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The Sound and the Fury

Cover of The Sound and the Fury

The Sound and the Fury

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"I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire. . . . I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools." --from The Sound and the Fury

The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character's voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner's masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.



From the Trade Paperback edition.

"I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire. . . . I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools." --from The Sound and the Fury

The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character's voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner's masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.



From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting. They were coming toward where the flag was and I went along the fence. Luster was hunting in the grass by the flower tree. They took the flag out, and they were hitting. Then they put the flag back and they went to the table, and he hit and the other hit. Then they went on, and I went along the fence. Luster came away from the flower tree and we went along the fence and they stopped and we stopped and I looked through the fence while Luster was hunting in the grass.

    "Here, caddie." He hit. They went away across the pasture. I held to the fence and watched them going away.

    "Listen at you, now." Luster said. "Aint you something, thirty three years old, going on that way. After I done went all the way to town to buy you that cake. Hush up that moaning. Aint you going to help me find that quarter so I can go to the show tonight."

    They were hitting little, across the pasture. I went back along the fence to where the flag was. It flapped on the bright grass and the trees.

    "Come on." Luster said. "We done looked there. They aint no more coming right now. Les go down to the branch and find that quarter before them niggers finds it."

    It was red, flapping on the pasture. Then there was a bird slanting and tilting on it. Luster threw. The flag flapped on the bright grass and the trees. I held to the fence.

    "Shut up that moaning." Luster said. "I cant make them come if they aint coming, can I. If you dont hush up, mammy aint going to have no birthday for you. If you dont hush, you know what I going to do. I going to eat that cake all up. Eat them candles, too. Eat all them thirty three candles. Come on, les go down to the branch. I got to find my quarter. Maybe we can find one of they balls. Here. Here they is. Way over yonder. See." He came to the fence and pointed his arm. "See them. They aint coming back here no more. Come on."

    We went along the fence and came to the garden fence, where our shadows were. My shadow was higher than Luster's on the fence. We came to the broken place and went through it.

    "Wait a minute." Luster said. "You snagged on that nail again. Cant you never crawl through here without snagging on that nail."

    Caddy uncaught me and we crawled through. Uncle Maury said to not let anybody see us, so we better stoop over, Caddy said. Stoop over, Benjy. Like this, see. We stooped over and crossed the garden, where the flowers rasped and rattled against us. The ground was hard. We climbed the fence, where the pigs were grunting and snuffing. I expect they're sorry because one of them got killed today, Caddy said. The ground was hard, churned and knotted.

    Keep your hands in your pockets, Caddy said. Or they'll get froze. You dont want your hands froze on Christmas, do you.

    "It's too cold out there." Versh said. "You dont want to go out doors."

    "What is it now." Mother said.

    "He want to go out doors." Versh said.

    "Let him go." Uncle Maury said.

    "It's too cold." Mother said. "He'd better stay in. Benjamin. Stop that, now."

    "It wont hurt him." Uncle Maury said.

    "You, Benjamin." Mother said. "If you dont be good, you'll have to go to the kitchen."

    "Mammy say keep him out the kitchen today." Versh said. "She say she got all that cooking to get done."

    "Let him go, Caroline." Uncle Maury said. "You'll worry yourself sick over him."

    "I know it." Mother said. "It's a judgment on me. I sometimes wonder."

    "I know, I know." Uncle Maury said. "You must keep your strength up. I'll make you a toddy."

    "It just upsets me that much more." Mother said. "Dont...

About the Author-
  • William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on September 25, 1897. He published his first book, The Marble Faun (a collection of poems), in 1924, and his first novel, Soldier's Pay, in 1926. In 1949, having written such works as Absalom, Absalom!, As I Lay Dying, Light in August, and The Sound and the Fury, Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He also received the Pulitzer Prize for two other novels, A Fable (1954) and The Reivers (1962). From 1957 to 1958 he was Writer-in-Residence at the University of Virginia. He died on July 6, 1962, in Byhalia, Mississippi.

Reviews-
  • Toni Morrison

    "I am in awe of Faulkner's Benjy, James's Maisie, Flaubert's Emma, Melville's Pip, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein--each of us can extend the list. . . . I am interested in what prompts and makes possible this process of entering what one is estranged from."

  • Eudora Welty "No man ever put more of his heart and soul into the written word than did William Faulkner. If you want to know all you can about that heart and soul, the fiction where he put it is still right there."
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