February is for Faulkner. He is the reason why February is called what it is called; ergo we will be exposing ourselves to toxic amounts of Faulkner in February. There is so much Faulkner to choose from that it would be foolish to pick only one; ergo Choose-Your-Own-Faulkner it is! Faulkner, Faulkner, Faulkner. If you say his name three times in the dark with a mirror Beetlejuice will appear… or maybe Son of Sam… or Jerry’s van? Something will happen; maybe you will get stuck in a three page sentence. I’ll find out after I post this on the interwebs.
The format for this free-for-all is simple. There are five notable works by Faulkner:
Absalom, Absalom! (Seven page sentences make Chabon look like a illiterate hobo)
Light in August (Probably the most straightforward of the bunch)
Sanctuary (The trashy one)
As I Lay Dying (My mother is a fish.)
The Sound and the Fury (Four different narrators)
these also double as the five greatest pieces of art from the last five million years (anything before that gets confusing because of the lack of coherent recordkeeping by the dinosaurs; they didn’t realize just how much influence they would have on future generations)
Choose one from the list and find a Vintage International copy of it, the older editions have typos and errors and other things that occur when an author is too far ahead of their time to be read completely, also as a result of lazy editors and typewriters with hanging chads.
I would love it if a couple people could read each, or some people could read multiple and then we can talk about our individual novels and then talk about the style and digress into talking about Cloud Atlas. Come prepared with a sentence to read out loud, and make sure it is a good one, otherwise I’ll go A Rose for Emily on you: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~drbr/wf_rose.html
Also of note: Faulkner took Joyce’s Ulysses on his honeymoon: “I was married at such a young age that I was not able to fully understand the scope and breadth of what I was getting myself into and thus was relegated to literary boners, among the pieces that forced my blood to pump was James Joyce’s bearcat Ulysses, which kept me warm on those hot Mississippi nights after fishing in the stream of consciousness.”
Also come with your best attempt at pronouncing Yoknapatawpha County