I have a wandering eye with Faulkner. Any time I put the book down for a day or two I start to lust after more interesting covers, more involving plots, more exuberant characters. The man takes a lot of discipline for me, and I'm trying to figure out why.
Here's what I've come up with so far (I have about a hundred pages to go): After reading Brede and having so many characters that I felt like I understood completely, Faulkner's characters are all kept at a distance. He uses a short-hand to describe them, for instance, Sutpen is the "devil himself" and always drawn from Rosa's point of view, which I'm not certain is a reliable point of view. Sutpen had a friend in Quentin's grandfather, which would suggest otherwise, as Q's grandfather seemed like a decent man. Of course there are such scant details about any of them. What we know if Judith, is that she has a calm unmoving face--that's it. Always calm. Well so what?
MOst of what I believe I know about the characters, I have learned from the time line and geneology at the back of my book. I think I cheated though by looking at it.
S. Riddle, has much to say on Absalom and I think he's right in suggesting one might need to work up to it by reading some of Faulkner's other works.
The Great War, Vol 1, Chapter 19
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