Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In The Hot Still Pinewiney Silence of An August Afternoon......

I always meant to read Faulkner but somehow never did. Until now. Because someone said there are echos of "The Trial" in "Light In August", I've begun reading "Light In August".

When it starts, a young woman, Lena, is walking the dusty roads of rural Alabama, trying to find the father of the child who lies in her womb. She sits down on a ditchbank at the side of a road for some moments rest. She hears a wagon, and looks up and sees it coming towards her.
The sharp and brittle crack and clatter of its weathered and ungreased wood and metal is slow and terrific: a series of dry sluggish reports carrying for half a mile across the hot still pinewiney silence of the August afternoon. Though the mules plod in a steady and unflagging hypnosis, the vehicle does not seem to progress. It seems to hang suspended in the middle distance forever and forever, so infinitesimal is its progress, like a shabby bead upon a mild red string of road.
So much so is this that in the watching of it the eye loses it as sight and sense drowsily merge and blend, like the road itself, with all the peaceful and monotonous changes between darkness and day, like already measured thread being re-wound onto a spool. So that at last, as though out of some trivial and unimportant region beyond even distance, the sound of it seems to come slow and terrific and without meaning, as though it were a ghost travelling a half mile ahead of its own shape...........
I think I'm going to like Faulkner........

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