Wednesday, June 19, 2013

As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying
by William Faulkner
Modern Library, 2012. 231 pgs. Fiction

Anyone planning on seeing James Franco's movie version of Faulkner's classic ought to read the book first because so much of the richness of the narrative lies in the internal dialogue of its characters. Anse Bundren has promised his wife Addie that when she dies, he will carry her body back to her homeplace in Jefferson, Mississippi. Sons Cash, Darl, Jewel, and Vardaman, along with daughter Dewey Dell join Anse in a misbegotten odyssey to take their mother home. A flooding river, the death of their mules, the putrefaction of the deceased, which draws vultures by the score, all combine against the Bundrens as they also fight their own natures and their own blood to find some meaning in what they are doing. Blackly humorous and tragic, richly drawn, this stream-of-multiple consciousnesses novel deserves the classic place it occupies in our literary pantheon.


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