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Breaking the Cycle: An Essay on William Faulkner's "Absalom, Absalom!"

In William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!, a work many consider to be the prolific author’s finest novel, the character Quentin Compson’s jumbled understanding of the Sutpen House’s history signifies his obsession with the compounded history of the Sutpen-Coldfield families, of which he learns much about, in the midst of his preparations to leave the place of his origin – Mississippi, and the South in general – in the past, in order to move to Boston and attend Harvard.   4,328 more words

Absalom Absalom!

Four Rules for Reading Faulkner

In November, I read Absalom, Absalom!

It was the second time I’ve tackled one of Faulkner’s novels—and I never thought I’d say this, but I’m starting to get the hang of it… 1,243 more words


I don't hate it!

Now I want you to tell me just one thing more. Why do you hate the South?”

‘I don’t hate it,’ Quentin said, quickly, at once, immediately; ‘I don’t hate it,’ he said. 37 more words


nine months in this climate

‘All right. But let me know if you want the coats. Jesus, if I was going to have to spend nine months in this climate, I would sure hate to have come from the South. 19 more words


not the incest

—So it’s the miscegenation, not the incest, which you cant bear.

William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!


coal miners talking about soot

So who told them? Not Henry, because his father never saw Henry but that one time and maybe they never had time to talk about wounds and besides to talk about wounds in the Confederate army in 1865 would be like coal miners talking about soot

William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!


breathing, pleasure, darkness

He found out that she was up to something and he not only didn’t care, he didn’t even care that he didn’t know what it was; he got older and found out that she had been shaping and tempering him to be the instrument for whatever it was her hand was implacable for, maybe came to believe (or saw) that she had tricked him into receiving that shape and temper, and didn’t care about that too because probably by that time he had learned that there were three things and no more: breathing, pleasure, darkness; and without money there could be no pleasure, and without pleasure it would not even be breathing but mere protoplasmic inhale and collapse of blind unorganism in a darkness where light never began.

William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!