Wednesday, October 26, 2011

William Faulkner - The Sound and the Fury III


"This book made me feel dumb. Probably because I am."


"It's about as fun as watching paint dry. Just another case of The Emperor's New Clothes. If you don't say it's great, then you must be derided as an idiot -- not unlike Benjy. Boring - with a capital B."

"There seems to be no effort at word economy, particularly in dialogue. There are endless rambling paragraphs and only four 'chapters' for the 400 pages of text.

Worst of all, there is inadequate exposition throughout the book. There is no introduction telling the reader how the book is constructed, most notably, that it begins with an account by an idiot. The idea of having a family's story related by several members if fine, so is writing in stream of conscious, but adequate exposition is needed to orient the reader.
Frustrated during the reading, I thumbed through it and discovered the appendix which described the Compson family. Most of this material should have been presented early in the book, but even that would not have provided adequate exposition. After reading the book, I learned that the appendix was added some time after the first edition to help the reader. That should be a big hint that the book is lacking in exposition. I believe that good exposition is the responsibility of a writer.

This book is more of a puzzle than a story, and the latter is sacrificed for the former. The author does not lead you through the story; he throws you into it. For those who marvel at the literary value of this book, I say, 'The emperor has no clothes.'"

"for Christ's sake, the plot is completely unintelegible!"

"I don't see the point. It's like the Emperor's New Clothes. Everyone says it's a great book, but I'll bet a lot of those who do are only saying it because they're afraid to admit that Faulkner's too smart for them. Life is too short to read lousy books. Skip this one."

"If I want a brainteaser, I'll buy a crossword puzzle book."

"This story has no point. I'll say it again: THIS STORY HAS NO POINT! Many say that this story is about the symbolic moral decay of the south and the Compton family. Symbolism is one of the worst literary techniques of all time. In most cases, the so-called literary experts have made up the symbolism in a story, and end up changing a story's emphasis from something meant to entertain to a long editorial it was never meant to be. Faulkner seems to have taken in this literary junk hook, line, and sinker. Faulkner took the rather mundane and misguided cry of moral decay and wrote an entire novel on the subject. Morals don't decaying!"

"This book is a perfect example of people in ivory towers, and those who are afraid to admit they don't get it, jumping on a 5-star bandwagon."

"Caddy, the main character in a novel of stereotypes and pitiful prose, is actually a despicable trollop."

"Did this author have an LSD addicition"

"I'm not afraid to say that 'the Emperor has no clothes' when it comes to Faulkner. If you've tried to slog through his stuff and are tempted to blame YOURSELF - don't! You aren't dumb, you aren't illiterate, and you aren't the only one 'not getting it'. He's a fraud."

"Is this stream of consciousness realistic? That's hard to say. Certainly not for everyone. Even if it is, so what? It's frustrating, and it isn't particularly interesting. Even if one grants that Faulkner has masterfully displayed the way the human mind works, so what?"

"If you really tried, you could take any book and search for symbolism in why are some books given such scrutiny and proclaimed great, whereas others are simply dismissed as poorly written and dropped from sight?"

"I take issue with the fact that Faulkner says this is a story about two fallen women, when the story does not focus on the two women in question, but rather on the way they have affected those around them. It would seem that Faulkner doesn't understand his own story ... If you just want to be moved by the book's theme, just read a synopsis ... The only people who enjoy this convoluted mess only claim to like it, which is a testament to their snobbery. People will not say anything against this book for fear of appearing uneducated and/or uncultured."

"As a writer and a student of English literature (by the way, for those who think only the 'uneducated' don't like this book, I am proof to the contrary) I believe a writer must give us, as readers, at least some clear indication of what we are supposed to take away from his or her piece of writing"

"Maybe if I read novels for a living I would appreciate the challenge, but this book is like an ungreatful girlfriend. You do your best to understand her and get nothing back in return."

"Remember that story? It was about a kingdom of people who were so afraid of looking foolish that they went along with whatever they were told. They took their cue from their vain and silly king, who had so little character that he let a conman convince him to walk naked in a royal procession. Enough said."

"they should publish an edition all strightened out and in order"

"Thank heavens I read, and read the readers' reviews for this Oprah selection. Although I am a college educated person of very eclectic reading tastes, I have never read Faulkner...and now I never will!! At 56 I have more important things to do with my time than to read depressing 'literature'."

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