Somehow my education did not include the usual required reading of many respected writers. In fact, I only recall having to read The Scarlet Letter and some Shakespearean plays. Very sad.
So, I tackle one of those missed books every once in awhile. The latest was William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!
I kept hearing how hard Faulkner was from everybody — including people I knew were well educated and bright. So I was very nervous.
Basically the book was a beautifully written melodrama unveiled in mystery form. It wasn’t hard at all. Honest. That said, you can’t sit down and read it in five minute snatches. Shoot, it takes longer than that just to finish some of Faulkner’s sentences. But the reading wasn’t hard. In fact, it was pleasurable.
Faulkner (at least in this novel) tends to reveal part of something and wait several paragraphs, or even pages, to reveal the rest of that something. That’s why it’s best to read for extended periods at a time. Otherwise you may not get the whole thought or meaning.
I found this created a level of tension beyond with events in the book. It added drama just to the process of reading.
There will be more Faulkner in my future. And no more fear. Now I’m ready to tackle James Joyce!