gbill_7 reviewed this|over 3 years ago
As in his other books, Faulker makes you work as a reader: skipping around in time from chapter to chapter and making you figure out "when" you are, using pronouns instead of names and making you figure out "who" is being described, and building a complicated web of characters which you must diagram on the inside back cover to understand "how" they are related. Is it worth it? Well, sort of. Not in the way that James Joyce is worth it, at least in Ulysses. And probably not in the way that Virginia Woolf is either.There are shocks and revelations that come out which of course make it interesting, e.g. a man buying a slave, fathering her daughter, then fathering a child by that daugther causing the mother to commit suicide. Faulker as always also provides insight into life in the South, and the mentality of Southerners. Just brace yourself for some work.Quotes:On women:"I gonter tell you something to remember: anytime you wants to git something done, from hoeing out a crop to getting married, just get the womenfolks to working at it. Then all you needs to do is set down and wait. You member that."On marriage:"...husband and wife did not need to speak words to one another, not just from the old habit of living together but because in that one long-ago instant at least out of the long and shabby stretch of their human lives, even though they knew at the time it wouldn't and couldn't last, they had touched and become as God when they voluntarily and in advance forgave one another for all that each knew the other could never be."On life:"...after all you dont have to continue to bear what you believe is suffering; you can always choose to stop that, put an end to that. And even suffering and grieving is better than nothing; there is only one thing worse than not being alive, and that's shame. But you cant be alive forever, and you always wear out life long before you have exhausted the possibilities of living."On whites and african-americans:"...placarded over with advertisements for snuffs and cures for chills and salves and potions manufactured and sold by white men to bleach the pigment and straighten the hair of negroes that they might resemble the very race which for two hundred years had held them in bondage and from which for another hundred years not even a bloody civil war would have set them completely free"On the South's attitude to the Civil War:"Who else could have declared a war against a power with ten times the area and a hundred times the men and a thousand times the resources, except men who could believe that all necessary to conduct a successful war was not acumen nor shrewdness nor politics nor diplomacy not money nor even integrity and simple arithmetic but just love of land and courage..."And:"...not because they were opposed to freedom as freedom but for the old reasons for which man (not the generals and politicians but man) has always fought and died in wars: to preserve a status quo or to establish a better future one to endure for his children..."Lastly on Native Americans, boy ain't in the truth:"...all that remained of that old time were the Indian names on the little towns and usually pertaining to water - Aluschaskuna, Tillatoba, Homochitto, Yazoo."