Could this help with my Faulkner phobia?


I have not had success trying to read Faulkner’s work. I read about 2/3rds of Absalom, Absalom in grad school. And then when Oprah read three of his, I bought the Oprah editions thinking if her viewers could do it, so could I. Except I didn’t.

But now, the Folio Society has a version of The Sound and the Fury that uses colored ink to differentiate between the different time periods in the novel. I think I would find this quite helpful. But I don’t think I am ready to pay $345 for one book from an author whose work has not proven successful for me.  I wonder if I could buy a cheap copy and get out the highlighters…

Apparently, this is the way Faulkner wanted to publish it but the technology of the time didn’t allow.

13 thoughts on “Could this help with my Faulkner phobia?

  1. Travellin' Penguin - Pam July 19, 2012 / 8:39 am

    I can relate to your Faulkner phobia but mine was linked to The Great Gatsby. Tried 3 times to read that book and kept hearing about its brilliance but could not make it work for me. Then I listened to the unabridged audio book (no cheating here) and I just fell into it. It was wonderful. The whole book came alive. Maybe you need to visit Faulkner with a different sense not vision..or maybe it's just, Oh well, these things happen. Pam


  2. Tiffany Norris July 19, 2012 / 9:24 am

    I've heard that it is helpful, but I haven't read that one (in any version) yet. For Faulknerphobes, though, I always recommend Light in August or The Reivers. Much more readable, and The Reivers is downright charming.


  3. ArchitectDesign™ July 19, 2012 / 9:44 am

    At $345, apparently the technology of this time doesn't seem amenable either.


  4. StuckInABook July 19, 2012 / 10:52 am

    Are there really four time periods on one double page??

    I've not even tried reading Faulkner…


  5. Susan in TX July 19, 2012 / 1:06 pm

    Well, I tried with Oprah back in the day. Read the first one, but couldn't make myself crack the other two. Obviously, I'm not much help. I'm not sure I would know how to highlight the pages without someone telling me. :o

    I still have my Oprah editions, but for now I have set them aside as not worth the effort with so many other good things to read.


  6. Nan July 19, 2012 / 2:55 pm

    Wow! That's quite amazing. I have a copy of The Neverending Story that is in red and green for the different parts.
    I love Faulkner, but haven't read him in late years. I have a feeling the sad facts would be harder to take now. That said, I keep thinking I should. I have a whole shelf. I've read most of them.


  7. Glenn Ingersoll July 20, 2012 / 12:47 am

    I forced myself thru “As I Lay Dying” and couldn't understand the attraction.

    That doesn't mean I won't try again, but there are so many things to read.


  8. Karen K. July 20, 2012 / 9:07 am

    A few years ago I read As I Lay Dying and was utterly confused by all the different narrators. I tried an audiobook with different actors for each part which really helped, and I broke down and went on Oprah's website. One of the vlogs was a professor who said it was “OK if we didn't get the book the first time reading it” — implying that I'd be reading it a second time!!

    I did make it through that one finally and ended up rather enjoying it, but I got bored with Absalom and utterly confused by Sound & Fury, could not get through 20 pages without giving up in disgust. I have too many classics unread that I'll probably enjoy.

    I like your idea of highlighters but of course you'd need to know when all the narrators change. Good luck and keep us posted on that!


  9. Farheen July 20, 2012 / 3:58 pm

    And I thought I was the only one who harbored a fear of Faulkner. Even though I managed to read all of Absalom, I have no idea what it was I read. Even a multicolored book isn't going to make me read him anytime soon!


  10. winstonsdad July 21, 2012 / 8:11 am

    I only read on and that was a tough going but I will try him again just hope a cheaper version of this one comes out in a year or two ,all the best stu


  11. Jeane July 21, 2012 / 12:30 pm

    Seeing all those colors on one page spread- no wonder I got confused trying to read this book! I have not had any success reading Faulkner, and this just reiterates why to me.


  12. Thomas at My Porch July 22, 2012 / 9:28 pm

    Pam: The thing is with Gatsby is at least it is linear and easy to follow.

    Tiffany: I feel like if I read “easy” Faulkner, I don't really get to count it as reading Faulkner.

    Stefan: You have a very good point.

    Simon: I know, crazy isn't it.

    Susan: I got rid of my Oprah editions when I felt like they were mocking me.

    Nan: I am starting to feel up to the Faulkner challenge, with or without colored words.

    Glenn: I think I got some ways into AILD, but then set it aside when I got the chapter that began “My mother is a fish…”

    Karen: I am beginning to think I may give him a go at some point.

    Farheen: Based on what people have commented here, most people seem a little frightened of him.

    Stu: Hopefully a cheaper version will come out.

    Jeane: I feel energized to to give him another go, but I can't guarantee it will be anytime soon.


  13. Kathleen August 14, 2012 / 5:28 pm

    I like the idea of the colored text. The Sound and Fury actually put me off Faulkner for a good many years. I read it in college and it proved to be the bane of my existence. I did much better with As I Lay Dying since it didn't have the stream of consciousness thing going on like in this one.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.