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A daily record of what I'm thinking about what I'm reading

To read about movies and TV shows I'm watching, visit my other blog: Elliot's Watching

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

William Faulkner

William Faulkner has such a completely different narrative style from Sherwood Anderson about whom I posted yesterday that it's hard to comprehend that they were two contemporaneous American writers - but of course their styles reflect their different regions and in fact have come to define the voice we associate w these two regions - the flat and colloquial and understated Midwest v the florid and baroque and labyrinthine south the one built on naive hope and aspiration and the other smothered by history and ancestry. Faulkner's story barn burning makes a good contrast (like many of his stories this may later have been absorbed into a novel - f definitely more comfortable in the long form and in fact all of his works constitute one enormous novel as w Balzac) - in this case an extremely close 3rd person we see the entire story of the suicidally angry and vindictive snopes who murderously picks fights with neighbors from the pov of the young snopes boy sartorial who Rebels against his father and tries to warn about father's intent to burn a barn. Of course the entire narration of the story is about as far in language and sensibility from the sarty snopes as literarily possible - Anderson writes the way his characters would if they could whereas Faulkner writes the way his characters would if they were Faulkner. Which they are not. It's also obvious that f's works build upon and depend upon one another and that part of our understanding and appreciation of barn burning depends on everything alas we know about the snopes clan esp from the hamlet.

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