am 17. April 2002
William Faulkner hat mit diesem vielstimmigen Roman etwas ganz Eigenes geschaffen und neue Maßstäbe gesetzt. Zwischen Vergessen und Erinnern leben seine Gestalten in ihrer eigenen Wirklichkeit. Faulkner erschafft diese Welt, ohne zu werten. Im Niedergang der Familie Compson, um den es vordergründig geht, bewahren die handelnden Personen ihre Eigenständigkeit. Sie scheinen in einer archaischen Zeit zu leben, nicht nur der "Idiot der Familie", Benjy, durch dessen Augen wir in die Geschichte eingeführt werden. Ein sprachlich und inhaltlich genialer Wurf, in dem die ersten und die letzten Dinge ineinander übergehen. Das Buch gehört zu den wichtigsten Büchern des 20. Jahrhunderts.
am 3. August 2015
Ich habe das Buch innerhalb zweier Nächte verschlungen. Faulkners Beschreibung des Niedergangs einer Amerikanischen Südstaatenfamilie (und ihrer Bediensteter) in den ersten Jahrzehnten des 20. Jahrhunderts entwickelt schnell einen Sog, dem man sich nur schwer entziehen kann.
Das Buch besteht aus 4 Kapiteln, welche sich alle über einen Tag erstrecken, aber durch zahlreiche Rückblenden und Erinnerungsfetzen ca. 30 Jahre tragischer Familiengeschichte beschreiben. Die ersten 3 Kapitel sind aus der Sicht jeweils eines von drei Brüdern geschrieben, im letzten beschreibt Faulkner die Geschehnisse in der 3. Person.
Besonders berühmt ist natürlich das 1. Kapitel: der Ich Erzähler ist geistig behindert. Auch im 2. Teil werden zahlreiche moderne Techniken angewandt, vor allem der allseits beliebte Bewusstseinsstrom nimmt viel Platz ein. Faulkners kraftvolle, alkoholgetränkte Sprache beeindruckt wie immer.
An dieser Stelle möchte ich noch auf die häufig geäußerte Meinung eingehen, The Sound and the Fury sei ein schweres Buch oder erfordere gar viel Arbeit vom Leser. Dem will ich nicht zustimmen. Ich denke, der Grund warum manche Leser Bücher wie dieses als schwer empfinden, ist eine gewisse Erwartungshaltung, alles auf Anhieb zu verstehen. Faulkner verlangt von uns aber keinesfalls, die Identitäten der einzelnen Figuren, die Zeitläufe und Zusammenhänge der Geschehnisse jederzeit nachvollziehen zu können. Nein, während des Lesens bildet sich nur nach und nach und nie völlig eindeutig ein Gesellschaftsportrait heraus, dass uns nicht nur auf atemberaubende Weise eine bestimme Epoche nahebringt, sondern voller universeller Wahrheiten und Ideen ist.
Interessierte Literaturfreunde sollten sich also nicht vom Ruf des Romans oder der Bruchstückhaftigkeit und Uneindeutigkeit der ersten Kapitel abschrecken lassen, sondern sich ganz Faulkners Vision hingeben. Dann ist das Lesen nämlich keine Arbeit, sondern uneingeschränktes Vergnügen.
am 3. Juli 2000
This was the first Faulkner novle I read. The first time I read it, I wanted to chuck the book through my bedroom window. But after taking my time, reading about Faulkner, and mapping out the Benjy section with the help of Cliff's Notes, I began to enjoy this book very much. It's basically centered around one event: the daughter's lost of her virginity and the subsequent effects on her family afterwards. The book is broken into four section, each named after one of her three brothers (Benjy, Quentin, and Jason) and the family housekeeper (Disley). Each narrator gives their views of the situation, (Disley's section is narrated by Faulkner himself.)Each chapter is written in quite a different style; the most difficult, most would agree, being the first chapter, the Benjy section. Benjy is mentally retarded and has no sense of time; he works purely on physical sensation. The timeframe during his narrative is all over the place. To clear things up, Cliff's Notes map out most of the time changes in his section. (No one but Faulkner himself knows all of them, and he's dead.) Once you come to know where the scene changes, the story starts to unfold. The second section, Quentin's, is written in stream-of-consciousness. Quentin's section is written with sohpisticated vocabulary and sentence structure because he is a student at Harvard. Jason's section is probably the quickest read; he's incredibly ignorant and cruel. The Disley section is probably the most satisfying overall, but each section needs the help of the others to reach the story's full effect. This is well worth the read if you have the time.
