- Publisher: Cosac & Naify (2010)
- Language: Portuguese Brazilian
- ISBN-10: 8575039148
- ISBN-13: 978-8575039144
- Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 16 x 3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 762 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Sartoris (Em Portuguese do Brasil) (Portuguese Brazilian) Hardcover – 2010
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Publicado em 1929, pouco antes de O som e a fúria, o romance Sartoris é o primeiro situado no condado fictício de Yoknapatawpha, no Mississippi. Nele, William Faulkner (1897-1962), prêmio Nobel de Literatura, começa a estabelecer o estilo que marcaria todos de seus livros posteriores e pelo qual seria consagrado. O volume narra a trajetória de uma família decadente, de passado escravocrata, que vive à sombra do Coronel John Sartoris, morto na Guerra de Secessão. Tia Jenny, a irmã mais nova do coronel, verdadeira guardiã do passado e também da narrativa, é a mulher que alinhava, com sua memória reiterada e reinventada, as tragédias das gerações (passadas e futuras) dos homens da família – Bayard Velho, filho do coronel, e os dois netos gêmeos, também chamados John e Bayard. Tia Jenny sempre amaldiçoa a família, mas conta sua história tantas vezes a ponto de transformá-la em mito. No livro, os grandes acontecimentos nas vidas dos protagonistas solitários, problemáticos e heroicos são apenas sugeridos, e o que se descortina são suas consequências.
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Bayard Sartoris, the third generation with the name, is a case in point of the human heart in conflict with itself. Both Bayard and his twin brother, John (Johnny) are pilots in World War I. John loses his life in one of many air battles. Bayard returns home after the war. As time passes, as words build on the pages, Bayard's pain becomes the reader's pain. Faulkner has the ability to take the reader inside the character to feel who lives there. What Bayard brings home is survivor's guilt.
However, the character who most touched my heart was Narcissa, a young woman of the "old families" (read well-off), or the leisure class which lost its way after the War Between the States and the resulting loss of a way of life (for good or bad, it was a loss). Loss because of wars, because of economics, because of social positioning. In fact, loss becomes decay, affecting all aspects of the Sartoris family. To show this rotten core, Faulkner puts Narcissa into a tenuous and suggested incestuous relationship with her brother. When Horace repeatedly rubs Narcissa's knee, the reader can feel the erotic crackling in the surrounds.
As part of the crumbling of the Sartoris social and economic class, Faulkner includes the social fall of Simon, the honor-bound (black) servant to the Sartoris family. In fact, his place reflects the changing times just as much as the youngest Bayard with his exciting new automobile which he drives at hell-or-high-water speed. One very lengthy passage involves two of Bayard's white friends and three black musicians, the car, and a bottle of whiskey. At first the black men drink from a radiator cap--the whites drink straight from the bottle, but as night and space move on, so do comraderie and a link to each other and all begin drinking from the same bottle neck. Faulkner makes clear that we're all in this together, this human condition, these human hearts, our universal pain.
I recently reviewed and sharply criticized a movie in which the male protagonist dies at the end and the woman has to pick up the pieces and continue. Although there is a similar ending here, I was not surprised nor disappointed. This character's imminent death is inevitable within the confines of the novel. And with the death of this white bastion of the Old South comes the uprising of the black class. Simon pretty much tells Old Bayard that he must pay Simon's theft of church money. More representative of this new social class is who doesn't ask permission to go places and do things. He has his own mind, reflective of the black class to come.
The entire novel is about change, how it affects a region, a community, one family, and the individuals in that family, both white and black. Yes, Mr. Faulkner uses the n word and often, but the word was not considered a damming word then by either whites or blacks (or so it seemed). Still, I cringed, but with understanding. The truth seems to be that Faulkner treats the races, not quite equally, not at that time, but he gives blacks dignity and respect.
To be certain, the first half of the novel is tedious to read. If I were an English teacher (and I was), I would have a jolly time marking all the silly vocabulary confabulations. It is common knowledge that he wrote with a dictionary at hand (he was ashamed that he did not finish high school in order to go to war and that college lasted only a short time). His lack of formal schooling makes the keen depth of the novel that much more impressive. However, Faulkner stuffed a "big" word into every sentence. It was most annoying. And that scene of the six men driving around, stopping to drink, then driving and stopping, like this sentence, went on endlessly, endlessly, page after page after page. I'm serious.
(Just one other example of his writing, but this one is humorous, at least to me. Bayard takes Narcissa on a drive through the country to see the site where he had had an accident that put him in a body cast for several weeks. With Narcissa in the car, Bayard again attempts to "fly" over a ditch just as before and crashed again, this time with no damage to the car or injury to persons. Narcissa broke down after an adrenalin rush and fell weeping--onto Bayard's mouth. Yes, mouth. In the next chapter Narcissa is pregnant.)
Then suddenly--and I literally sat up--that sophomoric style flowed into magic--a concatenation of serious writing, elegant prose, refined, sensible vocabulary, stirring content, a moving tribute to those hearts in conflict with themselves.
"Sartoris" is both a noble read and an enlightening one.
Addendum: Although this review is already long, I want to add a few more comments about one of the strangest but most rewarding love stories I've ever read. During Bayard's long recovery from injuries sustained because of his auto wreck, Narcissa would come over and read to him. She refused to talk or deviate from her long stretches of droning on and on. He would doze and she would read. Why? She was terrified of him, yet this was a certain match for both. Finally, after weeks she put the book down and moved closer to his side and they talked. Even with such little action Faulkner showed not only the human heart in conflict with itself, but his supreme understanding of the heart and its conflicts.