On the Southern Literary Trail discussion

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Author: William Faulkner > Must-read William Faulker

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message 1: by Susan (new)

Susan Grodsky Seeking recommendation: What is the one Faulkner work (novel, short story collection, whatever) that I should read before a visit to Rowan Oak and a drive through the "real" Yoknapatawpha County?

OK, how about your top two recommendations?

Thank you.


message 2: by Michael (new)

Michael Finocchiaro (fino) | 15 comments Light in August was my favorite.
For short stories, The Unvanquished is great.
Otherwise, Sanctuary, Absalom, Requiem for a Num and The Hamlet are all accessible.
The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying are superb but rather complex if you have never tackled Faulkner before.
Have a great trip!!


message 3: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new)

Diane Barnes | 3976 comments Mod
The Reivers is also great if you're new to Faulkner, and I second The Unvanquished. Any of his short stories, particularly A Rose for Emily. Go Down Moses is a great collection as well. And, I might add, I'm jealous.


message 4: by mark (new)

mark monday (happy-end-of-the-world) | 27 comments Light in August has been my favorite since reading it waaaay back in high school. more recently, I loved The Old Man, I thought Sanctuary was interesting, and didn't care for Requiem for a Nun.


message 5: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new)

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "Seeking recommendation: What is the one Faulkner work (novel, short story collection, whatever) that I should read before a visit to Rowan Oak and a drive through the "real" Yoknapatawpha County?

..."


Susan, I've read and re-read Faulkner for over forty years. Living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, I make it to Faulkner Country several times a year. It's good for the soul, I always say. My favorite novel is Light in August. I join with Diane in recommending A Rose for Emily and Other Stories. However, if I were to recommend one book before visiting Oxford it would be Flags in the Dust which begins Faulkner's saga of Yoknawpatawpha County. Faulkner based much of the background on his "postage stamp" of the world on his own family history. Faulkner's great grandfather's grave is in Ripley, Ms. Worth the trip. The Old Colonel's tomb is a larger than life statue topping a towering pillar. The Colonel was a politician, founded a railroad, and published a bestseller all before being gunned down by a political rival the morning after the Colonel defeated him in an election. Walk the Square in Oxford. You'll notice a little dress shop, Duval's. Formerly it was the Bank run by Faulkner's Grandfather. Both Faulkner's Great Grandfather and Grandfather are the bases for founding fathers of Yoknawpatawpha County.

Look for a fading Rexall Drug logo on the second floor in the same block as Square Books. That was Gaither and Reed's Drug Store. Faulkner walked most evenings from Rowan Oak to chew the fat and check out the latest arrivals in mysteries. They were Faulkner's guilty pleasures. Mack ran a library. Borrowers signed a checkout card for books borrowed. Somebody figured out Faulkner's signature might be valuable. Cards signed by him began to disappear. Mack forged Faulkner's signature on every checkout card. True or town legend? I don't know. But I accept it. GRIN

Be sure to visit the Faulkner Room in the Library at Ole Miss. It's a must see.

Best wishes for a wonderful and very memorable trip.

Mike
"Lawyer Stevens"


message 6: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new)

Laura | 2002 comments Mod
Agree visit the library for sure.


message 7: by John (new)

John | 533 comments I second Mike's suggestion, Flags in the Dust. Now be sure to get that one Rather than the abridged version Satoris. This is a good entry to the Faulkner collection. One which feeds into a few story lines. Not particularly difficult but there is some stream of consciousness, and ya gotta pay attention.

Let me suggest a link to take a look at. Genealogy is a recurring theme with this guy and charts help immensely. and still it is confusing.
http://cypress.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjb...

http://www.semo.edu/cfs/teaching/inde...

Yurs
jt


message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan Grodsky Thank you all for your many wonderful suggestions. A special thanks to Lawyer Stevens, for details about visiting Oxford that I never would have gotten otherwise. I love your story about the library cards. It sits in that dimly lit world: could be truth, could be fiction. My father, a rambling wreck from Georgia Tech and a wonderful storyteller himself, said that adherence to the facts should not get in the way of a good story.


message 9: by Bob (new)

Bob Brinkmeyer (brinkmey) | 10 comments If you're coming to Faulkner for the first time, I'd start with the first two sections of his COLLECTED STORIES. The stories in these two sections ("The Country" and "The Village") are a great introduction into Faulkner's world. I'd also read his essay "Mississippi." You can't go wrong with any of these.


message 10: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new)

Tom Mathews | 2563 comments Mod
This is a great conversation. I've read and enjoyed a couple of his stories but have been scared off by the novels. I may refer to these recommendations in the future.


message 11: by John (last edited Aug 10, 2018 03:25PM) (new)

John | 533 comments Son, I say Son.
You'll always be a little chicken unless you grab the big dog by the tale.

Foghorn Leghorn


message 12: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new)

Tom Mathews | 2563 comments Mod
John wrote: "Son, I say Son.
You'll always be a little chicken unless you grab the big dog by the tale.

Foghorn Leghorn"


Love it!


message 13: by Still (new)

Still (mantan) I would recommend "The Snopes Trilogy": The Hamlet , The Town, and The Mansion - also available as THE SNOPES TRILOGY (The Hamlet, The Town, The Mansion) + THE UNVANQUISHED: -
If you read those three, you'll be a Faulkner believer forever.


message 14: by Diane, "Miss Scarlett" (new)

Diane Barnes | 3976 comments Mod
I love Foghorn Leghorn! He was a wise chicken.


message 15: by John (new)

John | 533 comments He comes to visit Tom on occasion.


message 16: by Oscar (new)

Oscar Patton | 21 comments Still wrote: "I would recommend "The Snopes Trilogy": The Hamlet , The Town, and The Mansion - also available as [book:THE SNOPES TRILOGY (The Hamlet, The Town, The Mansio..."

Wherever one starts, getting into Faulkner is easier than getting over him. After all these years, about half the stuff I write sounds like bad Faulkner. As our wise leader Lawyer suggested, beginning with considerations of genealogy is interesting and oh so southern. At funerals around here conversation meanders into family connections, and forgotten is the poor dead sap in the coffin.


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