of-consciousness is one thing, writing in Faulkner's way is another. Scenes are dropped onto our heads in ways we cannot comprehend and actions are portrayed without explanation. And do you know the unfairest cut of all? Faulkner knows what he is trying to say, he knows all about these characters, he just isn't showing us anything. An example: originally there were no names at the beginning of the chapters. Yeah, no kidding. He just wrote this shit with no explanation of our speaker and expected us to figure it out. That is not genius. Writing is about making a connection to a stranger, bridging a gap of confusion to create understanding and to share an idea, a theme, an image with thousands or millions of people who you've never met. Faulkner writes in jargon he understands with little to no respect for the reader and I can't forgive him for it. If you don't believe me then write something. Write a short story. Write 3, or 4, or 5 pages. Flesh out the characters and their histories and their conflicts. Got it? Okay, now when you are writing a scene with multiple people use only the pronoun he. You will know who you are talking about - do we? Is that good writing? No, it isn't.

It is easy to be confusing. It is easy to write something beautiful and understandable for yourself. It's hard to write universal words which we can all connect.

Good idea, Faulkner, poor performance.
Profile Image for Alex.
1,418 reviews4,382 followers
December 16, 2021
Many of us slogged through this unofficial My First Faulkner in high school, and probably all any of us remember from it is Vardaman's line, "My mother is a fish," which our teachers used to teach us about Foreshadowing. For many of us this would be My Last Faulkner too because we learned mostly that Faulkner is a fucking pain in the ass. At least it's less confusing than The Sound & The Fury, although that's sortof like saying a given animal is less dangerous than a bear strapped to a shark: okay, but there's a long way between that and safe.

Faulkner is a pain in the ass because he was a modernist - one of the Three Great Modernists, along with Woolf and Joyce, and modernism is when you jumble up your timelines and perspectives and generally just obfuscate everything so it's about all a body can do to figure out what the plot even is, and while all three of these authors are great, in that they know what they're doing and they're memorable and they're telling great truths, they are also massive pains in your ass and should basically not be read by most people.

But you can more or less follow most of the plot in this book, and here's what it is: this shambling backwoods family of future Trump voters sets off to bury the matriarch on her family land, and they fuck it all up. The plot has the grinding inevitability of great tragedy, but the events have an obstinately small scale; it's just these idiots, trying to get a coffin across a river.

Here are the characters:
- Addie Bundren, the one who dies;
- Anse, her lazy good-for-nothing husband, who looks "like a figure carved clumsily from tough wood by a drunken caricaturist," a description that Cormac McCarthy would build basically his entire career on;
- Cash, the carpenter eldest son who never finishes a sentence even in his head;
- Darl, who for some reason doubles as an omniscient narrator, the most articulate of the group, considered queer for that very reason (remember that scene in Idiocracy where the dude gets diagnosed with "talking like a fag"?) and constantly babbling about is and was like a college kid getting stoned for the third time;
- Jewel, the horse-obsessed son whose eyes are constantly described, "like pieces of a broken plate," which no they aren't, that's simply not what eyes are like;
- Dewey Dell, the sole daughter, whose "wet dress shapes for the blind eyes of three blind men those mammalian ludicrosities which are the horizons and the valleys of the earth" in the single worst description of breasts ever perpetrated to paper;
- Vardaman of the fish, who is off in some vague way - Faulkner has never been particularly specific about his medical diagnoses. Benjy from Sound & The Fury is also non-diagnosably "off"; he might be autistic, who knows. Vardaman is either in his early teens and off (my position) or around 8 and less off. There's conflicting evidence.

Faulkner sortof recycles some of his characters from Sound & the Fury, written just a year earlier in 1929: Benjy and Vardaman are both fucked in the head; Dewey Dell and Caddy are the underdressed daughters; Darl and Quentin are the time-obsessed poets. (They also share a setting, Faulkner's famous and made-up Yoknapatawpha County in Mississippi. Mississippi might be real, how would I know.) Sound & the Fury didn't sell well, and Faulkner aimed "deliberately to write a tour de force," a surefire winner, which more or less worked out. He claims to have written it in six weeks and one draft.

There are a few other characters, most notably the more functional neighbors Vernon and Cora Tull. Everybody takes turns narrating; each has a distinct voice, but all of them use words they couldn't possibly have any excuse to know. Here's young Vardaman's description of a horse:

It is as though the dark were resolving him out of his integrity, into an unrelated scattering of components - snuffings and stampings, smells of cooling flesh and ammoniac hair, an uncoordinated whole of splotched hide and strong bones within which, detached and secret and familiar, an is different from my is.
Faulkner's not even trying to make anyone talk realistically. He's about something, I guess - lending epic weight to lifesize events - and I even kinda like it... but it's still basically ridiculous.

I'm making fun of Faulkner a lot, which is easy and fun to do because he's a jackass, but I like this book. The river crossing is genuinely exciting. Faulkner's kinda funny, in sortof a "check out this sentence I'm about to get away with, fuck all of you" way - not as funny as his fellow Southern Gothic Flannery O'Connor, but who is. The book overall walks a line between complicated and understandable, and for once Faulkner stays on the right side of it.

Over the course of the book, most of the family have their own stories to play out. It's surprising and neat; new dimensions keep unfolding. We learn that Jewel ; Dewey Dell (what kind of fuckin' name is that?) ; Darl . Even dumb old Anse . He also .

I'm not the world's biggest Faulkner fan. Of the modernists, Woolf is by far my favorite; of the writers in general, the modernists are among my least favorite, because for fuck's sake just write down what's happening, if I wanted a puzzle I'd do a crossword.

I generally wouldn't recommend that anyone read Faulkner unless they're just dying to for some reason, and in that case one should maybe ask oneself what that reason could possibly be, and is one really making good life choices here, and is one crazy, and is one possibly a pretentious dickwad, and wouldn't one honestly be better off just watching TV. Says the guy who was just dying to read Faulkner like a week ago, and now I've gone and done it and I kinda thought it was great. I don't know, man.
I aint so sho who's got ere a right to say when a man is crazy and when he aint. Sometimes I think it aint none of us pure crazy and aint none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-way. It's like it aint so much what a fellow does, but it's the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it.

