JSA Lowe'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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Sep 16, 2010

it was amazing

I am not one of those women who can stand things.

Rereading this for class on Tuesday and I'm STILL mad at Faulkner for putting Dilsey in such a removed third person.

ETA: Okay, read the second half of the book, all the supplementary essays, for the first time and boy howdy are THEY ridiculous, and repetitive (except for the Sartre one, which is pretty good—apparently, because all the other critics keep quoting it) (though J-P does have to work in his plug for existentialist glory at the end, tiresomely). Also, these critics are in LOVE with that fucking anecdote about the Roman guy kissing his vase to death (Freudian alert!). Also, Faulkner created the noble Negro! Also, news flash: ALL THREE COMPSON BROTHERS UNHEALTHILY OBSÉDÉE WITH TRAMPY SISTER, details at eleven. Just that same essay, over and over.

The only real interesting bits are these interviews with WF, and the little appendix he wrote, like an obit, just called "COMPSON." But it's hilarious: he won't even call the fourth part of the novel Dilsey's section, he's all "and then Faulkner tried to write the story again" in the third person like he's Elmo. And I know he couldn't help it, being basically Quentin himself and all in mopey love with easeful death and broken watches, but, Jesus, Bill, give Dilsey a chance. (Olga Vickery tries to make a limp case for the third-person non-limited, but I don't buy it.) These poor talked-over, spoken-for women—Caddy, Dilsey, Miss Quentin—they get the shortest imaginable end of the neurotic-Southern-family stick. Finally: Jason is still the best-written section, and the one I like rereading least, maybe the most frightening character in modern fiction; pretty sure I dated him in my twenties.

"What time is it, Quentin?"
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Dotty (new) - added it

Dotty Dye J Lowe, I love you!!!! You made me laugh out loud in my office today.

message 2: by JSA (last edited Sep 05, 2012 05:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

JSA Lowe Ha! Glad to be of assistance. We were outside last night on a smoke break from the Faulkner seminar and then one woman thought it might be over, the break, and she asked the group innocently, "What time is it?" and I just FELL OVER laughing while everyone stared at me.

I love Faulkner. But I hate talking about him in class. It kind of kills my soul a little. PhD school is maybe doing that too—how do you survive it? Also, how do you write papers? I wish I could take you out for un café and learn how it's done! xo

message 3: by AB (new) - added it

AB I LOVE this.

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