“As I Lay Dying” is very much concerned with the problem posed by “words”. This issue show up at different levels. The most obvious one is the contrast between the factual reality characters experience and the ways they react to it. The gap between the external world and the one expressed by the interior monologues is huge and its expressed not only in what they think about and what they actually say; but also in the way they express it. Faulkner has no problem in granting the interior voices a verbal capacity–a vocabulary–way higher from what should be expected from white trash. He seems to be ready to give up realism rules in order to express that the inner world of those people is a serious reality. Continue reading
For a long time I had the idea of writing a post titled “Flannery and the Flashbacks”, or something like that, as a token of my admiration for the way Flannery O’Connor uses –what is technically called analepsis– so naturally and smoothly. However, reading The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie I discovered Muriel Spark has also a great time-management ability, but this time with flash-forwards which are more rare, probably because they are more difficult to use.
The most simple flash forward is to give some information about the future, for example the famous opening lines of Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez:
On the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar woke up at five-thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on. Continue reading
I have a serious problem with Mr. William Faulkner. He’s probably the fiction writer I admire the most, but, at the same time, I would never recommend to anybody trying to imitate him. I guess we all can -and should!- learn how to write short stories in the Chekhov school or ask Henri James about novels… but Faulkner looks more as an icon than a teacher: someone to be respectfully admired from a distance: imitating him would be extremely hard -if not a vane effort!- and I guess the consequences would be disastrous if not properly done.