Tuesday, August 30, 2005

At a snail's pace

You know, I've been reading this for two weeks and I'm only two thirds in and I'm about ready to toss in the towel. No, the book is not unreadable nor impenetrable (it's certainly difficult), and it is far from boring--it is, in fact, awe-inspiring and magisterial, like reading Greek tragedy or the Old Testament. But Faulkner's prose hypnotizes me and I find myself sucking up words without them sinking in; this results in much re-reading and reading aloud and then the narrative gets buried/vague/forgotten and I have to start again back at the beginning of the previous chapter. Strangely, because the writing is so beautiful, this process is not frustrating, but it is tiring and at times less than pleasurable. In upstate NY I read 20 pages in the hot tub and it took me an hour and a half.

I'm a very fast reader normally.

I think I'll continue plugging away at Absalom, Absalom!, but I'm picking up lighter fare to read on the side. Namely,

I burned through 50 pages in a half hour this morning. So refreshing, and so funny. Faulkner is rarely funny, nor are the images of devestation coming up from his old stomping grounds--how reminiscent of his work to see families struggling out through holes punched in their roofs, beset by muddy pestilence.