Don't look at me.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
October 3, 2021
As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner

As I Lay Dying is a 1930 novel, in the genre of Southern Gothic, by American author William Faulkner. Faulkner said that he wrote the novel from midnight to 4:00 AM over the course of six weeks and that he did not change a word of it. Faulkner wrote it while working at a power plant, published it in 1930, and described it as a "tour de force".

Faulkner's fifth novel, it is consistently ranked among the best novels of 20th-century literature. The title derives from Book XI of Homer's Odyssey, wherein Agamemnon tells Odysseus: "As I lay dying, the woman with the dog's eyes would not close my eyes as I descended into Hades."

The book is narrated by 15 different characters over 51 chapters. It is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her poor, rural family's quest and motivations (noble or selfish) to honor her wish to be buried in her hometown of Jefferson, Mississippi.

As the book opens, Addie is alive, though in ill health. Addie and others expect her to die soon, and she sits at a window watching as her firstborn, Cash, builds her coffin.

Anse, Addie's husband, waits on the porch, while their daughter, Dewey Dell, fans her mother in the July heat. The night after Addie dies a heavy rainstorm sets in; rivers rise and wash out bridges the family will need to cross to get to Jefferson.

The family's trek by wagon begins, with Addie's non-embalmed body in the coffin. Along the way, Anse and the five children encounter various difficulties.

Anse frequently rejects any offers of assistance, including meals or lodging, so at times the family goes hungry and sleeps in barns.

At other times he refuses to accept loans from people, claiming he wishes to "be beholden to no man", thus manipulating the would-be-lender into giving him charity as a gift not to be repaid. Jewel, Addie's middle child, tries to leave his dysfunctional family, yet cannot turn his back on them through the trials.

Cash breaks a leg and winds up riding atop the coffin. He refuses to admit to any discomfort, but the family eventually puts a makeshift cast of concrete on his leg. Twice, the family almost loses Addie's coffin first, while crossing a river on a washed-out bridge (two mules are lost), and second, when a fire of suspicious origin starts in the barn where the coffin is being stored for a night.

After nine days, the family finally arrives in Jefferson, where the stench from the coffin is quickly smelled by the townspeople. In town, family members have different items of business to take care of. Cash's broken leg needs attention.

Dewey Dell, for the second time in the novel, goes to a pharmacy, trying to obtain an abortion that she does not know how to ask for. First, though, Anse wants to borrow some shovels to bury Addie, because that was the purpose of the trip and the family should be together for that.

Before that happens, however, Darl, the second eldest, is seized for the arson of the barn and sent to the Mississippi State Insane Asylum in Jackson. With Addie only just buried, Anse forces Dewey Dell to give up her money, which he spends on getting "new teeth", and marries the woman from whom he borrowed the spades.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز چهاردهم ماه فوریه سال 1994میلادی

عنوان: گور به گور (همچون که دراز کشیده بودم و داشتم می‌مُردم)؛ نویسنده: ویلیام فاکنر؛ مترجم: نجف دریابندری؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، 1371؛ در 250ص؛ چاپ دوم 1382؛ شابک 9643621936؛ چاپ چهارم 1386؛ شابک 9789643621933؛ چاپ پنجم 1387؛ چاپ هفتم 1389؛ چاپ نهم 1391، در 304ص؛ چاپ دهم 1393؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده ی 20م

جناب «نجف دریابندری»؛ در یادداشتی می‌نویسند: «گور به گور» عنوانی‌ ست، که من روی این رمان گذاشته‌ ام، زیرا نتوانسته‌ ام عنوان اصلی آن را به عبارتی که خود بپسندم به فارسی درآورم؛ «همچون که دراز کشیده بودم و داشتم می‌مُردم»؛ کوتاه‌ترین عبارتی است، که به نظر من معنای عنوان اصلی را دقیقاً بیان می‌کند؛ پایان نقل

آنچنانکه از برگردان عنوان کتاب برمیآید، لابد برگرداندن متن اصلی به متن فارسی نیز، دشوار بوده است، کتاب یک سال پس از نگارش: «خشم و هیاهو»، و در سال 1930میلادی به نگارش درآمده، و برنده ی نوبل ادبیات شده است؛ نویسنده مدعی ست که «گور به گور» را شش هفته‌ ای، آن‌ هم شب‌ها و پای کوره ی یک نیروگاه محلی نگاشته، و دیگر دستی در آن نبرده است

داستان: «گور به گور»، پانزده راوی گوناگون دارد؛ در میانِ راویان: «کودک»، «پیرمرد»، «زن محتضر»، «پزشک» و...؛ هستند، و در روایت خود، هوشیارانه مطابق سن و سال خویش سخن می‌گویند؛ روایت‌شان بر پایه ی دیدگاه خود، و براساس فهم خویش است؛ از این دیدگاه، بسیاری راویان در «گور به گور»، نه تنها خوانشگر را گیج نمی‌کند، بلکه بر گوارایی داستان نیز می‌افزاید

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 01/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 10/07/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
July 18, 2017

Καθώς.... ψυχορραγώ.
Αυτό το «καθώς»είναι που προσδίδει τόσο βαθύ μυστήριο και πόνο λες και συγκεντρώνει το νόημα και την ουσία όλης της ανθρώπινης ύπαρξης την ώρα του επιθανάτιου ρόγχου. Τελευταίες αναπνοές θανάτου ίσως
σημαντικότερες απο την ίδια την ανάσα των ζωντανών.

Με κυρίευσε αυτός ο τίτλος. Με σημάδεψε.

