As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner

vardemanSome of the Brothers could not finish the book. Understandably, the dated hillbilly speak was too much for their gentle sensibilities. They did, however, recover sufficiently to partake in the wine & cheese and allow the resident canine to pleasure itself on one of their legs, so it wasn’t an unrewarding gathering for them…although they remain 4th Degree Iluminado until they go back and finish the book or complete the next book.

There was consensus that the book was a labor up until the dialogue of Addie Bundren, with the bracketing chapters of Cora and Whitfield adding a great deal of value. Her terrible blood flowing, her aloneness vanished, she realized she was getting ready to stay dead, so she killed Anse without his knowledge and clothed herself in sin. After her fall, she had her Jewel, cleaned her house and prepared to stay dead, but not before taking her revenge on the family that dared claim her as their own via a seemingly small request. My mother is a fish…elusive and after a few days you don’t want a whiff of her.

With the exception of his talent for getting women to marry him at breakneck speed, Anse took a beating for his selfishness. Surprisingly, Cash generated a great deal of discussion and dissention. Some saw him as hard working and noble, while some saw him as weak and enabling. With respect to the other characters…Whitfield, despicable…Vardeman, puzzling…Darl, even more puzzling…and Jewel, from harsh to tender to harsher to semi-heroic. He had fans.

The meeting ended with the Brothers Google Image searching Dewey Dell and wondering if the pharmacy rendezvous scene in the upcoming movie will be explicit. Did I mention there was wine and cheese served?

Summer Read – – The Natural – Bernard Malamud & The Brothers’ Karamazov, for any Hercules that can get to it.

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2 thoughts on “As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner

  1. Wow. So cool. Me and my friends work at Scuples in Bridgeport and we were wondering if we could host your next meeting. The first drink and lap dances are on us. Pleeeeeease say yes. We love men with big brains and stuff.

  2. I have actually maintained a steady “sawing of wood” by reading this book to finish it this summer. I am intrigued by the possibility of name significance:

    Cash=value
    Jewel=value
    Darl-darling
    Vardaman=Voldemort
    Dewey Dell-springlike, wet, river, running water=life
    Anse=loosely, “answer” he is the answer to all of their ills
    Addie= pronounced “I die” in Southern drawl. Or “I dead” something to that effect.
    Bundred= burdened or even burned (again= loose anagram)
    They entered the town of New Hope (obvious)
    A couple of presidential names used–was the entire story a metaphor for the New World or America?

    The film is actually pretty well depicted, especially Anse–so detestable.

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