Wednesday, September 26, 2012

William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying III

"The most horrifying, awful reading experience I've ever had."

"makes me cry and shit myself."

"As I Lay Dying by Faulkner. I had a tough time understanding the backwards language of these backwoods people. It was much ado over nothing much ... I could make it out to be much more as many people have but I wouldn’t recommend this book - nothing is to be learned from it today, other perhaps than in his style of writing, which I don’t really care for since I’m a reader and not a writer; however, times were different in 1930 when it was published and it may have been shocking for some then."

"I give this one star, simply because the end was mildly interesting. However, the title of this book has been changed within my house. It is now called As I Lay Dying (Of Boredom)."

"I found it hardly entertaining and I didn't appreciate the 'it's all jumbled and when you're done you're suppose to sit back and think on it forming it logically in your mind' I don't find that amusing. If you write a book I should only do % 25 of the work with is reading what you wrote and understanding all the images because you put them there for me to understand."

"As I Lay Dying was old and static-y. This caused me to miss many pages. Even if I would have read every page i'm not sure if I would have gotten everything. Honestly, there is a point where you are being so dense and mysterious that you are just wasting the readers time."

"I read this book for college and I hated it so much and I was so depressed from reading it that, with only a few days left, I chose a whole other novel rather than write an essay on this book. I don't think I have read anything more depressing than this book, and as a former English major that is saying something."

"I teach literature at university level and I am astounded how this book finds its way onto numerous 'must read' lists that appear on the internet and periodically in print ... How ever you spin it, what ultimately transpires is that for any of the above reasons or others equally illogical, perfectly good texts - especially modern ones, are constantly ignored as white elephants like this go through their umpteenth re-print.

To get down to brass tacks, this book fails for a number of reasons, but amongst those I would cite the following five as being the major points of contention:
i) It is simply VERY boring indeed. A dull tale if ever one was told.
ii) The characters are neither well-established or particularly well-drawn. Faulkner's literary skills presented herein are neither worthy of his acclaim nor his many accolades and awards.
iii) Structurally it is a simple narrative (not necessarily a problem), however, his language (except the odd regional accent) is unchallenging and unprovocative.
iv) It essentially fails to offer the reader anything. No new ideas, no philosophical insights, no social observations and no historical documentary per se. I think I picked out and highlighted about four sentences in the whole book, that I felt were interesting.
v) Finally, it fails to establish a new genre, a new mode of expression. Likewise it also fails to re-establish a current mode or extend and develop a literary style. In plain terms that means it belongs nowhere, has no recognisable nor definable style and yet fails to take new steps in establish a new genre; it is amateurish and unaccomplished.
I cannot see one logical or justifiable reason why anyone should waste their time or their money in reading this text. Unless it is prescribed reading, in which case I would question the teachers motivations for electing this a a core or supplementary text. I think if you are studying American Literature, literature of death and dying, family structures etc. there are MUCH better books out there than this."

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