Friday, November 23, 2012

Friday Reading Assignment: Absalom Absalom

I read this as part of the Fifty Classics project. I can't honestly say that I have finished Absalom, Absalom, because there are still thirty-two pages to go, but I can honestly say that it is highly unlikely that those final thirty-two pages will help me understand this book any better. And this is the second time I've read it.  Pathetic. 

So it's about this guy, Thomas Sutpen, who behaves badly, and is a big black blot on the psyche of the more sensitive denizens of Yoknapatawpha county, Mississippi, including Quentin Compson who narrates Sutpen's story to his college roommate forty years after most of it happened and kills himself a few months later, although in a different book.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will say that I am grateful I am nearly finished with Absalom, Absalom.  We can conclude that I am Too Stupid for Faulkner.  Which author are you too stupid for?


  1. I'm too dumb for James Joyce. I read "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" and thought it was accessible. Then I took a peek at "Ulysses" and felt my IQ plummet.

    There are authors that I feel meander too much and I want to scream "get to the point!" Right now I'm trying once again to read some Richard Ford, who seems to think that describing every gas station on a drive in New Jersey is necessary to whatever the plot is.

    I haven't even tried Proust but I suspect I'm too stupid and impatient. Zut alors!

  2. Joyce is very difficult. I forced myself to read Ulysses when I was cramming for the GRE subject test in literature. I do like Dubliners, though.

    I started to read Swann's Way, on a beach vacation, and I really liked it but got distracted, and for years, my massive volume of Proust served excellently as a prop to hold my bedroom window up.

  3. Faulkner is too depressing to read in the autumn. I did like "Remembrance of Things Past,"by Proust and "Dubliner's" by Joyce.

    I have been reading Poe this month and have found it to be surprisingly good.

  4. Lots of them. Especially Faulkner. I have tried several times to no avail. The only Faulkner I can stand to read is "A Rose for Emily".

  5. Salman Rushdie. I've read two of his books and both made me feel like I was standing outside in the bushes, peering through a window at a fabulous party to which I'm not invited.

  6. Becky, I'll have to check out A Rose for Emily.

    Ilyanna, I tried to read Midnight's Children and gave up about halfway through it. That pretty much killed any desire to read anything else by Rushdie.