Joseph's Reviews > The Sound and the Fury: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Contexts, Criticism

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
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's review
Dec 24, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, favorites
Recommended for: fans of American literature and anyone who wants an understanding of pain
Read in January, 2008 — I own a copy

I'd forgotten just how much I love this book.

I hadn't made it more than five pages into Benjy's monologue before I realized how desperately I want to go back and reread my favorite Faulkner, and by the time I finished, I was even seriously considering giving a second chance to some of his dreck, like A Fable or The Reivers.

As far as The Sound and the Fury goes, I have to confess that I'm completely at a loss as to what to say about it in this space. Part of that, I suppose, is due to reading all the supplemental information provided by the editor. Regarding that, I should point out that I was a little surprised to find that most of the outside commentary on the novel wasn't too terribly useful. Faulkner's own comments (specifically, the bits about Caddy in her muddy drawers climbing the tree as the central image of a story he tried and failed to tell four different ways) are pretty much the most illuminating of the extra material, although I did appreciate Kartiganer's acknowledgment that Jason, despite Faulkner's claims in the appendix, is pretty far from sane or savvy.

Despite its reputation as a difficult book, and maybe this is just a consequence of having read it so often, The Sound and the Fury doesn't feel terribly difficult or even complex. It's a simple story of people attempting and failing to reconcile their inner and outer worlds.

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