Friday, March 01, 2013

Friday Reading Assignment: The Hamlet

We've already established that I suck at reading Faulkner, but that was after I added several of his books to my reading list for the Fifty Classics project.  The Hamlet, at least, is a fairly straightforward narrative, except for a murky part in the middle where someone is in love with a cow and everybody is unhappy about that.

This is the first novel in Faulkner's famous trilogy about the Snopes family, who insinuate themselves into a position of power in a small town in Mississippi.  One of the things that interested me about The Hamlet was the portrayal of rural American poverty--eating turnip greens out of a tin pail for lunch, women who wear the same shapeless dress day after day because it is all they have, a family of five who share three pairs of shoes.  Also, I think I am starting to understand Faulkner's sense of humor, which is a dark combination of tragedy and comedy.

As for the Fifty Classics project,  I've committed to reading fifty classics in five years, and eleven months into the project, I've finished seven of the books on my list.


  1. Good for you for working on the classics list. I just downloaded the Fifty Shades books onto my kindle....

    I cannot stand to read Faulkner to save my life. I have tried several times over, and it's too laborious. Reading is my happy place - not that I need to read happy books or light & fluffy ones, I just need to enjoy what I'm reading. However, you make The Hamlet sound almost readable. Maybe I'll get around to it one of these days and give Faulkner yet another whirl.

  2. Thanks Becky. Reading is my happy place too. I don't want to have to work too hard, but there were parts of the Hamlet that weren't work at all--interspersed with difficult bits. The "Eula" part was really good, and there's a suspenseful bit near the end that I liked.

  3. Your project is one I relate to, and I am reading Marcel Proust's multivolume masterpiece, In Remembrance of Times Past (new translation of title is In Search of Lost Time). The first volume, Swann's Way, was so poetic, I loved it. Have you read Proust?