9 thoughts on “Collected Stories – William Faulkner


    “…with that steady decay which had set up within his body on the day of his birth.”
    “Women are so wise. They have learned how to live unconfused by reality, impervious to it.”
    “…those whispering gusts of fairy feet.”

    A skeleton under tarred roofing,..
    If I ever get through this book, I will do it backwards from here. It just seems right. And this wildly thematic spasm, that I happen to be reading while listening to Liszt’s Piano Sonata, seems also to chime with my reading of another perhaps misogynistic work: ‘A Serious Question’ by VS Pritchett that I coincidentally reviewed here earlier today: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2020/02/11/essential-stories-v-s-pritchett/#comment-18192, about equine spirituality and other fey matters.

    I also ought to re-read Lord Dunsany’s CARCASSONE that I reviewed here in 2014: https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/in-the-land-of-time-lord-dunsany/#comment-3601

    • I have decided not to read through this book systematically, backward or forward or otherwise.
      I intend to read the stories as RANDOMLY as I can so as to test my theories of the preternatural in gestalt literature…
      And thus I have just read Crevasse…


    “…as though silence here had been so long undisturbed that if had forgot its purpose:”

    War-torn soldiers under barrage, dragging a feisty wounded man in the Great War, with caves and crevasses and gassed skeletons staring; a description that defies being read, in case you fall into its cracks and join the Captain with such a ground zero of horrors. White knobs, and confusion with no clarity at all to balance any golden sphere that hovers over my reviews. But there is gas here as there has been also in at least three other reviews of mine today and yesterday. Mining mine. Hawling. Are these men crepitated into a mentally induced gaslight of terror? Meanwhile, there is a connection with carcasses in CARCASSONE…
    “”A man screams, high like a woman or a horse;”


    “…believing that they had danced with her and courted her perhaps, confusing time with its mathematical progression, as the old do,…”

    Emily, with her ‘negro’ attendant, and the man called Homer (an oral tradition?) we thought, despite her perverse nature (perverse, say, about taxes and her father), Homer the man she loved, and perhaps buried in her sex? The iron-grey lock on the pillow a key to knowing that fact, or not. I don’t know if the smell still lingers. And if Negro women cannot still be seen out and about without an apron? A story that lingers itself in the mind. A messy lap or middle, whatever the case. A rat rising?

    “…Miss Emily’s House was left, lifting its stubborn and coquettish decay above the cotton wagons and the gasoline pumps—“


    “I am imagining right now that sky-blue dressing-sacque in a wooden church full of sweating niggers without any incongruity at all.”

    Roger Howes invited another poet called Blair to his house and to his wife, but the guest brings the telegram telling the time of arrival? This is so utterly mad, it seemed to make sense. Who reads such stories and pretends to understand them understands not at all. Unlike me. About plagiarism and abduction of genius, but who from whom? Transcending Joyce. The typewriter making more sense than whoever uses it. Monkeys and elephants.

    “. . . Wait; I’ve got it: like flinging caviar at an elephant,…”


    “… no nigger would try to commit suicide unless he was full of cocaine, because a nigger full of cocaine wasn’t a nigger any longer.”

    I feels as if I have just been put through a wild literary wringer of dialogue and misshapen naive religious nightmare that could not have been written other than when it was and by whom it was. Anyone interested in the plot, it’s all over the internet. I am one of the big headed people to believe a review such as this can thus pass off its responsibilities to others with littler heads!

    “; against the sky it looked like father had two heads, a little one and a big one.”


    “; a look not exactly human, like that of some dim and threatful apotheosis of the race seen for an instant in the glare of a thunderclap and then forever gone. […] …the portent and the threat of what the race could bear and become, in an instant between dark and dark.”

    Plot summary below that I found because the plot was quite beyond me!

    ‘The setting is France in the last years of World War I. The narrator is a British officer who works as a censor. He’s missing a leg. He tells the story of John Sartoris who is an American flyer working in the British Royal Air Force. Sartoris wants revenge on Spoomer, the squadron leader. Sartoris plays a clever trick but gets him and Spoomer demoted. Sartoris dies fighting the Germans on July 4th, 1918. We learn of his death when a parcel containing a letter to his aunt, some belongings and the official letter announcement of his death is opened.’

    I think Sartoris and Spoomer were after the same woman – and the narrator is like the martinet reader of soldiers’ letters in the Insole story (The Carnival of the Drowned) that I happened to read yesterday by chance here – https://dflewisreviews.wordpress.com/2020/02/18/the-moon-in-a-silver-bag-colin-insole/#comment-18325

    I am surprised the above plot summary I found on-line did not mention the dog!

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