Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sunshine and Faulkner

There are no clouds above me, just an endless wash of blue. I close my eyelids and the steady July sunlight turns them yellow and then orange inside. There is the smell of coconuts and warm skin on the wind. I can hear my children doing their best to outwit our Slip 'N Slide. Old and patched, this strip of plastic seems to have a will of its own.

I feel a book resting against my chest, the dark leather warm beneath my hand. I smile because I have made a new friend. This book is special to me. I've gladly taken what it's offered.

I've heard mixed opinions on Faulkner. Some people loathe reading his work, claiming it's confusing and too much effort. I had read random snippets here and there, but I had never attempted a whole book. Until two days ago, and now I willingly have Faulkner addiction. Unlike chocolate, this won't add to my hips. Though it might to my brain.

Reading The Sound And The Fury was like a walk by faith. My perspective became clear after I'd proved myself, and eventually, the intricate puzzle fit together. My mind sparked and flared and came to life. I love Faulkner. I love his specific style of tagless, punctuation-free stream of consciousness mixed in with present moment action. He gave me a gift with his artistry and brilliance.

Don't you love that kind of discovery? What new literary friends have you made this summer?
Any new beach books as well? Writing instruction books? Do tell, blogging buddies.

I've just finished A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man by James Joyce. Interesting, surprisingly theological. But that's another post for another day.

Now back to sunbathing and sipping my diet Coke with lime . . .


  1. I loved Portrait of an Artist and The Dubliners.
    I've always liked Faulkner, though I think he truly shines in short stories. :-)

  2. Good for you!!! What a great day. :D

  3. Sounds devine, Roxy. Hope you're having a wonderful summer. :)

  4. That sounded so beautiful, I want to get off my computer, grab my kids and yank them outside with the slip n slide. I have books that I want to read, calling to me...

  5. You've made me want to try Faulkner again. What a lovely picture you create in those first paragraphs.

    A few days ago I posted a blog about books if you want some recommendations:

  6. Roxy, so good to see you. I don't remember if you were on vacation (I think so) or if my blogrole has simply gotten too long, but it was nice to see your blog pop up today ;-)

  7. James Joyce. Faulkner!! God Almighty! LOL!

    Faulkner I can just about handle. James Joyce. I'm still on page 2 of Ulysses. Been on it since oooh, the mid 1980's.

    I think Kate M suggested I start with the Dubliners first maybe.Hmmm. Maybe..

    Enjoy your day under the blue skies and diet coke! With lime!

    Take care

  8. I'm a big fan of Joyce and Faulkner.

    And I adore reading in the sunshine with a cold drink at hand. A lovely way to spend a day indeed.

    (I'm still away in Maine on vacation, so I apologize for not getting around lately.)


  9. Summer reading--how dreamy, especially with a cold drink in your hand.


  10. Haven't read Faulkner yet... someday. I'm in the middle of Mercedes Lackey's most recent 500 kingdoms book! I'm LOVING it :D

  11. Your day sounds absolutely idyllic. I've never read Faulkner, but I probably should. I'll just add it to the extremely long list!

  12. I've just read A soft place to land by Susan Rebecca White. I would have never picked it up--I read for my book club. I loved it. I probably should add the book your reading to my list. Hope you are having a great summer.

  13. Oh! That sounds exactly like the thing I should be doing right now! Reading in a park - I love love love that!

    As for summer reading - I have just discovered the Percy Jackson books, and dived deep and crazily into them. They're not exactly Faulkner, but the importance is to find something we enjoy, right? ;)

  14. I was so happy to see this post in my sidebar. I love Faulkner and I'm currently rereading Sound & Fury. The first effort left me dazed and feeling stupid, but now I'm getting it. Did you know the title is from MacBeth? "A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." (Refers to Benjy most of all.) Yes, his stream of consciousness and slipping back and forth between past and present, his amazing way with descriptions and unpunctuated dialogue. How about that conversation between Quentin and his father (real or imagined?) that is just a stream of words with "and he, and I" the only indication of change in speaker. That really threw me for a loop at first. It's a challenge but that's what readers should do. Challenge themselves. I thank my older sister for throwing out the challenge and buying me THE PLAGUE when I was only 13. Of course I had to reread it later, but that isn't the point. When reading Faulkner I feel like I'm a better reader than when I'm skimming through an easy read.

    Thank you for this post. Oh, and weren't you supposed to get off the diet coke?? Sorry to be a pain.

  15. Sounds so lovely. You've read my reading adventures. Thanks for reading my post and leaving such a true comment. Enjoy books, sun, and kids!

  16. Reading your post made me yearn for the same. Yet, here I sit, in my living room typing. You make Faulkner sound divine. Have I read him? Who knows. Maybe. I should pick up a copy and find out. I've been meaning to make friends with my local library, maybe now's the time.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I'm doing the same. Enjoy your lovely day!

    ~That Rebel, Olivia

  17. This is a nice tribute to Faulkner - and slip n' slides. Is there an award for best summertime activity? When we lived in AZ, our ward used to have an annual slip n' slide activity down a huge hill - we had permission to use the fire hydrant as a water source. So fun!

  18. Roxy, run over to my blog when you get a minute, got a little surprise for you over there...:)

    ~That Rebel, Olivia

  19. I love Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. Brilliant stuff.

  20. I'm so happy for you. Isn't that just the best feeling, discovering a new 'Old' book? I read Steinbeck's 'The Winter of Our Discontent' this year, for the first time, and it took me forever to get through it because every paragraph would send me off into a dream. I kept stopping to read paragraphs out loud to my husband.
    So glad I stopped by. Now you have me thinking about slip and slides.
    Happy Reading,

  21. Hey there, bloggy friend! I haven't read Faulkner, have been trying to immerse myself in YA to catch up. Now that it's summer and I have a little bit of writing time (when it's not mommy time, lol) I'm trying to dive back into the age group I'm writing for. Although a good "grown up" book couldn't hurt once in a while! :) We'll have to pull out the slip 'n slide soon...!

  22. I loved 'Dubliners', too. Wow, Joyce and Faulkner are quite heavy stuff for a summer's day!

    For a beach read, nothing beats Sophie Kinsella for me!

  23. I don't like Faulkner, but I think it was because I had to read two of his books in high school. It might be different reading him as an adult. I remember detesting Hawthorne in high school, but loving him in college, so maybe the same will happen with Faulkner.

    I haven't read any classics lately. I miss them. I've been reading current YA lately.

  24. I couldn't get enough of Faulkner when I was in college. It's in part because of him (and Twain and Hemingway--but that's another story) that I focused on American lit in school. But Faulkner takes the right mindset--like a super open, very willing one. It's worth the effort, and the more of him you read, the more fluidly it comes to you. It's really just about learning his language and his rules (just as you might do with Shakespeare).

    Did you ride the slip and slide?

  25. I just found your blog and became a follower. I love the title, and your writing style, and I find the post interesting. If you can, visit mine and let me know what you think. Thanks. I look forward to reading your posts.
    I hope you have a great day!

  26. Roxy,

    Saw you'd join my blog and thought I'd drop on by to check you out.

    Oh I've always enjoyed Faulkner...his writing makes you think, and I like that.

    I love you blog.

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