am 24. Juni 2000
A rather simple plot of a southern family that has lost status is turned into a commentary on human nature and the individual both as part of society as well as an antagonist. I cannot pinpoint the one aspect of The Sound and the Fury that made it my favorite book. Human flaws and virtues are realistically depicted making the characters interesting and easy to relate to. Rather than glorifying unusual occurrences, everyday events are presented with their deserved importance. The diction, which at more than one occasion is difficult to follow, ranges from simple to in occasions beautifully poetic.
The first section is told from the point of view of a 33-year-old mentally handicapped man. This character used only description of sensory perception as a tool of understanding. And it is often described as a "man-child", a 3-year old brain in a 33 year old body .
The second section is written from the point of view of a brilliant 18-year-old college student named Quentin Compson. He loses himself in elaborate prose and imaginary conversations; his main concerns are those he cannot control: the passage of time, the changing and growing up of those around him and a contradictory society. Quentin holds on to his idealistic views but soon loses all hope as he replays in his mind his father's cynical arguments and faces a society where he feels he is misunderstood.
The third section is told from the point of view of Jason, the eldest brother. He's most likely regarded as an "unlovable character" characterized by his pessimism and cynicism. He is very practical, greedy and selfish. However, the reader cannot but feel pity for this man. While he's brother was sent to Harvard, he was made to stay in his hometown and become a simple businessman. Jason is also terribly unhappy. Unlike Quentin, this unhappiness is not due to existential causes, but plane prejudice and lack of financial prosperity.
The last section differs from the first three. Rather than being in "stream-of-consciousness" form, it's point of view is omniscient. The section is named after the woman-servant named Dilsey. Unlike Quentin who feared the passage of time and Benjy who was stuck in the past, Dilsey adjusts to time and accommodates her life according to the passage of time.
I have been most impacted by books whose characters are not stereotyped or idealized, but contain human virtues as well as flaws. After finishing each section of The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, I felt sorrow in abandoning the minds characters I had grown to care for, or grown to dislike.
am 4. Januar 2000
Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury. The idiot narrating the first chapter is Benjy Compson, down syndrome adult, and the sound is his bellowing every time he is reminded of his beloved big sister Caddy, who no longer lives with him. Some of the fury comes from Quentin Compson, Caddy's oldest younger brother, who can't bear the thought of Caddy's boyfriends taking her to bed. There is more fury from youngest brother Jason Compson, an intolerable little brat who grows into a thoroughly evil adult. And there is Caddy's daughter Quentin (named after her uncle) who suffers the bullying of uncle Jason until she's had enough of it. She lives with uncle Jason and with her worthless, infuriatingly stupid grandmother.
The book is divided into four parts, each part told by a different person. Part One is told by Benjy, Part Two by brother Quentin, Part Three by devilish Jason, and Part Four by the black servant Dilsey, who has more sense than all the others combined.