Τι αλήθεια σκέφτεται κάποιος τις τελευταίες του στιγμές;
Καθώς ψυχορραγεί. Καθώς τελειώνει. Καθώς γεύεται το μυστικό του θανάτου που του ψιθυρίζει λόγια ανείπωτα και απαγορευμένα σε όσους δεν βρεθούν στην ίδια κατάσταση.
Καθώς...θα είναι αργά. Καθώς η κατάσταση θα χειροτερεύει. Καθώς όλα θα είναι ασήμαντα. Καθώς τα σημαντικά δεν υπήρξαν ποτέ κι αν υπάρχουν τώρα είναι αναστρέψιμα και μόνο με τη φαντασία προβλέψιμα.

Δεν ξέρω να σας πω με σιγουριά αν είναι ο σημαντικότερος συγγραφέας του 20ου αιώνα. Ξέρω όμως σίγουρα πως αποτελεί μία σπουδαία της λογοτεχνίας σχολή.

Έχει δικό του στίγμα. Δικό του τρόπο λαϊκής γραφής και γλαφυρής ρητορείας. Μπορεί να εντάξει το γκροτέσκο και τραγικά γελοίο γεγονός σε μια αριστουργηματική διήγηση. Να δημιουργήσει με τα πιο σκούρα και σκοτεινά χρώματα έναν πίνακα που ξεχειλίζει φως και ζωή. Ανοίγει μια καινούργια πόρτα στην αναγνωστική αντίληψη,σκέψη,ικανότητα και δυνατότητα.

Σίγουρα θεωρώ πως για να τον διαβάσεις πρέπει να είσαι σε πλήρη ετοιμότητα. Σε ανάλογο ψυχισμό,ηλικία,καλλιέργεια και εμπειρία.

Παρακολουθούμε λοιπόν το καθώς...μιας ετοιμοθάνατης μητέρας 5 παιδιών και ενός συζύγου,αμφισβητούμενων απο την ίδια.
Η σκέψη της-την οποία και διαβάζουμε μετά το θάνατο της-φωνάζει για την σχέση μέσα σε ένα γάμο,την αυτοθυσία της γυναίκας που καταπιέζεται στα κοινωνικά και θρησκευτικά πρότυπα,την αναγκαστική μητρότητα και το μεγάλο αμάρτημα του πάθους που το ονομάζουν λάθος όσοι ποτέ δεν το έζησαν.

Τελευταία της επιθυμία να θαφτεί στο μέρος που γεννήθηκε και αφού βρίσκεται πολύ μακριά απο εκεί που ζει,προϋποθέτει οδοιπορικό όλης της οικογένειας προς τον οικογενειακό της τάφο.

Αυτό το οδοιπορικό της αγροτικής οικογένειας που ρημάζει απο ανέχεια και φτώχεια αλλά διακατέχεται απο βαθύ αίσθημα υπερηφάνειας και εντιμότητας είναι τόσο γελοίο,άθλιο και τραγικό που πονάει μέχρι δακρύων.

Πριν το θάνατο, όταν βρισκόμασταν ακόμη στο καθώς...ο μεγάλος γιος αναλαμβάνει να φτιάξει το φέρετρο της μητέρας του και μάλιστα το μαστορεύει κάτω απο το παράθυρο της ετοιμοθάνατης για να
το βλέπει και να είναι η συντροφιά της στο καθώς...

Ο θάνατος διαταράσσει το μικρότερο παιδί που υποφέρει και συνεχώς μονολογεί πως η μάνα του είναι ψάρι. Αρνείται το φευγιό της και ανοίγει τρύπες στο φέρετρο για να μπορεί να αναπνέει εκείνη.

Όλη η οικογένεια έχει απο ένα ένοχο μυστικό,απο μια ανομολόγητη αμαρτία και προς εξιλέωση όλων τους ξεκινούν αυτή τη νεκρική πομπή που διασχίζει τον Αμερικανικό νότο και φέρνει στην επιφάνεια κάθε είδους ανθρώπινης συνείδησης και αισθητικής.

Οι δυσκολίες και η κακοτυχία είναι οι μόνιμοι συνοδοί τους. Όλοι για κάποιο προσωπικό λόγο επιθυμούν αυτό το μακάβριο ταξίδι.
Οι σχέσεις τους δοκιμάζονται,οι μάσκες πέφτουν, τα μυστικά αποκαλύπτονται στην πορεία. Μια πορεία που έχει στροφή προς την παράνοια.

Μετά απο δέκα μέρες περιφοράς της νεκρής λόγω αντιξοοτήτων η σήψη πλημμυρίζει τον αέρα και τις ψυχές.
Δεν επιστρέ��ουν όλοι πίσω μετά απο αυτή την νεκρική πορεία.
Αυτοί που επιστρέφουν δεν είναι και δεν θα γίνουν ποτέ αυτοί που ήταν πριν το ταξίδι.

Συγκλονιστικός ο μονόλογος του Νταρλ (ένας απο τους γιούς) όταν πια έχει περάσει τα όρια της διαταραχής.

Τι είναι αυτό που σε κάνει και γελάς;" του λέω.
«Αυτό αυτό αυτό αυτό...».

Καλή ανάγνωση!!
Πολλούς ασπασμούς!!
Profile Image for Tim.
476 reviews613 followers
February 5, 2022
“I could just remember how my father used to say that the reason for living was to get ready to stay dead a long time.”

I've mentioned before in my reviews that I majored in English in college, and I always found it funny how much my particular university seemed to hate classics. With the exception of The Great Gatsby and a few Victorian novels that were in one specific class focusing on the subject, I don't think we read a single novel written before the 1960s. As such I sometimes look at my list of classics that I've read and feel a bit disappointed in myself. For example, we never read anything by William Faulkner. Well, I decided to finally correct that.

I chose this book for two reasons. First because I've seen it on several lists of the greatest English language novels. The second reason is that wonderful title. Well, what did I think of it going into it mostly blind as I knew nothing of the plot?

Well, I found Faulkner's style stunning and frustrating in equal parts. The stream of conscious writing style makes some characters very difficult to understand and I found myself rereading some scenes trying to figure out exactly what happened. I usually figured it out by the next chapter as Faulkner seemed to recognize this and intend that effect in some chapters. As such, frequently the next chapter reexplain things a little more clearly from another character’s point of view.

