Absalom, Absalom!

Absalom, Absalom!

Book - 2002
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Random House, Inc.
Absalom! Absalom! is William Faulkner’s major work--his most important and ambitious contribution to American literature. In the dramatic texture of this story of the founding, flourishing and decay of the plantation of Sutpen's Hundred, and of the family that demonic Stephen Sutpen brought into the world a generation before the Civil War, there rises the lament of the South for its own vanished splendor. From its magnificent and bold inception, when with his wild Negroes the founder of the great plantation appeared out of nowhere to seize his hundred square miles of land and build his mansion, through the destruction of the Civil War and its aftermath, and the drab beginnings of the new South, the narrative is colored by the author’s glowing imagery, his command of a powerful and magical prose style. Beneath its brilliant surface and dark undercurrents, the novel sweeps backward and forward through time. The story in all its ramifications becomes crystallized in the mind of a relative of this strange family, young Quentin Compson, a Harvard student. At the terrifying and abrupt end of the tale there remain in the crumbling shell of the old house only the dying son of its builder, an ancient Negro woman who had been his slave, and the idiot mulatto youth who was to be the only direct descendant of the Sutpen blood.

This edition is set from the first American edition of 1936 and commemorates the seventy-fifth anniversary of Random House.
The questions, discussion topics, and author biography that follow are designed to enhance your group's reading of three of William Faulkner's greatest novels: The Sound and the Fury , As I Lay Dying , and Absalom, Absalom! We hope that they will provide you with new ways of thinking and talking about three works that stand as major landmarks in the history of modern American literature, works that exemplify Faulkner's bold stylistic and formal innovations, his creation of unforgettably powerful voices and characters, and his brilliant insight into the psychological, economic, and social realities of life in the South in the transition from the Civil War to the modern era. In their intellectual and aesthetic richness, these novels raise nearly endless possibilities for discussion. The questions below will necessarily be limited and are meant to open several, but certainly not all, areas of inquiry for your reading group.

Baker & Taylor
Quentin Compson gradually learns about a secret from the past that threatens to destroy the Sutpen family.

Blackwell North Amer
In this story of the founding, flourishing and decay of the plantation of Sutpen's Hundred, and of the family that demonic Stephen Sutpen brought into the world a generation before the Civil War, there rises the lament of the South for its own vanished splendor. From its magnificent and bold inception, when with his wild Negroes the founder of the great plantation appeared out of nowhere to seize his hundred square miles of land and build his mansion, through the destruction of the Civil War and its aftermath, and the drab beginnings of the new South.
The story in all its ramifications becomes crystallized in the mind of a relative of this strange family, young Quentin Compson, a Harvard student. At the terrifying and abrupt end of the tale there remain in the crumbling shell of the old house only the dying son of its builder, an ancient Negro woman who had been his slave, and the idiot mulatto youth who was to be the only direct descendant of the Sutpen blood.

Baker
& Taylor

Quentin Compson gradually learns about a secret from the past that threatens to destroy the Sutpen family. Reissue. 10,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Random House, 2002
ISBN: 9780375508721
0375508724
Branch Call Number: FICTION FAULK...W
Notes: Originally published by Random House, Inc., 1936

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SeattleSaul
Jul 24, 2014

I wish I could recommend this to general readers but I find it almost unreadable. The story is told rather than developed and in overly verbose terms. Dialog, character introduction, development, goal-seeking, etc. are obfuscated in the weighty vocabulary display of Faulkner. The literati love this sort of thing, but ordinary readers may find it ponderous and uninteresting. By comparison, "As I Lay Dying" and "The Sound and the Fury" are examples of clarity and interesting stories. My sincere apologies to the memory of a great American writer.

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