Benjy's chapter may be the most amazing ever written. Faulkner gives it the oddest stream of consciousness structure. Benjy's mind constantly shifts from the present to the past. Faulkner wanted to minimize the confusion by color coding the paragraphs to let the reader know when Benjy was shifting from one time period to another, but the publisher didn't go along with color coding. All you have are a few italics as hints that something is changing. It's not enough. When you pick up this book you will need to pick up the Cliff Notes at the same time. Cliff Notes give an excellent and clear explanation of what in the hell is going on in the otherwise impossible to understand first section. Without the Cliff Notes, the sound and fury will refer to you smashing the book against a wall and screaming at Faulkner - Why are you putting me through this, you idiot! Why don't you just write in plain English! But with the Cliff Notes the chapter becomes really fascinating.
I'll give you a clue. Benjy is standing by a fence looking into an adjoining yard where people are playing golf. Benjy is supervised by one of Dilsey's children. If one of the golfers calls to his caddie, and the young black child then says Hush Benjy! that means that Benjy has just had his heart broken for the millionth time hearing his sister's name but not seeing her, and he is screaming his fool head off.
The first two parts of this book are like love letters to sister Caddy, who was expelled from the house for promiscuity. In this disfunctional family, promiscuity seems pretty understandable as an escape. The mother is a useless waste of protoplasm.
am 12. April 2000
First of all, I'm one of those kids who mentally cusses out the teacher every time a novel is assigned, reads two pages of it, then scrapes through each chapter quiz by flicking through my trusty Cliff's notes five minutes before class. But this time, something was different. I found myself actually staying awake whilst reading, and even (gasp!) ENJOYING the book! I was being lured through each section, entranced by the vivid depiction of the tragic downward spiral of the once-noble Compson family. Reading Faulkner's harrowing, in-depth studies into the minds of three very different yet equally fascinating siblings is like piecing a puzzle together. The so-called idiot (Benjy), the virginity-obsessed suicidal (Quentin), the spiteful demon (Jason) and their kindhearted servant (Dilsey) all focus on the beautiful, rebellious Caddie. In doing so, they reveal fascinating ideas about the human mind and society. Trust me, this book is truly thought provoking. My English grade of an 'A' now stands out like a sore thumb on my report card, just as this masterpiece does in a world full of books that will always be second best.
am 27. Oktober 2014
Ich liebe William Faulkner und ich kann dieses Buch nur jedem empfehlen. Auch As I lay dying ist ein tolles Buch von William Faulkner, dass ich nur wärmstens an alle Literaturliebhaber weiterempfehlen kann!
am 18. Juni 2000
A rather simple plot of a southern family that has lost status is turned into a commentary on human nature and the individual both as part of society as well as an antagonist. Rather than glorifying unusual occurrences, everyday events are presented with their deserved importance. The diction which at more than one occasion is difficult to follow, ranges from simple to in occasions beautifully poetic.
I have been most impacted by books whose characters are not stereotyped or idealized, but contain human virtues as well as flaws. After finishing each section of The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, I felt sorrow in abandoning the minds characters I had grown to care for, or grown to dislike. The words jumped out of the pages and embodied a friend, relative, acquaintance or enemy.
Told from the point of view of a 33-year-old mentally handicapped man, at first I dreaded the "Benjy" section. As I became accustomed to the "stream-of consciousness" point of view, the world and every day experience where revealed to me from an entirely different perspective. This perspective used only description of sensory perception as a tool of understanding. I had, for the first time, the opportunity to step into the shoes of someone whose actions I could have never comprehended.
The second section is written from the point of view of a brilliant 18-year-old college student named Quentin Compson. He loses himself in elaborate prose and imaginary conversations; his main concerns are those he cannot control: the passage of time, the changing and growing up of those around him and a contradictory society. Quentin holds on to his idealistic views but soon loses all hope as he replays in his mind his father's cynical arguments and faces a society where he feels he is misunderstood. While in the previous section his brother Benjy was unable to comprehend change, Quentin's flaw is his devotion to the past and unwillingness to change.
The third section is told from the point of view of Jason, the eldest brother who is left to care for Caddy's daughter. He is by all definiton san "unlovable character" who seems to have inherited his father's nihilistic and cynical nature, but with less intellectual pomposity and more practicality. However, a reader might be torn between hating this character and feeling pity for the life he is given. His parents sent Quentin to Harvard, while Jason must stay a simple businessman in his home town.
