Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
Absalom, Absalom! details the rise and fall of Thomas Sutpen, a white man born into poverty in western Virginia who comes to Mississippi with the complementary aims of becoming rich and a powerful family patriarch. The story is told entirely in flashbacks narrated mostly by Quentin Compson to his roommate at Harvard University, Shreve, who frequently contributes his own suggestions and surmises. The narration of Rosa Coldfield, and Quentin's father and grandfather, are also included and re-interpreted by Shreve and Quentin, with the total events of the story unfolding in non-chronological order and often with differing details, resulting in a peeling-back-the-onion way of revealing the true story of the Sutpens to the reader. Rosa initially narrates the story, with long digressions and a biased memory, to Quentin Compson, whose grandfather was a friend of Sutpen’s.

From the book

F rom a little after two oclock until almost sundown of the long still
hot weary dead September afternoon they sat in what Miss Coldfield still
called the office because her father had called it that-a dim hot
airless room with the blinds all closed and fastened for forty-three
summers because when she was a girl someone had believed that light and
moving air carried heat and that dark was always cooler, and which (as
the sun shone fuller and fuller on that side of the house) became
latticed with yellow slashes full of dust motes which Quentin thought of
as being flecks of the dead old dried paint itself blown inward from the
scaling blinds as wind might have blown them. There was a wistaria vine
blooming for the second time that summer on a wooden trellis before one
window, into which sparrows came now and then in random gusts, making a
dry vivid dusty sound before going away: and opposite Quentin , Miss
Coldfield in the eternal black which she had worn for forty- three years
now, whether for sister, father, or nothusband none knew, sitting so
bolt upright in the straight hard chair that was so tall for her that
her legs hung straight and rigid as if she had iron shinbones and
ankles, clear of the floor with that air of impotent and static rage
like children's feet, and talking in that grim haggard amazed voice
until at last listening would renege and hearing-sense self-confound and
the long-dead object of her impotent yet indomitable frustration would
appear, as though by outraged recapitulation evoked, quiet inattentive 
and harmless, out of the biding and dreamy and victorious dust.

No comments:

Post a Comment

leave your opinion