As an English major in college, I had to take a course in American literature. One day, my professor said that a lot of great American literature came from the South. As a wise-cracking young adult in the early ’90s, my hair sprayed with Proforma 5 inches high, I smacked my gum and said, “That’s because there’s nothing else to do down there.”
I was quite naïve. When one thinks about the south, humidity, heat, kids hanging out smoking in the Wal-Mart parking lot might come to mind. Then there’s more humidity, mosquitoes, hanging out on the front porch on Sunday afternoons, more heat, and sun tea. Great literature probably doesn’t pop up in that list.
When reading Faulkner I discovered that you must first approach his work as poetry and then story. Otherwise you miss out on the vivid imagery and the southern dialect, like this excerpt from As I Lay Dying by the character Darl:
“Pa’s feet are badly splayed, his toes cramped and bent and warped, with no toenail at all on his little toes, from working so hard in the wet in homemade shoes when he was a boy. Beside his chair his brogans sit. They look as though they had been hacked with a blunt axe out of pig-iron.”
As a student I didn’t see Faulkner as much more than an assignment. But now, I can’t wait to read more.
- Faulkner’s Voice Revealed in New Audiotapes (newsweek.com)
- Ole Miss Has A New Mascot, The Rebel Black Bear [VIDEO] (realestateradiousa.com)
- Are We Developing Ghost Towns? (socyberty.com)
- Ole Miss: New mascot now “Rebel Black Bear” (denverpost.com)
- ‘The Help’: Can a Rich White Woman Write Honestly About Black Servants? (politicsdaily.com)