Loathing Faulkner and other Confessions

According to www.todayinliterature.com, Faulkner published his first short story in 1919.  He was a prolific writer who won the Nobel Prize for literature and two Pulitzer Prizes, and I can’t stand his work.  I’ve tried and tried to grasp his “stream of consciousness” writing and to me it just looks like he’s lazy and doesn’t like revision. 

I know the problem is mine.  I know that he must be a fantastic writer and I just don’t know enough about him or his body of work to get what he was trying to do, but I’d rather clean toilets after a football game at Ravens’ stadium than read his novels. 

Two of my favorite writers, A. S. Byatt and Tracy Chevalier, have both listed The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco as a favorite book.  I’ve tried on several occassions to get through it and I just can’t.  It’s terrible.  Gratuitous detail, a parade of sombre, drab monks set against a cold stone abbey, and Aristotelian logic to solve crimes just doesn’t do it for me. 

Henry James.  I could appreciate the themes and style of Daisy Miller, but I know I’ll never pick him up again.  Virginia Woolf.  Once every three years or so I get in the mood for her, pick up one of the novels on my shelf, and put it down shortly afterward. 

If you love something I hate, please defend it.  I really, really want to love Faulkner.  When I read about him I love him.  Tell me what I’m missing.

And while you’re at it, tell me what you hate that you’re supposed to love.  It’s true confessions time… 


2 thoughts on “Loathing Faulkner and other Confessions

  1. […] While I remarked yesterday that Gatsby was one of my all-time favorite novels, my friend at Age30books, Heather Johnson, respectfully disagreed with my assessment.  Heather hates the book.  She doesn’t like the story or the characters, and she is entitled to her opinion.  (Check out my earlier post on classics I hate, here.) […]

  2. […] that for the first 50 pages or so, I felt like I was reading Faulkner.  (And some of you may know how I feel about Faulkner.) Multiple character’s stream of consciousness filled the pages, and I grew ever more […]

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