The Sound And The Fury…In Color!
I really hated The Sound and The Fury.
And that surprised me. Faulkner’s a southern boy, he’s “my people,” so I really thought I would enjoy that novel.
But I think I would rather eat cold grits and 3-day-old scrambled eggs than read that novel again.
That said, if I ever choose to read The Sound and the Fury again, I have a better option than the traditional versions of the novel.
The Folio Society will soon be publishing the novel as Faulkner had originally desired—with color-coded sections that indicate the everchanging timeline of the story.
Here’s how The Folio Society describes their reasoning behind this unusual approach:
One of the reasons Benji’s narrative is hard to follow is because it jumps around in time with little indication of the change, other than italics. But when Faulkner was working on the book in the 1920s — “The Sound and the Fury” was published in 1929 — he imagined a way to make the section clearer to readers. “I wish publishing was advanced enough to use colored ink,” Faulkner wrote to his editor, “as I argued with you and Hal in the Speakeasy that day.”
“I’ll just have to save the idea until publishing grows up,” he added, inadvertently launching a challenge to future publishers. Nine decades later, the Folio Society took it up.
This sounds promising.
Though it might be a little unusual, and possibly painful on the eyes, to read a variety of colored text on every page, I think it would make a huge difference in understanding the novel.
Faulkner himself seemed to realize the complexity of timeline in his novel, and it seems that he would fully endorse reprinting the book like this.
Maybe other novels that jump around in a timeline should take this approach. What do you think?
(Image: The Folio Society)