The plot is simple enough, a family travels to a nearby town to bury their recently deceased mother/wife. Weather, injury and seemingly God himself all seem determined that they will not succeed in this… but they will keep going, "not begrudging it none." It's simple and doesn't sound that fascinating, but it is an excellent character study. Every one of those characters feels like a real person, and seeing their stream of conscious thoughts makes them feel real despite never getting detailed descriptions of them. The ending is also one of the cleverest I've ever read, making the entire thing feel like an even darker comedy than I realized at first.

This is a wonderful novel, something truly unique and close to perfection. It may have frustrated me at times, but that's not a criticism though I'm sure it is a deal breaker for some readers. I delighted in its language and trying to understand these characters. A rare 5/5 stars.
Profile Image for Lisa.
977 reviews3,327 followers
January 18, 2021
That feeling when you close a book, and it is like you can't breathe, because all the breath of life seems to be stuck in that story, and you just finished it, and there is a vacuum inside.

That feeling when you try to describe a book, and all the adjectives you come up with are negative, and yet the story has such power, and you loved it, like life.

That feeling when you are not sure what to read next, because whatever you pick will carry some of the flavour of the sorrow and the hopelessness and the sadness and the excruciatingly unfair black comedy of uneducated, poor, religious life.

That feeling when the novel spills over into real life and makes you hear your heart beat for people that may not exist, but that are more real than many of your neighbours.

That feeling you share with a main character that you aren't sure where the thin line between sanity and insanity is drawn, and whether it is in the eye of the beholder to make a final decision:

"Sometimes I aint so sho who's got ere a right to say when a man is crazy and when he aint. Sometimes I think it aint none of us pure crazy and aint none of us pure sane until the balance of us talks him that-a-way. It's like it aint so much what a fellow does, but it's the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it."

That is reminiscent of Emily Dickinson's beautiful poem on madness:

Much Madness is divinest Sense-
To a discerning Eye-
Much Sense-the starkest Madness-
‘Tis the Majority
In this, as All, prevail-
Assent- and you are sane-
Demur- you’re straightway dangerous-
And handled with a Chain-

I LOVED this novel, and it made my stomach turn. I don't know what the majority of readers would make of this polyphonic Job's journey or Greek tragic odyssey through a fictional Southern landscape, but I figure I am mad in the Dickinson or Faulkner way. There is so much truth in the choir of the voices in the Bundren family, even though each voice alone seems random and mad and disoriented.

The underlying social issues, stemming from the hopeless choicelessness of the poor and uneducated people in the rural South, are not explicitly made a topic as in Steinbeck's novels, but rather hinted at in the confused unawareness of those living that life themselves, unable to raise their voices coherently to demand change.

Religion hovers above their heads as a stick and a carrot. "If you do this, you will face eternal punishment...", "if you suffer through that, God will praise you in heaven"... Most of the time, the Christian doctrines remain mysterious to the characters, and they can't see why an omniscient and omnipotent god would choose to do what he does to them. Has he chosen to let the Devil act to make a 17-year-old girl pregnant and to let her be left alone with ten dollars to try to get an abortion? And what divine sense of humour makes her fail at that and become a renewed victim of sexual exploitation, while her father takes the ten dollars she kept to get himself new teeth and another woman?

Getting their mother buried in her hometown exposes the siblings to extreme situations from which they won't all recover. Some of them will be marked forever by the strain that forced them to balance on the thin line between madness and sanity. I will hear their voices and remember that I walk on that line too.

To the cast of the play, a huge thank you for letting me join you on the stormy ride:

Vardaman - There's no shame in having a fish for a mother!
Cash - You are a mighty fine man, and a voice of care and reason, and when luck means breaking the same leg twice, you certainly know how to cherish your good star!
Darl - I understand you, that line is mighty thin, especially in times of hardship!
Dewey Dell - You have the future on your side, your daughters and granddaughters will have more rights and less vulnerability!
Jewel - There is power underneath your confusion if you can get it sorted!
Anse - Being headless amounts to child abuse!
Addie - Your story is universal!
Christians and gods - the usual cast!
Profile Image for Swrp.
662 reviews
April 2, 2023
"Sometimes I lose faith in human nature for a time; I am assailed by doubt."

"When I was a boy I first learned how much better water tastes when it has set a while in a cedar bucket. Warmish-cool, with a faint taste like the hot July wind in cedar trees smells. It has to set at least six hours, and be drunk from a gourd. Water should never be drunk from metal."

"Addie Bundren could not want a better one, a better box to lie in. It will give her confidence and comfort."

"... because if there is a God what the hell is He for."

"The sun, an hour above the horizon, is poised like a bloody egg upon a crest of thunderheads ; the light has turned copper : in the eye portentous, in the nose sulphurous, smelling of lightning."

"It is as though upon a face carved by a savage caricaturist a monstrous burlesque of all bereavement flowed."

"That`s what they mean by the womb of time : the agony and the despair of spreading bones, the hard girdle in which lie the outraged entrails of events."

"How do our lives ravel out into the no-wind, no-sound, the weary gestures wearily recapitulant : echoes of old compulsions with no-hand on no-strings : in sunset we fall into furious attitudes, dead gestures of dolls."

"If you could just ravel out into time. That would be nice. It would be nice if you could just ravel out into time."

"Life was created in the valleys. It blew up on to the hills on the old terrors, the old lusts, the old despairs. That`s why you must walk up the hills so you can ride down."
Profile Image for Fabian.
947 reviews1,562 followers
August 23, 2019
This thrilling, chilling tale is told through a sort of schizm. The conglomeration of different consciousnesses is a bubbling soup mixed in with dark symbols & Southern Gothic elements, and it is indeed a delightful experience, an overly-delicious dish. The macabre is Alive; this prose palpitates.

This is waayyy more accessible than, say, "The Sound and the Fury" and for those who have strayed away from this darling writer, this particular masterpiece will immediately put him or her in Faulkner's direct sphere of influence-- he/she will swim in that dark, twisted atmosphere, bask in it for some long while. Read this and you will know what Faulkner & his deep, haunted, tortured South are all about.

