Yesterday morning, I began reading The Sound and the Fury, by William Faulkner. Three of Faulkner's books have been living on my book shelf for nearly four years, waiting for me to take the time to read them. It made sense to begin with the one I'd heard of before.
The first page was strange, but I thought maybe it was just a little opening vignette and Faulker would eventually begin to make sense. Ten pages in, I was beginning to lose hope, but I'm a committed reader, so I plunged ahead. Twenty more pages and I had a headache. Fortunately, my Metro ride was over, so I stowed my book and headed home.
On my walk, I was contemplating whether I should continue reading. When it comes to books, I have a difficult time giving up hope that they will get better by the end. So, I asked Emily, Adam, and MKH if they had read Faulkner. Emily hadn't, Adam did a long time ago, and MKH said to stop now before I wasted another minute of my life. Trying to follow Benjy's thoughts was actually giving me a headache! Was it worth it?
According to MKH, Faulkner is awful, postmodern junk. Not her exact words, but these sentiments were communicated by the look on her face when I mentioned his name. She also told me that since a genuine Southerner had warned me, I didn't need to suffer through to the end of the book.
Maybe I'll try some Flannery O'Connor instead. She comes highly recommended. Any of you Faulkner fans out there may feel free to convince me to finish, but I think you have your work cut out for you.