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The Sound and the Fury: The Corrected Textby William Faulkner
Faulkner is in a class of his own, and this is his best work. Moving seamlessly from its opening incoherence to its revelatory finale, it's almost as if he is teaching you how to read the novel as you are reading it! A family drama with some of the most exquisitely drawn characters in all of fiction, Faulkner takes up those disparate threads of beauty and loss, entwining them over the course of the story until you realize that you can't have one without the other. Don't let the eccentric prose of that first chapter deter you; you don't want to miss what's hidden in these pages.
Synopses & Reviews
The Sound and the Fury is made up of undifferentiated streams of consciousness that ultimately turn out to be the inner voices of a family's siblings. Its construction is so masterful that the last sentence refers the reader back to the first one, as any perfect work of art might do. Sound has the earmarks of a modern psychological study, although the book was published in 1929. It is a dramatic and harrowing tale of the Compson family's pathology — primarily in the form of incest and incestuous thoughts.
"For all his concern with the South, Faulkner was actually seeking out the nature of man. Thus we must turn to him for that continuity of moral purpose which made for the greatness of our classics." Ralph Ellison
"Faulkner...belongs to the full-dressed post-Flaubert group of Conrad, Joyce, and Proust." Edmund Wilson
"For all the range of effect, philosophical weight, originality of style, variety of characterization, humor, and tragic intensity [Faulkner's works] are without equal in our time and country." Robert Penn Warren
"Faulkner performed a labor of imagination that has not been equaled in our time...first, to invent a Mississippi county that was like a mythical kingdom, but was complete and living in all its details; second, to make his story of Yoknapatawpha County stand as a parable of legend of all the Deep South." Malcolm Cowley
One of the greatest novels of the twentieth century, The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in American literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant.
This edition follows the text of The Sound and the Fury as corrected in 1984. It includes an editor's note by Noel Polk on the corrections following the text.
“I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire. . . . I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools.” —from The Sound and the Fury
The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner’s masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.
About the Author
William Faulkner, one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on September 25, 1897. He published his first book, The Marble Faun, a collection of poems, in 1924, but it is as a literary chronicler of life in the Deep South — particularly in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, the setting for several of his novels — that he is most highly regarded. In such novels as Sanctuary (1931), The Hamlet (1940), The Town (1957), and The Mansion (1959), he explored the full range of post-Civil War Southern life, focusing both on the personal histories of his characters (especially members of the Snopes family) and on the moral uncertainties of an increasingly dissolute society. His other novels include The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), Light in August (1932), Absalom, Absalom! (1936), The Unvanquished (1938), Intruder in the Dust (1948), Requiem for a Nun (1951), A Fable (1954), and The Reivers (1962). For the latter two books, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He also wrote several volumes of short stories as well as a collection of poems and essays.
William Faulkner died in Byhalia, Mississippi, on July 6, 1962.
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