Dale Jr.'s Reviews > Sartoris

Sartoris by William Faulkner
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Aug 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: literature, fiction, 4-star

Every time I finish a Faulkner novel, I find translating the experience into words difficult. There's something about this man's writing that leaves me wondering just how he did it.

It's been a while since I've read Faulkner and as I moved through the pages of Sartoris, I realized I had almost forgotten just how beautifully the man writes. He creates such a vivid, beautifully constructed world within the reader with his prose it's hard not to get lost within the book. Many people today tire of long passages of description which saddens me beyond comprehension. It's something that I will forever love in writing and something that Faulkner perfected with such incredible precision.

Sherwood Anderson knew Faulkner would be a long-remembered and incredibly talented writer. He had to know. But, if he didn't, I'm sure Sartoris proved it to him.

Not only was Faulkner's prose so beautifully composed between the covers, but, in this book, I found some of the most incredible characters I've ever met. Namely young Bayard Sartoris and old man McCallum.

Some may find it odd that old man McCallum rates as one of my favorite characters since his presence is minimal in the book. However, the mention of him is the only thing minimal about him. His presence is so incredibly domineering and legendary even in his small role. It's almost as McCallum represents the foundation of the great American men that came before him and he is one of the last to remain. Or, maybe I'm just rambling.

There is only one thing I could find that may be a negative within these pages, though it wasn't to me. Faulkner's portrayal of the black servants throughout the novel could be very off-putting to any reader who doesn't consider the time and point of view from which this book is written. The phonetic "shuck-n-jive" language that Faulkner limits them to could be seen as challenging at the least and down right racist at worst. He also portrays many of them as stupid and unclean, though this is only superficial to the astute reader. Most times, as in the case of Simon especially, the black servants seem to be one step ahead of their white employers and manage to outsmart them or speak simplistic yet learned wisdom to them.

Just remember the point of view this book is being written in (remember we're seeing it mostly through the eyes of the white aristocracy of the South) and the time. When everything is considered, Faulkner's portrayal of the servants works extremely well within the confines of the novel.

I don't know if this will be my favorite Faulkner novel yet as I've only read Pylon and As I Lay Dying, but it surely ranks high on my list of favorite novels in general.

Faulkner has a way of writing that will envelope you and suck you in if you truly appreciate beautiful prose. Let yourself be swallowed by one of his novels as soon as possible.
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Reading Progress

August 11, 2012 – Started Reading
August 11, 2012 – Shelved
August 11, 2012 –
page 36
11.39% "I had forgotten just how beautifully Faulkner writes."
August 11, 2012 –
page 50
15.82%
August 13, 2012 –
page 6
1.9%
August 13, 2012 –
page 64
20.25%
August 13, 2012 –
page 102
32.28%
August 15, 2012 –
page 124
39.24%
August 17, 2012 –
page 160
50.63%
August 20, 2012 –
page 220
69.62%
August 20, 2012 –
page 264
83.54%
August 20, 2012 –
page 266
84.18%
August 21, 2012 –
page 316
100.0%
August 21, 2012 – Finished Reading
September 20, 2012 – Shelved as: literature
September 20, 2012 – Shelved as: fiction
October 13, 2012 – Shelved as: 4-star

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Great review, this is one of F's I haven't got to yet and now I'm making sure I will get to it soon. Have you read Absalom,Absalom yet?


Dale Jr. s.penkevich wrote: "Great review, this is one of F's I haven't got to yet and now I'm making sure I will get to it soon. Have you read Absalom,Absalom yet?"

Not yet. I plan to, though. I have a beautiful set of Faulkner hardcovers bound in red cloth. Unfortunately, that is not one of them.


message 3: by s.penkevich (new)

s.penkevich Ah, yeah, probably shouldn't promote buying more books until the ones you have are finished (even though that's how I roll). That sounds like excellent editions, bit jealous!


Andreia Alexandra On point 👌🏾


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