The Best Willy Faulkner book?
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,867 reviews16.5k followers
September 15, 2019
"My mother is a fish."

Faulkner's short novel about a rural family following the death of their matriarch. Funny, disturbing, maddening, thought provoking, and mysterious.

I have never been a big fan of stream of consciousness ( thus I have never finished The Sound and the Fury) and Faulkner does well to limit that technique here. He does employ multiple narrators, varying perspectives, themes and an eclectic narration.

I cannot help thinking this is a thin, minimalistic American version of War and Peace.

Profile Image for Michael.
655 reviews966 followers
July 26, 2018
Written in the stream-of-consciousness mode, As I Lay Dying charts the odyssey of the impoverished Bundren family as its feuding members trek across the wilderness of the rural South toward their county’s capital, where they intend to bury the rotting corpse of the family’s matriarch. The narrative jumps from perspective to perspective, and each character’s voice is highly stylized, from the second eldest son’s ornate meditations on life and death to the youngest child’s simplistic despair over the loss of his mother. Often, the novel filters the same event through different characters’ point of view; it disperses the narrative’s coherence and forces readers to make sense of conflicting, oft-antagonistic viewpoints. The story’s amalgamation of tragic and comic elements lends the work shifting tones, further thwarting attempts to easily consume the book or understand it as a unified whole. Faulkner’s experiments in form slow down the pace at which readers can move through the novel: he forces his audience, then, to empathize with and dwell in the perspectives of those typically dismissed as white trash.
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
458 reviews3,240 followers
May 6, 2023
As I Lay Dying is a peculiar novel and that is saying something since the writer is William Faulkner. Picture the plot ; a dead woman named Addie Bundren, mother of five is in a box on a wagon pulled by mules being taken to a cemetery to be buried , by her family in a place where her own deceased relatives preside. Set in 1930 Mississippi where everyone is dirt poor and the trip will give pain throughout the distant journey caused by the river flooding and the bridges collapsing in the rising waters. The lazy husband Anse in consequence brought down the woman, worn out prematurely by him, she leaves. Cash the eldest is a great carpenter always hammering, making the coffin sadly, Darl unstable, Jewel big, seems not quite fitting with the smaller family group, Dewey Dell only daughter she is hiding a large problem and last, youngest and least Vardaman at about 10 using childish words annoying all. ACCIDENTS OCCUR frequently when the silly father invariably makes wrong decisions, a bit greedy , one of many shortcomings. The long adventures of days living on the ground by the wagon , in barns, the proud family rejects numerous offers to stay in peoples homes , nevertheless the members would rather suffer in silence. Doctor Peabody works for free, not his choice however, the Bundrens keep him busy. But that is not the worse situation ... a delicate odor spreads on the land and citizens begin to avoid them. Angry words travel faster than the creaky wagon rolls, hills must be conquered and the unending roads full of rain can be traverse, maybe . You probably would be able
to guess the difficulties and the weird glances of town folks viewing in windows, streets and stores with a state of disbelief at the strange humans. Constantly bickering among themselves never knowing what to do next. The little hamlets stand in the hot dusty land seemingly forever impoverished, yet always there. The narrative will take a while to get comfortable with, since the more than a dozen characters have a turn in each chapter commenting on the action. Faulkner was a wonderful author giving readers a superb slice of life it might not be fun still quality is there for any to see. Not a surprise that Faulkner loved his birthplace , indigent Mississippi...
102 reviews282 followers
February 13, 2010
Without straying from his inimitable voice, Faulkner delivers a more professional, calculated effort here than with his novel of the year prior, The Sound and the Fury. There are more novel-y aspects to As I Lay Dying, and Faulkner emerges as the master of the slow- or late-reveal, which might be described as reverse-foreshadowing. As an example, Faulkner will provide a character scene that’s fraught with emotion and history and meaning, but he won't explain the context. There’s dramatic electricity, and we fully expect to understand the situation even while failing to receive any adumbrations. And that’s because Faulkner isn’t actually hinting at events to come; he’s showing us something we can’t understand without promises of future textual elucidation. We just have to trust that he’ll come through, which of course he always does via hints that come after the event. It’s sort of uncomfortable, and it made me reread certain passages obsessively, assuming that something must have slipped by. But this way we get to feel the drama first with disorientation rather than with understanding.

I’ve read a few confusing novels, and no writer seems to use this method of disorientation so deliberately and so effectively as a ploy. Faulkner puts us at his mercy. He’s the one calling the shots, and we have to play by his rules. More than anything else, I think it's this aspect that can make people uneasy or unhappy with his works. But really it's a gift, leaving us with the rawness and incomprehensibility of life, which only begin to make sense in hindsight through functions of memory and our desire to find order and purpose. This, along with stream of consciousness, is what gives Faulkner as much of a claim to the title of Modernist as any of his contemporaries: he provides us with a hyper-reality via a unique, non-straightforward narrative structure.

So this is a great book, and its star rating is possibly suffering because it’s coming on the heels of a definitively 5-star read. The characterization is, for the most part, fantastic. The story is told from various points of view, usually in two- or three-page chapters. I’d say about ten characters help to tell the story, but our primary narrator is Darl (some spoilers to follow). Darl is the second eldest son of the story’s plot-mover, Addie Bundren, and his character arc is probably the one thing keeping this novel out of ‘masterpiece’ territory for me. He’s described as someone intuitive and special, a bit of an oddball but a nice, thoughtful kid. His own narration backs this up; he’s the wise one, the amateur philosopher, and his narration is filled with difficult words and surprisingly correct grammar. But something happens with him toward the end of the book that didn’t quite work for me. Faulkner’s main philosophical exploration in this novel is relativity with regard to both morals and sanity, and Darl does something that confirms the others’ suspicions that he’s a little bit crazy. But given the absurdity of the situation the characters are in, Darl’s action actually makes some good sense. From a certain point of view, it’s perfectly understandable. So far, so good—Camus would have been really jealous of this set up. Only one character, Darl’s older brother Cash, recognizes that Darl may not actually be crazy:

Sometimes I aint so sho who’s got ere a right to say when a man is crazy and when he aint…It’s like it aint so much what a fellow does, but it’s the way the majority of folks is looking at him when he does it.

