I like words. Some words, though, are gross. In fact, we talked about disgusting words a couple of weeks ago.
But the English language, fortunately, is not only comprised of nastiness. Yes, it does indeed have some beautiful words that either flow off the tongue or bring humor to the part of the brain that deals with humor (I’m not a science major, so work with me here).
With that in mind, today I present to you five words that make me smile. May we begin?
Not literally. Maybe metaphorically. Definitely emotionally. Huh?
What am I talking about?
Ever wondered what true stream-of-consciousness writing looked like?
This passage comes from page 94 of The Sound and The Fury. Take it away, William Faulkner:
With a tip of the cap to Michael Hyatt (by the way, I’ll be guest posting on his blog Oct. 28), today’s light-hearted post comes from comedian Brian Regan.
This guy cracks me up. His face alone makes me laugh. Will Ferrell might be the only other human on the planet who can stare straight ahead with no expression and make me laugh.
But back to Brian Regan. In this hilarious clip, he wonders why publishers put the title of the book at the top of every other page (they’re called “running heads”).
You know a comedian is creative when he can make you laugh by talking about something as mundane as header copy on a book. Enjoy!
One interesting aspect of a popular novel that was released in the 1920s–it usually has all sorts of unique book covers because it has been reprinted so many times.
That’s definitely the case with The Sound and The Fury. Before I post my preview for each novel, I always do an image search for book covers on Google. This Faulkner novel might have more different covers than any book I’ve read so far.
So, with a nod to my post about creepy Neuromancer book covers, I thought we could take a look at some of The Sound and The Fury‘s more interesting covers.
Ah yes. Nothing like talking about the president to the stir the pot.
Though I have an undergrad degree in political science, I won’t bore you with political talk. In fact, I wouldn’t have much to say anyway. I received my political science degree many years ago, back when I actually believed politicians had something to offer.
Anyway, I digress. What was this post about? Oh yeah, Obama’s books.
So our friends over at The Daily Beast recently listed all of the books Obama has read since he became president in 2008.
Here’s a few that made the list. I’ll comment on each.
Today’s post is the first guest post in the history of 101 Books. I probably won’t be putting up that many guest posts, but I thought Ross Lampert gave a nice counter-point to my view on Neuromancer. Ross is a contributor at Cochise Writers and a commenter here on 101 Books. (For a recap of how much I hated this book, here’s my review.) Now, for the other side of the story:
Neuromancer is disturbing, disorienting, decadent, drug- and crime-laced, über-noir, and dystopian. The novel has an unsympathetic, anti-hero protagonist. It’s easy to see how someone who doesn’t read science fiction regularly—or even someone who does—would have such a hard time with Neuromancer.
But this book is not representative of 1980s science fiction, so a little science fiction history is in order to understand how Gibson’s book ended up on Time’s top-100 list and won so many awards.
It’s time for this Southern boy to dive into some Faulkner.
The Sound and The Fury is one of two Faulkner novels on the list–the second being Light in August. I read excerpts of Faulkner in college, as well as short stories he wrote, but I’ve never read an entire Faulkner novel.
The book, like all of Faulkner’s novels, is set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. This one centers on the Compsons–a family who were once Southern aristocrats but have come on hard times. The first section of the book is told from the point of view of a 33-year-old mentally handicapped man named Benji. It appears to be somewhat difficult to read and nonlinear.
Faulkner uses the stream-of-consciousness technique (hello Woolf and Joyce), so I expect this book to require a little more concentration. Let’s hope I enjoy it more than Mrs. Dalloway, though.
Here are a few quick facts about The Sound and The Fury:
Have you ever wanted to reach through the pages of a book, grab a character by the neck, and verbally abuse that character with your darts of intellectual and moral wisdom?
April Wheeler might be one of the most complicated, perplexing, frustrating characters I’ve ever encountered in a novel. She’s selfish, egocentric, manipulative, lazy, cynical, hateful, and all sorts of other negative adjectives that I don’t have time to list. Her husband, Frank, is no saint. He has his share of issues—most notably, his inclination to cheat on his wife.
But Richard Yates writes these two characters in Revolutionary Road in such a way that I found myself totally pulled into the drama of Frank and April Wheeler.
The story is all about these two people—the Wheelers—as they cope with life as a young couple in the post-War 1950s, with two kids, living in the sameness of suburban America, and struggling to find meaning to their lives.