For the Back to Classics Challenge Gothic/horror category I decided to dip into the genre of Southern Gothic. My local library doesn’t have any of Flannery O’Connor’s novels so I grabbed William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! …I only made it through about 20 pages before giving up (and I don’t give up on books very often). The sentences were incredibly convoluted, some of the paragraphs were pages long, and the story consisted of the bitter ramblings of an old person that kept doubling back to the same ideas over and over. I opened to random pages and skimmed a bit and it looked like the remaining 300 pages were more of the same no matter who was talking.

This seems to be more about Faulkner showing off or experimenting than anything. I don’t mind pretentious literary fiction now and then (I like some Italo Calvino), but not 300+ densely packed pages of it. I’ve heard/read people gush about Faulkner, but my first encounter with him was not encouraging…maybe I’ll try something shorter like his As I Lay Dying one of these days, but for now he’s a big Nope! For my Gothic/horror category I’ve decided to opt for the true Gothic The Monk by Matthew Lewis – I’ll take melodramatic over pretentious.

5 thoughts on “Nope!

  1. “This seems to be more about Faulkner showing off or experimenting than anything”- that’s not just typical of Absolom, Absolom- that’s Faulkner all over. I have to say it, since you mentioned As I Lay Dying that I *hate* that book (as in it’s my least favourite book of all time). It’s a book about why words are inadequate and to drill home the point, it makes literally *no sense*!! As in, most of the book it’s Faulkner dancing around going “nanananana I know what I’m talking about, but you don’t!” Not to put you off or anything, buuut you have been warned 😉 I only finished it because I had to for uni :/ Seriously, it’s so pretentious and awful.

    Liked by 1 person

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