Monday, 16 May 2011

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

“A man is the sum of his misfortunes. One day you'd think misfortune would get tired but then time is your misfortune.”

Ummmm...huh? Wait, did I miss something here? Yeah, pretty sure I did. 

This isn't a proper review. I have no idea what to say about this novel because it went completely over my head. I have no reservations whatsoever to admit that I lack the necessary reading comprehension skills to fully understand what Faulkner was attempting too achieve with The Sound and the Fury. This novel has achieved an iconic status, considered a masterpiece of American literature and one of the finest literary works of the 20th century. Sorry, but I don't understand the praise. Perhaps I will find the courage to read the novel again somewhere along the road and finally be able to see what everyone finds so great but until then, Faulkner is anathema to me.

This novel now officially ranks as the most difficult, frustrating, and painful reading experience of my life. It's not as if the entire novel is completely impenetrable, it's simply that Faulkner's stream-of-consciousness is so excessive and nauseating that it threw me constantly into perpetual fits of rage. I cursed his name, threw the book across the room, stomped on it until my legs started to ache. Reading Quentin's monologue was pure mental torture. I might as well have been reading Arabic. At one point I was even attempted to go outside and burn the novel until it nothing but ashes remained. By some miracle, I was able to resist this temptation and carry on, hoping that there might be some light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, I was still left in darkness. Faulkner nearly turned me into a Nazi, that's how much I detested this novel.

Read from April 19th to April 20th, 2011 

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