Some Random Thoughts on Faulkner, and the Results are in

I’m going to avoid going into lengthy plot summaries on As I Lay Dying. First of all, people who haven’t read the book may want to take a stab at it without getting bombarded with a bunch of spoilers. Second, this ain’t one of those sites where you can buy a paper; you’ll have to write your own, buddy. Finally, nobody gave me the heads-up on this book beforehand…not to get all schoolmarm-y on you, but you’re not going to learn anything if I start spoonfeeding information to you, am I right?

Man, when did I get all grown up and stuff? Anyway, here are some random thoughts on the novel. These really don’t follow any strict, logical format…I just kind of sat down last night and typed up what I was thinking as the thoughts came to mind:

Family dynamics in this novel are completely dysfunctional. Faulkner really loves doing this: he uses similar motifs in both The Sound and the Fury and Light in August. Both of those novels appear on the Newsweek list, so look for them to appear later.

Faulkner is a true master of perspective. It’s a remarkable feat to have woven together this narrative using fifteen different voices. I heart Faulkner.

Holy calamities, Batman! Illness, death, storms, floods, fires, and vultures: there’s some serious biblical stuff going on in this novel.

Two things really creeped me out in this novel: the vultures and the sound of Cash prepping that coffin. It’s like there was this constant cadence marking the end of Addie’s life. How chilling that her son was the one marking time. And vultures are scary. Period.

Anse Bundren has got to be the most obnoxious character in all of Faulkner’s works. Does the man have any redeeming qualities? He’s the laziest, cheapest, coldest, most opportunistic man I’ve encountered in literature in a LONG time. His wife’s body has just been buried, and he immediately tries to score with the woman from whom he borrowed the shovels to bury his wife? Don’t forget the fake teeth, hot stuff. Sheesh.

I lost count of how many times I misread Bundren’s last name as “Burden,” especially since Anse is constantly harping on the fact that he doesn’t want to be beholden to anyone, a.k.a. a burden. Meanwhile, he’s a burden to everyone around him. Does he even know what the words ‘burden’ or ‘beholden’ mean? Because he’s using the expressions incorrectly—someone needs to get that toothless leech a dictionary, stat.

Okay, so on to other things! The results are in, and Brave New World is the next book I’m going to tackle. At roughly 260 pages, I plan to get through the book by Wednesday (so long as I get enough reading in today). I also plan on doing some cooking this weekend, so perhaps there will be a food pic (or two) in the next few days!


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