Saturday, November 27, 2010

Faulkner Follow-up

From the official review:

Notoriously “difficult,” The Sound and the Fury is actually one of Faulkner’s more accessible works once you get past the abrupt, unannounced time shifts—and certainly the most powerful emotionally.
Um, emotionally powerful, yes. Because I hated every minute of it. Difficult, yes. We're in complete accord there. One of his more accessible works? Good lord.

I finished it late last night--just to finish it. The characters are all despicable, and I found nothing about it riveting--besides maybe the second chapter, Quentin's stream of consciousness. But even that was only moments of lucidity strewn between odd action and thoughts. Had Faulkner seen Boston? I'd like very much to know what part of Boston this little girl is supposed to live in. I couldn't picture it. Poor immigrant rural-ish housing along the river and uncrowded? Even in 1929, I can't see that in Boston.

This book pissed me off like Death of a Salesman pissed me off in high school. Men having breakdowns--loud, yelling, confusing--but not believable. And offering nothing to really latch onto or empathize with. Both stories trigger eye rolling on this end.

I'm almost dreading choosing my next book. As are you, I figure.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fuck Faulkner


I innocently grabbed The Sound and the Fury off my bookshelf Friday night. I settled into my jammies, got under the quilt, put on my reading glasses, picked just the right pen with which to make notes, and opened this musty-smelling edition. And immediately thought WTF?

It's so incredibly difficult to understand. Quickly I became the Fury and the Sound was my incessant bitching.

I've been sharing online my favorite passage of rubbish nonsense:
I wasn't crying, but I couldn't stop. I wasn't crying, but the ground wasn't still, and then I was crying. The ground kept sloping up and the cows ran up the hill. T.P. tried to get up. He fell down again and the cows ran down the hill...we went toward the barn. Then the barn wasn't there and we had to wait until it came back. I didn't see it come back. It came behind me and Quentin set me down in the trough where the cows ate.
Yeah. That's page 15. It would have helped to know that the first chapter is written from a mentally ill person's perspective. I got that nugget off Amazon--and my mom. I grew up in a house with few books, but my mother apparently loves this book. Wha??? It makes Infinite Jest look like a pony ride. So now I'm reading it because it's pissing me off, and it's pissing me off as I read it. It's sort of a zen cycle I've got going on there. I like a lot of obscure stuff, but I'm not enjoying this.


And then there was the cooking portion of the weekend. Shepherd's pie this week. Seriously lazy shepherd's pie. I used a lot of store-bought crap, which goes against my push toward fewer processed foods and fewer chemicals. The stomach tends to steer the cart sometimes. Don't hate.

Cheddar, beef, premade mashed potatoes, gravy mix, cream cheese, creamed sweet corn. This is clearly not a dish for the faint of heart. But with all the kale and beans I've been eating lately, I decided to go in the opposite direction this weekend. The word cheese was floating through my head like a blimp made of sparkles.

While heating up the potatoes (to which I added cream cheese and butter), I browned up the ground beef.
Once the beef was browned, I added the gravy.

Into a casserole dish, I layered the beef, corn, and potatoes. I then added lots of cheddar. No pussyfooting around here--lots of cheddar.

Thirty minutes in the oven, and out came this little gem. Can I get an amen?!

While eating, I found the BBC rendition of Bleak House (nine salacious chapters to this miniseries). It doesn't get a lot better than jammies, melted cheese, and a period-piece movie. Heavenly. We'll see about Faulkner in the coming days.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gone quiltin'

The whiteboard outside my office. Nashua quilt show begins today. Pictures to come.