As an English major, I had to take an entire class on William Faulkner. I hated him then and I still hate him now. Before taking this class I had read some of his short stories, which were halfway normal. Nothing to write home about but nothing to get all up in arms about either.
Then I was introduced to his novels. It wasn’t long before I started referring to him as the Dark Leader of Literature. I wore all black clothes and listened to the Darth Vader theme music on the way to class (I really did. It was like my own inside joke and helped me get through the misery).
I really really hated him.
If you’ve never read any of his books…you’re luckier than I am! Haha, I kid.
No I don’t. I wish I never heard of the guy… Anywho, in case you had nicer teachers than I did and you were never subjected to his work, Faulkner’s novels are written in some kind of wacky, stream-of-consciousness, incomprehensible way that lots of people think is brilliant but I think it just reads like old Willy was sniffing glue. Half the time you can’t figure out who the hell is talking and you can’t decipher what they are prattling on about.
Seriously, reading his books is like trying to solve a math problem. Not exactly fun to cozy up with a cup of tea. I was too busy throwing the book at the wall and shaking my fist at the sky (when I should have been shaking it at the ground. At least that’s where he should have ended up after putting me through a whole semester of torture.)
It just annoys me when people go on and on about how brilliant Faulkner is and about how his wonderful books are a superb commentary on the South and all that. I’m sure there’s some brilliance in there SOMEWHERE, but I’m too busy trying to figure out what the hell is going on. It’s hard to lose yourself in a story when you can’t even tell which character is talking and you find yourself fantasizing about setting the book on fire and slowly watching it burn….
I confess it’s been eighteen years since I took that class. I’m older, wiser, and have written five novels and ten screenplays (Fun Fact: William Faulkner was a failed screenwriter. Hahahahha! Sorry…back to the blog…) I’ve read a lot and written a lot since then. Perhaps I should go back and read some of his work as a mature adult to see if my opinion has changed.
Yeah. Not gonna happen.
If I’m not getting graded and I don’t have to write a paper on it, I’m not going near Faulkner’s books.
On the plus side, Faulkner’s dead so he can write any more books!
Sorry, that was mean. But I’m okay with it.
If you wanna talk classic literature, this guy is way more my speed.
“My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.” – Mark Twain
Suck it, Faulkner.
- Linda Fausnet
P.S. I wrote this article several years ago and I am happy to state that nothing has changed. I STILL hate William Faulkner, and have enjoyed my Faulkner-free years with much verve and gusto.
I was in Barnes and Noble a few years ago and, just for funsies, I took a look in the fiction section to see where my books might end up should I ever get traditionally published. Looking under the FAU fiction section, it dawned on me that my books would be smack dab right next to my good buddy Faulkner.
As a self-pubbed author, my work isn’t exactly on the shelves of Barnes and Noble. However, my debut novel *is* on the library shelves:
I get a huge kick out of the fact that my rainbow-colored novel about gay equality, QUEEN HENRY, is nestled snugly next to Faulkner’s “classic” novel, THE SOUND AND THE FURY.
I don’t know if Faulkner is chuckling or rolling in his grave, but this sure made me smile…
Join my WRITERS email list for Writing Tips and Book Recommendations!
Join my READERS email list to receive just the Book Recommendations!
What I Did: Wrote 6000 words on my novel SINGLES VS. BRIDEZILLAS, sent out more queries for my novel, QUEEN HENRY, got one more rejection for QUEEN HENRY
What I Saw: HOP
Cool Links I Found:
Last Friday I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Opening Day game for the Baltimore Orioles. I’m a huge baseball fan and had been counting down the days until Opening Day just so I could watch the game on television. I could hardly believe it when I got the email that my Girl Scout (well, Brownie) daughter had been invited to walk the Orange Carpet ON THE FIELD on Opening Day and, as her doting mother, I got to attend the game!!
I am an avid baseball fan. So much so that I made one of my main characters in one of my screenplays – turned novel – a Baltimore Oriole. That adds an extra layer of excitement for me when I go to the ballpark, an experience that is already magical for me. I don’t know what it is but when I go to a baseball stadium, or really any sports arena, I get the same sort of feeling that I get when I go to a library or a movie theater. Now when I go to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, it’s like stepping into a page from my novel. I can almost see Henry Vaughn, Jr. dancing with the Oriole Bird on top of the O’s dugout. That’s one of the really cool things about being a writer – you find adventure absolutely everywhere. I find myself making up stories everywhere I go, particularly if it’s somewhere new or someplace that is full of excitement like a sports stadium. I’ve always done that for as long as I can remember, way before I realized that I wanted to be a writer. Now it’s even more fun because once in a while those daydreams become a reality – at least on the page.
The baseball novel is called QUEEN HENRY (this would be the novel for which I am posting my rejection numbers on Facebook and Twitter. 45 as of this writing…) and it’s about a homophobic, macho, MLB player who takes part in a clinical drug trial to treat his asthma. The experimental drug has an unusual side effect: it makes him gay.