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The Sound and the Fury [Paperback]

William Faulkner , David Minter
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 17 1993 0393964817 978-0393964813 2nd Revised edition
"Backgrounds" begins with the appendix Faulkner wrote in 1945 and sometimes referred to as another telling of The Sound and the Fury and includes a selection of Faulkner s letters, excerpts from two Faulkner interviews, a memoir by Faulkneris friend Ben Wasson, and both versions of Faulkner's 1933 introduction to the novel. "Cultural and Historical Contexts" presents four different perspectives on the place of the American South in history. Taken together, these works by C. Vann Woodward, Richard H. King, Carolyn Porter, and Robert Penn Warren provide the reader with valuable contexts for understanding the novel. "Criticism" includes seventeen essays on The Sound and the Fury that collectively trace changes in the way we have viewed this novel over the last four decades. The critics are Jean-Paul Sartre, Irving Howe, Ralph Ellison, Olga W. Vickery, Cleanth Brooks, Michael Millgate, John T. Irwin, Myra Jehlen, Donald M. Kartiganer, David Minter, Warwick Wadlington, John T. Matthews, Thadious M. Davis, Wesley Morris and Barbara Alverson Morris, Minrose C. Gwin, Andre Bleikasten, and Philip M. Weinstein. A revised Selected Bibliography is also included."

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Famous for more than just one reason Aug. 30 2003
In case you are one of the unlucky few that has not read THE SOUND AND THE FURY, let me tell you that you are missing one of literature's most prized works. As an English major, I have come across many "famous" novels that left me wondering what the author had to do (wink, wink) to get his/her novel well known. However, this novel is definitely not one of those.
In short, Faulkner's novel is about the Compson family, composed of a mentally disabled son (Benjy) , a sexual daughter (Caddy) and granddaughter (Quentin), a suicidal son (Quentin-yes, 2 Quentins!), an uncaring and greedy son (Jason) , a drunken father, a nutty mother, and a caring servant (Dilsey) and her family. The book itself is divided into four sections-one written by Benjy, one written by Quentin (the son), one by Jason, and one by Dilsey. Faulkner incorporates a HUGE amount of symbolism in this novel (something I love). However, what makes this novel famous are Faulkner's writing techniques. The first section by Benjy is pretty darn confusing, for Benjy is mentally retarded. Benjy's thoughts cover many time lengths and flash back and forth between times without any notice or any indication. The reader must figure out when something occurs. Often, only one paragraph may take place in time A, then it will switch to time B for a page, time C for a sentence, time B for 3 pages, and so on. Mostly what triggers these time changes are words. For example, Benjy is outside and hears a golfer call to his caddie (this occurs in time A). The word "caddie" triggers a thought about Caddy, his sister, and he thinks about a time in time G when somebody called out "Caddy" and so on. It sounds pretty confusing; that's because it is. Quentin's section is composed of stream-of-consciousness, something Faulkner is famous for using.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this version. Sept. 21 2001
By Cheda
What a profound book. The thing is though, if you like The Sound And The Fury your probably going to have to read it a second time. Because of the way Faulkner wrote this book (which, by the way, is absolutely brilliant and an immense measure of his talent as a writer) it's very important to go into reading it with a little direction. The first third of the book is very difficult because it's written from the perspective and mind of a retarded man. But, once your through it you'll realize that that is what makes this such a devastating book- perspective. Faulkner was truly a modern master. This book shows the reader how varied the true perspective is of people who seem to be living every moment in step. There is so much pain in this book. It will tear at you and open you up. I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Book is better than the Novel Aug. 23 1998
I wanted to read the novel for two reasons: first, it was ranked No.6 in the "100 Best Books" list recently published by Random House; and second because, like Faulkner who was raised in Mississippi in the first quarter of this century, I was raised there in the second quarter, and was anxious to know how Faulkner treated with the condition of the rural South, specifically Mississippi and its people.
I found the book rewarding. The troubles of Faulkner's central characters could have applied to people anywhere , which lends to the novel the universality of a true literary work. And his treatment of the black heroine Dilsey, who remained faithful both to her own beliefs and to her decadent white employers should conjure up real nostalgia for many natives of the Old South.
Faulkner's text of The Sound and the Fury occupies less than half the pages in the book. The remainder includes Backgrounds, Appendices, Cultural and Historical Contexts, and Criticism of both Faulkner and the novel. The novel as it was originally published in 1929, without benefit of these addendum, would no doubt have lost most readers because of the disjointed and incoherent technique Faulkner used in writing the first two of the four sections of the novel.
Faulkner's Appendix, published sixteen years after the original novel, and included in this edition, sheds a great deal of light on an otherwise dark text, and if read first would enable a reader to understand at least something the first time around. Faulkner himself noted that "I should have done this(the Appendix) when I wrote the book", and recommended that it appear first in the 1946 edition. I hope it did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent edition April 21 2003
I will not discuss the story because I assume anyone looking for this edition of the book knows something of the novel. I will say that I think this edition is the best I have ever read and I enjoyed it immensely. I read the commentary and reviews with as much interest as I did the novel itself. The editor did a good job assembling an all star cast to review the book and provide background information.
Anyone interested in this novel, first time readers or fans of the book, should own this copy. It was fabulous from beginning to end. Make sure to read all the articles and reviews, you will not be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars complex, difficult-- but life-changing March 15 2002
This book is confusing and difficult to read at first. You have to ride it like you would a "rapid river"-- just hang on, get what you can, and go back a second or third time. It might be helpful to read the background information AFTER you've read the story at least once.
Now, does this sound like too much work? Well, it isn't. Once you've done the reading, you'll realize that there is real genius at work in this text. The prose is strongly crafted, and the story that Faulkner relates is one that cannot be forgotten. You will want to read the rest of the Compton's stories-- Absalom! Absalom! is one, and you'll never think of those big gorgeous moss covered southern mansions the same way again.
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