Exactly. But then, inexplicably, Faulkner decides that Darl is, in fact, insane: in the course of Darl’s final narration, he exhibits previously unseen schizophrenic behavior, complete with nonsensical ramblings addressing himself in the third person. What? Faulkner should have left him the way he was, as the guy who has almost too much sense and insight and therefore gets funny looks from all the ‘normal’ people. But this criticism arises from the contents of a two-page chapter, and fortunately it can be excised with a little mental effort. There’s also the possibility that some crucial hints in the book escaped me. Because of Faulkner’s storytelling style, in which many things only make sense later, it’s likely that I missed the significance of many comments, thoughts, and glances along the way. As I mentioned in a review for The Sound and the Fury, Faulkner is ripe for rereads because it’s inevitable that seeming irrelevancies and ambiguous character interactions from the first read will take on new meanings when you’re equipped with knowledge of the whole story. Unfortunately, I’ve never been one of those readers who can go right back to the beginning of a book after finishing it.

One of the fascinating things about this novel is that it can be read either as a tragedy or as a black comedy (or, therefore, as a tragicomedy). The case for the former is rather straightforward considering the events of the book, particularly with regard to Darl. The bleak comedic aspect comes from the story’s McGuffin—to fulfill the above-mentioned Addie Bundren’s last wish of being buried in her family’s hometown—which becomes increasingly absurd as it proves logistically improbable to carry out. All manner of misfortunes are incurred as a result of her spineless husband’s uncharacteristic firmness in fulfilling this wish, a resolve that’s made even more unbefuckinglievably absurd by the book’s final five words. It’s all too tragic for laughs, but it’s pure genius.
Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,294 followers
February 21, 2023
Un roman important care dovedește, încă o dată, că plăcerea și valoarea nu coincid. Există, neîndoielnic, cărți valoroase care se citesc fără mare plăcere. Despre cele proaste care se citesc cu delicii nu are rost să mai vorbesc...

Ca să fiu franc, la prima lectură nu am înțeles romanul. L-am citit la îndemnul unui prieten (tot la îndemnul lui am citit și Zgomotul și furia, apoi Cătunul, apoi Lumină în august), dar nici una dintre aceste cărți nu mi-a trezit sentimentul că am străbătut romanele unui prozator însemnat. Acum îmi dau seama că nu eram pregătit pentru lectura lui Faulkner. Monologurile din Pe patul de moarte, adeseori incoerente și într-un limbaj agramat, cer o lectură răbdătoare, iar mie tocmai răbdarea îmi lipsea.

Acțiunea nu pune probleme, e liniară, cele 59 de „voci” narative urmează firul cronologic: o femeie, Addie Bundren, trage să moară, iar fiul ei, Cash, care e dulgher, îi construiește racla. Din curte, se aud fierăstrăul, rindeauna, loviturile de ciocan. Jewell e nemulțumit, ar vrea mai multă discreție. În casă, fata lui Addie, Dewey Dell, îi face vînt cu evantaiul. Înainte de a muri, femeia privește pe geam și îi cere lui Cash să-i arate sicriul. Totul e straniu și, totodată, firesc într-o lume de fermieri săraci, obișnuită cu moartea. Sfîrșitul omului se înscrie în șirul evenimentelor naturale, al ploilor care fac ca rîurile să-și iasă din matcă și podurile să fie distruse.

Addie i-a cerut soțului, Anse, să fie înmormîntată în cimitirul din Jefferson, Mississippi, alături de tatăl ei. Într-o procesiune grotescă și cu mare întîrziere, familia îi îndeplinește dorința. Totuși, nici un membru al familiei nu pare normal. Vardaman, fiul cel mic, e puțin la minte și crede că mama lui s-a transformat într-un pește, Anse e mai preocupat de dantură decît de înmormîntare, Jewel e un individ furios, supărat pe toată lumea, Dewey Dell se gîndește la un avort, Darl Bundren, în cele 19 monologuri ale lui, se dovedește un vizionar și un lunatic, care ajunge la azilul de nebuni.

În mintea lui Darl, evenimentul capătă tonalități apocaliptice: aerul are miros de pucioasă, văzduhul e întunecat, deasupra casei se adună, amenințător, corbii: „Nemişcaţi, corbii uriaşi spînzură de cer în cercuri plutitoare, curgerea norilor născînd părerea că, de fapt, ei se mişcă în sens invers”. Tot el: „Lumina s-a făcut de culoarea aramei: în ochi piază-rea, în nări pucioasă, miroase a fulgere”.

În chip paradoxal, cele 59 de monologuri interioare (unul îi aparține răposatei), de multe ori încîlcite, devin ironice în monotonia lor primitivă și se remarcă, uneori, printr-un lirism șocant: „Cînd ajung la izvor şi cobor şi leg caii, soarele tocmai scăpăta... ca o movilă de cenuşă răsturnată acolo, sus” (Peabody). Sau: „Şi-acum ea [Addie Bundren] se duce-atîta de departe, că n-o mai pot prinde... Atunci nu erea şi ea erea şi-acum este, da ea nu mai erea” (Vardaman).

Tull nu e lipsit de un anume umor involuntar: „Cînd şi cînd, omu stă de se gîndeşte la asta. Drept, nu prea des. Ceea ce-i un lucru bun. Căci Domnu l-a lăsat pe pămînt ca să facă şi nu ca să irosească timp prea mult cu gînditu, fiindcă creeru-i ca o rotiţă de maşinărie: nu ţine dacă-l tot munceşti... Am zis-o şi o zic iară şi iară, asta-i dintotdeauna buba cu Darl: prea se tot gîndeşte”.

