In my last post I mentioned a character from Absalom, Absalom! who possesses the striking imaginative ability to channel the sensual experiences of other people so wholly that it’s as though he were swapping bodies with them in mid-throes—a “complete abnegate transference,” as it is described. 896 more words
Tags » Absalom Absalom!
While previously making light of a scene in Absalom, Absalom! that rather overuses both a particular sepulchral simile and the repeated imagery of steamy respiration (“their breaths in the tomblike air vaporised gently and quietly”; “their quiet breathing vaporising faintly and steadily in the now tomblike air”), I did not even think at the time to note the other recurring element from these excerpts—although the oversight was easy enough to make since it’s a word that by its nature does not invite attention to itself, being as it’s so very quiet (“quiet as the visible murmur of their vaporising breath”). 946 more words
On the first page of Absalom, Absalom!, one character is telling another a story. The storyteller is speaking in a “grim haggard amazed voice,” and if you’re thinking how much fun it would be to be on the receiving end of that tale, now consider that she’s “talking…until at last listening would renege and hearing-sense self-confound.” (This is happening in the book’s first paragraph.) Less than a page in, and already one of Absalom!’s internal sub-narratives has caused the sense phenomenon of hearing, itself, to throw up its hands in mystification and contemplate a new career. 952 more words
The Reivers by William Faulkner
The story of a car theft run amok, The Reivers is Faulkner’s final novel. But instead of reading as a capstone to his career, summing up everything he’d written, it’s more of a comic adventure through the rural south. 450 more words
I’ve referred elsewhere to the disproportionate amount of will in Absalom, Absalom!—will as in the “free will,” “ruthless will,” “constant will,” “desperate will,” “unbending will” kind of will—and even mentioned then that, among the various will-pairings to be found in the book’s pages—e.g., “will and courage,” “will and intensity,” “will and strength”—there was some “will and endurance” to be had as well, but I don’t think I paid nearly enough attention at the time to the endurance component of that twin set…because we’re talking, like, Shackletonian levels here. 797 more words