Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Story on Thursday: William Faulkner

A little boy is torn nearly in two by his own heart in conflict with itself--as if being pulled apart by two teams of horses. That boy, Colonel Sartoris Snopes, also known as Sarty, knows that his father is a barn burner, but feels the "old fierce pull of blood" -- "He's my Father!"

William Faulkner's "Barn Burning" is a story of a child whose moral courage is tested against the ancient pull of blood.  Abner Snopes is a horse thief, a barn burner, a cold and perverse man.  How did Faulkner do it?  "Barn Burning" is a glory of a story--the mute and mulish perversity of Snopes, apalling and outrageous; the thwarted loyalty of the young Sarty, and his deathless hope for change in his father.  Every detail is perfect:  the smell of cheese in the store where the Justice of the Peace hears the case against Abner Snopes, the bovine twin Snopes daughters, the horse manure Snopes drags across the blond carpet of his employer. 

Faulkner is known for his extravant imagination, his creation of a landscape (the fictional Yoknapatawpha County), and his stream of consciousness style.  His short stories are as powerful as his novels:  you can read "Barn Burning" in a single sitting, and you will never forget it.


Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Leslie Jamison, the subject of my review and author interview that I posted today, mentioned William Faulkner who she feels really shaped her writing! I agree with you as well, his words are on you will not soon forget!

Heather said...

New follower here... was looking for the Hop, but I seem to be too early

New follower here :)

Check out my Hop here:
Book Blogger Hop, Follow Friday and a Giveaway!

Stephanie said...

This story sounds wonderful. I recently read "A Rose for Emily" to my daughter. It was her first introduction to Faulkner (maybe not the best) -- I was trying to capitalize on a teen's fascination with all things sick and ghoulish. :-D

I really like this feature. I want to participate. I have several posts in mind -- I just need to get my act together.. ;-)

bibliophiliac said...

@Coffee and a Book-I'm about to head over and check out your post!
@Heather-thanks, I'll be right over to visit you!
@gautami-thanks for dropping by--I'll be over soon!
@Stephanie-I think it's great that you read out loud to your teenager!

Lisa said...

I took a class of Faulkner in h.s. and loved his work but since then I've entirely allowed myself to be scared off. Must. Read. Faulkner. Again.

Aisle B said...

Great showcase on Faulkner.

Will have to dig up his book.. I know I have some in my closet... no won't go there since my husband has yet to realize that I hide books from him... Shhh TOP SECRET!