William Faulkner a creat o serie de personaje dominate de instinct, impulsive, înclinate spre violență și gesturi nesăbuite. Nu pot fi uitate ușor...
Profile Image for Francesc.
391 reviews193 followers
July 6, 2022
Aunque la prosa es exquisita, la novela es extremadamente aburrida. No compensa. Sobrevalorada.

Although prose is exquisite, the novel is extremely boring. It does not compensate. Overrated.
Profile Image for Megan Baxter.
985 reviews656 followers
May 19, 2014
I am feeling totally inadequate to the task of reviewing this book. It's only the second Faulkner I've read, and while I enjoyed Absalom, Absalom, it didn't quite utterly astound me the way this one did.

I was expecting the run-on sentences and outright rejection of periods that I found in the first book. Instead, I found short little chapters, and voices that spoke in terse sentences that only hinted at what lay beneath.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Profile Image for Emmanuel Kostakis.
53 reviews37 followers
May 6, 2023
5* / second reading. Faulkner at his best on this stream of consciousness - interior monologue- narrative…“The process of coming unalone is terrible…”
Southern “ Gothic” storytelling of a deeply flawed and disturbing family full of lingering bitterness, decay and despair: an absurdity that is both comic and tragic… “the dark were resolving him out of his integrity, into an unrelated scattering of components – snuffings and samplings; smells of cooling flesh and ammoniac hair; an illusion of a co-ordinated whole of splotched hide and strong bones within which, detached and secret and familiar, an is different from my is.”
A travelogue through derelict southern settings of characters entangled in grotesque situations and sinister events relating to poverty, religion, alienation and violence... “it is thought upon a face carved by a savage caricaturist a monstrous burlesque of all bereavement flowed…”
A glare to human soul without reproach, without anything at all – quiet (“I can cry quietly now, feeling and hearing my tears”). Lost faith in human nature, assailed by doubt – an irrevocable quality. “I feel like a wet seed wild in the hot blind earth” .
Vardaman: “My mother is a fish”

P.S On time: The space between us were time …it is as though time, no longer running straight before us like in a diminishing line, now runs parallel between us like a looping string, tie distance being the doubling accretion of the thread and not the interval between.
Profile Image for Duane.
828 reviews404 followers
September 14, 2016
Unmistakingly Faulkner. A unique writing style combined with a sad and haunting story. You may read Faulkner and say when you are finished, "I didn't like that", but you will never forget what you read.

Reread Sept. 2016
Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,057 reviews1,722 followers
May 4, 2016
همه "خشم و هیاهو" رو به عنوان اثر اصلی ویلیام فاکنر حساب می کنن. ولی بشخصه، از این داستان خیلی بیشتر از خشم و هیاهو لذت بردم. شیوه ی روایت، با تکه پاره های ذهنی افراد مختلف که گاه باید تلاش می کردی تا بفهمی راوی کیه و چه اتفاقی داره میفته، خیلی بهتر از تک گویی طولانی و کمابیش حوصله سر بر بنجی عقب مانده و کوئنتین روان پریش بود. توی هر دو رمان، نویسنده آدم رو به یه بازی دعوت میکنه: "اگه گفتی چی دارم میگم؟" و توی این رمان، این بازی هیجان انگیزتره و آدم انگیزه ی بیشتری برای حلّ این پازل داره.
و ترجمه، ترجمه، چی بگم از ترجمه؟
Profile Image for sAmAnE.
493 reviews83 followers
December 19, 2020
اولین کتابی که از فاکنر خوندم یک گل سرخ برای امیلی بود که متاسفانه نصفه رهاش کردم و دوست دارم دوباره برم سراغش! کتاب بعدی گور به گور بود که خیلی دوستش دارم و دوبار هم خوندم و به نظرم یکی از ساده‌ترین کتاب‌های فاکنر به لحاظ فرم و سبک هست. البته سبک کتاب مثل خشم‌ و هیاهو سیال ذهنه ولی خواندنش خیلی راحت‌تره که شاید علتش وجود فصل‌های متععد باشه. کتاب به طور موازی در فصل‌های متعدد از زبان شخصیت‌های داستان روایت میشه. به طرز شگفت‌انگیزی می‌تونید با شخصیت‌های داستان ارتباط برقرار کنید و حتی دوستشون داشته باشید. انسی پدر خانواده‌ست و ادی مادر رنج‌کشیده خانواده که از دنیا می‌ره. هر کسی از دید خودش راوی زندگی این خانواده و اینکه چگونه قراره جنازه ادی رو از یک رودخانه که پل بسیار لغزنده‌ای داره عبور بدهند و در طی آن، جریانات دیگه‌ای هم پیش میاد.وردمن، جوئل، دارل از فرزندان خانواده هستند. وردمن عقب‌مانده ذهنی‌ست و قسمت‌های مربوط بهش قلب آدم رو میلرزونه.حتی کَش یکی از پسران سازنده‌ی تابوت، خانم تل همسایه، ویتفیلد کشیش و... در روایت داستان و حال و روز این خانواده نقش دارند. تعدد شخصیت‌ها اصلا خسته‌کننده و آزاردهنده نیست. سبک کتاب جریان سیال ذهن است و رمانی است که این نویسنده‌ی آمریکایی به خاطرش برنده‌ی جایزه نوبل ادبیات شده و برای نخستین بار در سال ۱۹۳۰ در آمریکا چاپ شده. عنوان کتاب برگرفته از کتاب ششم ادیسه اثر هومره که در آن آگاممنون خطاب به اودیسئوس جمله عنوان کتاب یعنی «As I Lay Dying» را به کار می‌برد.میدونم که بخاطر شخصیت‌های ساده و بی‌آلایش این کتاب بازهم سراغش میرم.
Profile Image for Matt.
94 reviews306 followers
July 17, 2010
I'm no copyright lawyer, but it seems like Faulkner's estate could have sued the hell out of the makers of National Lampoon's Vacation. There is the obvious corpse-carting similarity, but I can almost hear the familiar refrain of Lindsey Buckingham's "Holiday Road" bleed into the scene of the Bundren's fateful river crossing. (Pre)DMCA violations were definitely afoot, at least in spirit.

