It’s not quite as experimental as I remember his stream of consciousness technique being, but that many simply be this title. I remember it being fairly daunting in some works, and completely impenetrable in others.
But the highly symbolic nature of As I Lay Dying struck me this time. I have no doubt that discussion is going to be interesting, as my students are already highly skeptical of all but the most obvious symbols already. “It’s just a blue curtain, dammit!”
I’m glad I returned to Faulkner after all these years. And at some point, I may pick up The Sound and the Fury again (probably not right away). His work presents a good counterpoint to some of the works I’m having them read for the AP Exam: some Victorian titles, plenty of British works, and even some contemporary titles. They needed at least one Modernist novel to throw into the mix, and I wasn’t ready to delve once more into James Joyce or Joseph Conrad (“The horror, the horror!”).
If you think your family is dysfunctional, this book is a quick cure. No family in America tops the families of Yoknapatawpha County for being messed up. The Snopes in his others stories, and the Burdens in this one, define dysfunctional.