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Book Review - Absalom, Absalom

Absalom, Absalom

William Faulkner 

1936, 378 page

ISBN 0075536579




This was one of my bucket list books. I didn’t manage to get around to reading it back during my academic life, but every year when I read 2 Samuel 13-15 I renew my vow to read it. This year I followed through. 


If you are familiar with Faulkner’s work, I don’t have to tell you he would have hated twitter. And he never heard the warnings about not using adjectives and adverbs. And while I sometimes get forget where he is going, I‘m drawn to be lost in his words. 


This is particularly true when the characters do not want to tell the story. So they hem and hah and talk around the story. The first half of the book, told by Aunt or Miss Rosa is painfully slow. The pace picks up in the second half when Quentin and his college roommate tell the story to each other, but still they can barely say the words of the real story. 


Somewhere between the long sentence structures and the outdated vocabulary, you sense the power of the story as characters realize small familial attributes and watch the death of dreams as the people, land and their ways are devastated by the Civil War. In the end it seems the only way to honor the story. 


More than anything, we are reminded the most important thing for a son is to be recognized by his father. 

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