The fourth section is told from the servant's (Dilsey) point of view. This section is written differently than the others, marked by it's lack of stream-of-consciousness by adapting a more omnicient point of view. Dilsey is not stuck in the past like Benjy, or fears the future like Quentin...but she adjusts to living in the present and seems to be in complete control of her life.
am 1. Juli 1999
"The Sound and the Fury" tells the disintegration of the once proud Compson family. What makes the novel engaging is that it tells the disintegration in a span of one day. Faulkner used the "stream-of-consciousness" and the interior monolgue techniques - relatively new forms of technique in those years. The "stream-of-conciousness" techniques puts in writing the actual thought process of a character. Further complicating the reading is that the novel is told from four different points of view. The first chapter is narrated by the inbecile Benjy, the second by the dead Quentin, the third by the sane Jason, and the fourth chapter is narrated by the author. It is very difficult at first to comprehend what Faulkner is telling the reader. It does not help that he started the novel with Benjy's section. Benjy is severely retarded; he can not understand what is happening; his thoughts move back and forth in time; he is forever confined in the arms of Caddy. Faulkner once said in an interview that he started the novel with Benjy's sections because he wanted a character who can tell what happens/ed and can't tell why it happened. Reading Quentin's section would fill in the questions left unanswered in Benjy's section. Quentin's section is my favorite section. The section is narrated shortly before his suicide on June 10, 1910. He tells of his desire to be Caddy; he even goes as far as telling their father that he was the one who impregnated Caddy not dalton Ames. The section is even more difficult to comprehend than Benjy's. Whereas Benjy's thoughts do not go back to the same past, Quentin's thoughts goes back many times to the same past. He just can't imagine his life without Caddy. Both Benjy's and Quentin's sections are marked with italics whenever there is a time change. Jason's section is easier to understand than the two Previous sections. Jason's section is actually spoken by him; Faulkner used the interior monolgue technique. In this section you would discover even more surprises not revealed in the two previous sections. Jason is practically angry with everybody. He is angry with Caddy; she was the cause why he did not get the job in the back. Jason is also angry with Caddy's daughter Quentin (not to be confused with the other Quentin). Quentin took Jason's money and ran away with a man she knew from the circus. Problem is Jason can not tell the police that Quentin stole the money because part of the money stolen by Quentin actually belongs to her. Jason stole the money sent by Caddy to her daughter. The fourth section is told by the author. For the first time you'll get a picture of what Benjy looks like. The novel is a very interesting read. No author in recent memory has come close to what William Faulkner accomplished in this novel. Every reading of the novel will bring you closer to the complex personalities Faulkner has created. It is not only a novel that you can read but reread.
am 20. Mai 2000
Sure, you need to do some work to appreciate this great novel, but many things in life require a bit of effort to appreciate. I disagree with the below reviewer who claims that if it takes work, it aint worth it. I would add that by far the most helpful companion to Faulkner's novel is the Twayne's Masterworks series (like Cliffs, only 1000 times better -- and they exist for many other great novels too). Like Wallace Stephens, Faulkner gives us four different version of the kernel of his story which in his words was our view of Caddie, the little girl who muddied her drawers, climbing up the pear tree. Faulkner gives Benjy, the 33 year old retard, the greatest gift of all -- speech! Though this first section, seen through Benjy's eyes, is confusing, Faulkner limits his vocabulary to just over a 100 or so words. My high school students this year in AP English voted this their favorite book of the year of the 11 or so novels we read. With a bit of background information, the reader's comprehension will be greatly aided. I'm going on my 15th reading and I'm happy to say the text yields up new insights every time. One of my all time favorite novels by anyone. I envy the first time reader experiencing sections I and II for the first time -- savor the experience.