The Sound and the Fury

This is the first William Faulkner novel I’ve read — I remember reading the short story “The Bear” as a high school assignment, and enjoying without being particularly inspired by it (a common experience for me at that time). I knew Faulkner experimented with stream of conscious writing, a genre that’s always given me difficulty (he writes with a growing awareness that he is incriminating himself as a lazy, passive reader), so I was surprised to find “The Sound and the Fury” to be a much easier read than “Ulysses” or “Mrs. Dalloway.” Perhaps Faulkner being an American writer using distinctly American idioms made the novel more accessible to me than the works of his Anglo-Irish contemporaries. It was a challenge at times to keep up with the frequent shifts in time and perspective at the novel’s beginning, but after each shift took place I found I could orient myself fairly quickly to the altered narrative environment. I rarely felt disoriented, hardly ever feeling I had just startled awake outside a noisy bar wondering where I was or how I had gotten there (a feeling that strikes me on just about every third page whenever I read Joyce). I feel it will take me a couple-few readings to get the full sense of the Compson family’s tragedy, but I can say that I found “The Sound and the Fury” far more enjoyable and inspiring than most other literary masterpieces I’ve read.

One thought on “The Sound and the Fury

  1. Pingback: CWN 011: An Authentic Voice | The Diligent Dilettante

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