a book by william faulkner

light in august

light in august (1932) by william faulkner is described as southern gothic & modernist literary in genre \ it is also considered as one of faulkner’s most important works and one of the best english-language novels of the 20th century

a difficult read for me \ i’ve never read a novel where ALL the characters are misfits & social outcasts / ALL the principal characters are mired in unkindness, despair, hopelessness, violence & tragedy \ i was desperate to read through the book / where is the light? \ one can take it to be the abandoned, pregnant, “husband”-seeking lena who through all the darkness around her is cared for by strangers & eventually gives birth / though faulkner himself apparently disputes that interpretation, from wikipedia:

“. . .in August in Mississippi there’s a few days somewhere about the middle of the month when suddenly there’s a foretaste of fall, it’s cool, there’s a lambence, a soft, a luminous quality to the light, as though it came not from just today but from back in the old classic times. It might have fauns and satyrs and the gods and—from Greece, from Olympus in it somewhere. It lasts just for a day or two, then it’s gone. . .the title reminded me of that time, of a luminosity older than our Christian civilization.”

whatever… i was just so glad to finish the book / but i do appreciate the language & the writing \“memory believes before knowing remembers.  believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders.”

this book was recommended by someone in flavorwire as a good beach read  / but i was also inspired to read a book by a southern writer because my rowing teammate, a writing professor at pitt, is moving to the university of alabama \ which apparently has one of the best funded writing centers in the country / and of course, some of the greatest american writers hail from the south \ it is ironic though that alabama ranks among the lowest in education standards

One thought on “a book by william faulkner”

  1. What a lovely post! You’ve inspired me to read that book now…although I can’t imagine how someone thought it was a beach read! I wonder if Alabama has a “foretaste of fall?” Yesterday it was 91 degrees at 7:30 in the evening…


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