November Books 22) As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner

Continuing my occasional dips into classic literature with this intense stream-of-consciousness tale of a poor Mississippi family, fulfilling their wife and mother’s dying wish to be buried in her inconveniently distant home town. The family dynamics are weird and understated, and the time sequencing is occasionally jarring between the dozen or so different narrators. But the various voices feel very authentic, consistent in word and thought, and it feels like Faulkner supplied a stylistic model that others have followed (it reminded me of both Orson Scott Card and Terry Bisson, two authors from opposite ends of the ideological spectrum). An absorbing and somewhat disturbing book.

One thought on “November Books 22) As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner

  1. That whole family is astonishingly eminent: one daughter married a mathematician who studied four-dimensional geometry (and was later convicted of bigamy); one of their children was a lawyer who invented the climbing frame. Another daughter studied four-dimensional geometry herself, made several important contributions to the subject and collaborated with arguably the greatest classical geometer of the twentieth century. Yet another married an artist; their children became a mathematician (and FRS), and a professor of surgery. And another became the first female professor of chemistry at an English university.

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