Laura's Reviews > As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
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Feb 03, 2011

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bookshelves: school
Read in January, 2011

Read for a university course in American literature. I dislike it while still appreciating that it is full of genius. I love the multiple narrators, I love the changes in voice and perspective, I love the touches of the supernatural, I appreciate the religious symbolism, the dark comedy, the inversion of the quest narrative, but I didn't really feel it. It was a chore to read (and I rarely ever feel that way about any book), and I feel suitably chastised for having chosen this book as the subject of my single discussion assignment for this course, with some optimism, unknown to me now, that I would have something intelligible to say about this book. (Even the professor, whom I kind of adore, couldn't make me like this book any more.)

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“In a strange room you must empty yourself for sleep. And before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when are emptied for sleep, you are not. And when you are filled with sleep, you never were. I dont know what I am. I dont 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.”
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