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Like other representatives of the lost generation, William Cuthbert Faulkner, American writer, prose writer, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1949). At first, Faulkner winds the ball, it is not clear anything, but as the story progresses, this ball begins to unfold, and everything becomes clear. Like in most of the writer's works, the events of Absalom, Absalom! take place in the fictional district of Yoknapatofa. Throughout the novel, Faulkner gives out information bit by bit, as if throwing a bone to the reader, and after dozens of pages he throws a second one so that the reader continues to read.
Analysis and Plot of Absalom, Absalom!
William Cuthbert Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, to Charles Faulkner, the manager of Murray University, and Maude (Butler) Faulkner. His great-grandfather, William Clark Faulkner (1826-1889), served in the army of the South during the War of the North and the South and was the author of the then famous novel The White Rose of Memphis (“William Faulkner Biographical”). When Faulkner was still a child, the family moved to the city of Oxford, in the north of the state, where the writer lived all his life.
Faulkner's first major recognition came with the publication of The Sound and the Fury (1929). In the same year he married Estelle Oldham, after her divorce from her first husband (they had two daughters: Alabama, who died in 1931, and Jill). However, Faulkner's works were mostly critical rather than reader success, being considered unusual and complex. To support his family, Faulkner began writing scripts for Hollywood for fifteen years, from 1932 to 1946. In the same years, he created novels: Light in August (1932), Absalom, Absalom! (1936), The Undefeated (1938), Wild Palms (1939), The Village (1940) and others, as well as the novel in short stories Get Down, Moses (1942), which included his most famous story, “The Bear” (“William Faulkner Biographical”). In this vast bibliography, Absalom, Absalom stands out for being rich with strong biblical references and containing the longest sentence to have been written in a work of fiction.
In Absalom, Absalom! the plot is intriguing. Slowly but inevitably dying in agony, the American South, which lost its color and brilliance in the civil war. A society of drowning people, frozen in a static state and unable to smell new trends, they have not come to terms with defeat, but are forced to live with it, without a future and without hope. A bleak picture of degradation appears before the reader on the pages of a book that draws in like a swamp. And the more you resist, the more you get bogged down in it, you drown in the literal sense of the word, because in such a complex interweaving of words and thoughts it is extremely difficult to catch a single chain of events and draw up a complete picture of what happened. One jumps over bumps in other people's memories, wander among scattered fragments, but one cannot feel the tragedy on a full scale (Faulkner 19-25). People remain distant and incomprehensible, their actions defy logic, and their feelings are hidden under the yoke of inexorable fate.
The heroes remained flat and one-sided, there is no spark of life in them, no desire to move and change something. Sutpen was the only one who at least aspired to something, but his actions cause mostly bewilderment and pity. Either he fights against the whole world and goes against society, or he sits idly by and watches the impending catastrophe with the fatalism of a person tired of life (Faulkner 34-35). Too contradictory a character, even more confused by the fact that it does not appear in the first person, but on behalf of everyone who did not understand him.
The author has made the task of the reader as difficult as possible, having made a real quest with the search for grains of truth out of a family tragedy. But, as they say, everyone has their own truth, so you can take any point of view of any character and just stick to it. The biggest negative in the book was the endless reasoning and digressions from the main topic, jumping from the fifth to the tenth conversations and long, well, very long sentences, stretching as much as half a page (Duan 32). This style is quite tiring, filling the head with information that later did not affect events and perception in any way.
The book Absalom, Absalom! by Faulkner William will make a worthy impression on a lover of this genre. Considerable attention is paid to the place of the events taking place, which gives color and realism to what is happening. It is precisely the thread of the plot that you want to unravel those intrigues, and it is she who at the end becomes reality with an unexpected turn of events. The created images open up whole universes of incredibly complex, within which there are laws, ideals, tragedies. One feels a certain peculiarity, an attempt to go beyond the main idea and introduce that originality, thanks to which there is a desire to return to what was read.
"William Faulkner Biographical". The Nobel Prize, 2022, https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/1949/faulkner/biographical/.
Duan, Zhang. "An Analysis of Absalom, Absalom! From the Perspective of New Historicism". Cultural Communication And Socialization Journal, vol 1, no. 2, 2020, pp. 31-33., https://doi.org/10.26480/cssj.02.2020.31.33. Accessed 13 Apr 2022.
Faulkner, William. Absalom, Absalom! Random House, 2013.
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