Friday, August 09, 2013

Friday Reading Assignment: The Town

Faulkner again!  The Town continues the story of the Snopes clan, which began in The Hamlet.  The- Snopes have left Frenchmen's Bend for the larger town of Jefferson, where Flem Snopes is involved in various money making schemes.  The story is mostly told from the point of view of Charles Mallinson, one of the children of Jefferson, and his uncle, Gavin Stevens, who is in love with Flem Snopes' wife Eula.  V.K. Ratliff the sewing machine salesman who we first meet in The Hamlet, also narrates a few chapters, and we learn what his initials stand for and the romantic story behind them.

This is a difficult book.  I read it for the Fifty Classics project, and probably wouldn't have read it otherwise.  I think any attempt of mine to write about it intelligently will come across like the ironic first line in Meryn Cadell's sweater song:  "Girls, I know you will understand this and feel the incredible, intrinsic emotion." What did I get out of The Town?  Very little, to be honest, perhaps a skim coat of something that I can build on if I ever read it again.

I plan to read the final Snopes book, The Mansion, and then I will be done with Faulkner for a good long time.


  1. I know I've said this on every one of your Faulkner posts - he's hard. I struggle to read him and therefore, just don't. Good for you for working through it.

  2. I read "Light in August" when I was in college and even then I thought that Faulkner's prose was something I needed to get through with a group. It did not grab me right away. I've always promised myself that I would tackle the Snopes series, but I never did. I'm an English teacher. Why is it still so hard?

  3. Never saw the reason behind Faulkner's popularity.

  4. I give you credit...Faulkner exhausts me.