November 10, 2010

Literary Pick (****)

As I Lay Dying
William Faulkner

I loved this book.

Reading Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying", is at first like reading Steinbeck backwards, but oddly enough, I gradually began appreciating the style as I read along, mostly because of it's on-point phonetic diction. That's always been one of my pet peeves, authors who can't pull off authentic regional dialogue and the phonetic part ends up sounding like a total mess. In that respect I felt Faulkner cracked it wide open.

Reading "As I lay Dying" is much like picking up a book and starting it in the middle. None of it makes much sense at the beginning, but once you get past the first few chapters it gains momentum and you begin to feel connected to the characters and their journey through the Mississippi river, towards Jefferson, to bury their mother and wife, Addy. I don't know why, but I was able to strongly relate to the characters, the poor country folk. It took me back to the days when I myself grew up in the countryside of the Puerto Rican mountains where there was simplicity and ignorance. The parts of the book I couldn't follow didn't bother me much because it possessed a certain poetic rhythm that flowed so beautifully.

I found that you have to read Faulkner fluently in order for it to make sense. If you stop to question everything you're reading, it can get in the way of enjoying the work as a whole. Just read it and go with the flow. I would definitely want to read this again.



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