Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

By William Faulkner

"Read, learn, learn. learn everything-trash, classics, solid and undesirable, and spot how they do it. similar to a chippie who works as an apprentice and reviews the grasp. learn! You'll soak up it. Then write. whether it is reliable, you'll discover. If it's now not, throw it out the window." -William Faulkner
 
Absalom, Absalom! is Faulkner's epic story of Thomas Sutpen, an enigmatic stranger who involves Jefferson, Mississippi, within the early 1830s to wrest his mansion out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi desolate tract. He was once a guy, Faulkner acknowledged, "who sought after sons and the sons destroyed him."

From the alternate Paperback edition.

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Example text

I simply fled. I like to find out people for myself. But Lady Brandon treats her guests exactly as an auctioneer treats his goods. ’ ‘Poor Lady Brandon! ’ said Hallward, listlessly. * How could I admire her? But tell me, what did she say about Mr. ’ ‘Oh, something like, “Charming boy––poor dear mother and I absolutely inseparable. Quite forget what he does––afraid he–– doesn’t do anything––oh, yes, plays the piano––or is it the violin, The Picture of Dorian Gray  dear Mr. ’ ‘Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one,’ said the young lord, plucking another daisy.

And why is it so? Because, while I was painting it, Dorian Gray sat beside me. ’ ‘Basil, this is extraordinary! ’ Hallward got up from the seat, and walked up and down the garden. After some time he came back. ‘Harry,’ he said, ‘Dorian Gray is to me simply a motive in art. You might see nothing in him. I see everything in him. He is never more present in my work than when no image of him is there. He is a suggestion, as I have said, of a new manner. I find him in the curves of certain lines, in the loveliness and subtleties of certain colours.

That is all. The nineteenth century dislike of Realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass. The nineteenth century dislike of Romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass. The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style.

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