This is the book for those who find Faulkner's other well known works to be intimidating. As I Lay Dying delivers all of the point of view shifts and modernist goodness of The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom but in more palatable, bite-sized chunks. The endless chapters that trap one within the other books in a way that doesn't allow for natural stopping points within the text for bathroom or laundry breaks are eschewed in favor of shorter sections that are each narrated by a member of the Bundren family or else a random, curious onlooker about town. This format also eases the intensity of the typical Faulknerian (i've been waiting to use that term) shift between the action that is occurring and the stream of consciousness interior monologuing that characters in Faulkner novels seem to so enjoy.

The constraints placed on the text make the themes of this book explode with meaning. The sins of the father are visited upon the heads of the children, familial obligation collides with personal agendas, and the immediate sainthood imposed upon those who have passed is examined in a more doubtful light.

Word on the (back cover blurb) street is that Faulkner cranked out this book over a six week period while working twelve hour shifts at a power plant. In my mind this makes him the literary equivalent of that one cheerleader in high school that everyone secretly hated because she seemed so damned perfect.
Profile Image for MJ Nicholls.
2,023 reviews4,066 followers
November 12, 2020
One of the finest arguments for resisting syllabi is the freedom to unleash authors at exactly the right time and place for you. Four years past was the right time for me to behold the mighty Sam Beckett. Eight years past was my time in Chancery with Charlie Dickens. Eleven years past was the moment for a bowl of mulligan stew with Gilbie Sorrentino. This year, my excavations have been vast, among the prizes D.H. Lawrence, Henry James, and now, the sizzling Bill Faulkner. Everyone already Faulknerized knows the blisses of this heaven-kissed prose, so allow me merely to recommend this totemic stunner, when you’re ready.
Profile Image for Parthiban Sekar.
95 reviews158 followers
April 1, 2016
“I can remember how when I was young I believed Death to be a phenomenon of the body; now I know it to be merely a function of the mind - and that of the minds of the ones who suffer the bereavement. The nihilists say it is the end; the fundamentalists, the beginning; when in reality it is no more than a single tenant or family moving out of a tenement or a town.”

Death brings out the best and the worst in the families. The deceased doesn’t just escape our reality but changes the way we look at the reality for which it leaves an unfillable void in the wake of the families and the friends. It is difficult for anything to grow around it unless it is forgotten or, somehow, mended. Time, an irrevocable quantity, stays still, while we keep moving in infinite space.

“That’s what they mean by the womb of time: the agony and the despair of spreading bones, the hard girdle in which lie the outraged entrails of events.”

Death does not always bring the truth out but deceives us sometimes by carrying the secret to the grave, leaving the family and friends in a web of deceit. Here is Addie Bundren dying alone, hiding her pride and her broken heart. Sin doesn’t matter to her. So does salvation. All that whirls around her and ensnares her in this familial life, she believes, are just words to fill the lack. Love, fear, and pride are just empty words to her. However the roots of her disillusionment lie underground, invisible to the human eyes. If someone asks her to pray to god for her sins, she would say

“My [Her] daily life is an acknowledgment and expiation of my sin.”

Eternity is a fearsome thing to face. Now, Death comes to free her from the misery and other watchful eyes. All through her life she attended to the needs of selfish children and uncaring husband, Anse Bundren. He wanted more children. She gave him more children. But only one belonged to her – her own boy - Jewel who is the product of her godless association with a Not-All-Too-Holy minister.

There are holes, now in the coffin box inside which Addie plunged into an unwakeable sleep; also, in the lives of the Bundren family. To mend the holes, they embark on a funeral tour to the destined place to bury her, as she wished. As the story is set in the early times, they don’t have any dull hearse to drive in black suits to the burial grounds, so they took her decaying body in a creaking wagon through a bridgeless river to a pitiless city full of loveless people.

As it happens to any planned journey which meets with innumerable impediments, this journey is not an exception to it. The morbid picture brought out by the narrators when followed by buzzards wherever they go, while the cats try to scratch the coffin box and the people stand with their hands to their noses, can be quit appalling. Readers with vivid imagination are not advised to imagine much while reading this purifying work of art, and dear book sniffers, try not to sniff this one. There are some quite inexplicable scenes like this one: two of Anse’s sons are listening under an apple tree to what is going on inside the coffin and one says, amusingly or mockingly, that he can hear her talking, and that, in reality, is nothing but a fatal and natural decomposability.

Death is a kind of sleep which leaves others wide-awake. On her death, almost every character is put into some kind of ordeal: the holy father coming to ask for forgiveness from so-far-faithful husband, her daughter trying to abort her pregnancy, the first son with a broken horse, the second son struggling to give a decent burial to his not-so-loving mother, the third son sacrificing his only possession which, in others’ view, is also his mother – a horse, the youngest one trying to keep the buzzards and cats away from the coffin, and Anse pushing everyone to uphold his promise. Promise is a word, too. Isn’t it? But what it fills up here is the body of Addie, as she lays dying.

There are lot of interesting and memorable characters and sentences in this book with narrations varying in tone and style, as in The Sound and the Fury. Like in his other books, poverty and empathy are keys here. There is a couple of another important characters who I have not intentionally bothered as they are busy mourning over the sad demise of their dear mother. In simple words, this is just another masterpiece from Faulkner.
Profile Image for Jean-Luke.
Author 1 book384 followers
December 19, 2020
It is raining and I enter the house dripping wet. I can hear the rain falling on the roof. I take a warm shower and settle into a chair, turning on the lamp so I can begin to read.

He hasn't lifted his eyes from that book. He turns back a few pages, and a wrinkle appears on his brow. He's a smart guy with a decent brain (drawing of a decent brain), he'll figure it out.

I try to distract him from his obvious difficulties. How long did the author spend writing it? Eight weeks? By the looks of it, it shows. But I suppose there was really no need for an editor.

He sets the book aside for a moment and says perhaps for dinner tomorrow they should have fish. If he thinks this book is difficult, I say to him, he should try The Sound and the Fury.
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