Who influenced William Faulkner

Portrait of the author

Madness and madness

Rating by MaWiOr from Halle on July 16, 2012

The novel "Schall und Wahn" ("The Sound and the Fury"), published in 1929, is one of the early works of the American writer William Faulkner (1897-1962) and yet it is one of the classics of world literature of the 20th century. For Faulkner it was even “the one of my books that I love most”. Using the example of the Compson family from Jefferson, Mississippi, the author tells of the decline of the old American South, which was a central theme of his entire work. Faulkner uses an unusual narrative style here, however, because the fate of the family is depicted on only three consecutive April days in 1928. First, Faulkner gives a brief but detailed introduction to the eventful past of the Compsons since the 17th century. Then the real family story begins, which is often presented to the reader in internal monologues of the main characters. On the first day of the novel, the oppressive everyday life of the family is portrayed from the perspective of the adult and mentally handicapped Benjamin. Hence his observations and sensory impressions seem incoherent and mysterious. Benjamin's confused trains of thought are supplemented by the memories of one of his brothers, with the novel jumping back in time by almost eighteen years. On the second day of April, which is one day before the first section of the novel, a brother also describes his view of things, while on the third day the narrator himself takes the floor, but without unraveling all the secrets of the Compson family. Like most of Faulkner's novels, “Schall und Wahn” is not an easy read. The plot is broken up by flashbacks, cuts and internal monologues. Despite this experimental and innovative narrative style, the author succeeds time and again in captivating the reader and keeping the tension alive. The novel was filmed in 1959 ("Curse of the South") directed by Martin Ritt and starring Yul Brunner and Joanne Woodward. Manfred Orlick

The rascals

Rating by MaWiOr from Halle on 07/14/2012

In more than twenty novels and short story volumes, the American writer and Nobel Prize winner William Faulkner (1897-1962) drew a vivid and realistic picture of life in the southern states. In them he described the decline of the traditional aristocratic way of life in numerous family and individual fates and also dealt with the racial problems of his time. In his last novel "Die Spitzbuben" ("The Reivers"), which he wrote within a few weeks in 1961, he treats these topics in a very humorous way - almost in the style of Mark Twain. And so the turbulent story is somewhat reminiscent of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. In the novel, the grandfather Lucius "Loosh" Priest tells of his youthful adventure. With two weird but amiable figures, he went on an adventurous jaunt in his grandfather's brand new car when he was eleven. Lucius persuades Boon Hogganbeck, who is a brave but rather unreliable fellow, to drive him. In addition, the smart colored Ned completes the runaway trio. First they make their way to Memphis, where they meet Boon's girlfriend, the prostitute Corrie. In the meantime, Ned has exchanged the car for a stolen racehorse, with which they take part in a race that is more like a big cheat. The three adventurers also have to deal with a nasty sheriff who arrests them. But Corrie frees her with her seductive skills, which in turn annoys the jealous Boon. Back home, however, Boon and Corrie get married and want to name their first child after Lucius. The focus of the turbulent novel is the becoming man of the adolescent Lucius, who is also the narrator at the same time. The famous story was filmed in 1969 with Steve McQueen in the role of Boon Hogganbeck. Manfred Orlick