26 feb. 2008


Faulkner. Sanctuary 1931. 250 pp.

At the level of the individual phrase there's no beating Faulkner. I noticed that there is always a well-educated ineffectual middle-aged man in a Faulkner novel--or at least in these two I've just read. The disaffected intellectual through whom a lot of the narration is focalized, but who does not actually narrate. The disgraced preacher Hightower in LIA and the aimless lawyer Horace Bemlow here.

I like how the narration jumps ahead--then pulls back later to explain.

The bleakest view of human nature I've found is not in Faulkner but in Iris Murdoch. Faulkner thinks people are foolish but he still llkes them on some level. The kindest view is that of George Eliot. The biggest disappointment has been Jacob's Room. I barely remember Glory.

It would be interesting to try to remember everything possible about a novel read exactly a month ago. What sticks in the mind?

I will now do that with The Sandcastle:

William Mor is a teacher of Latin at a typical English boarding school. He lives in fear of his wife, Nan. He has a son, Donald, who attends the school, and a daughter ???, younger than Donald. Donald likes to climb tall objects. A woman painter, Rain, daughter of another famous painter who has just died, arrives to paint the portrait of ????, the former headmaster at the school. William and Rain have a close encounter in the rose garden and fall in love. There is rather pedantic art teacher who is against the painting of portratis on religious grounds.

Mor and Rain have an escapade in her car, in which the car ends up in the river. Mor takes the train home. Tim Burke, a jeweler friend of Mor and Nan, lies to protect Mor, even without being asked. More foolishness ensues. Burke (whose name I remember because of the history professor at Swarthmore who has a blog), wants Mor to run to be an MP in the Labour party.

Donald admires Burke, who has a thing for Nan. His father wants him to study chemistry in the University but he would rather be a jeweler like Burke.

Scenes of playing cricket. Scenes of Mor chasing after Rain.

The children discover the love affair of their father. The daughter is psychic and has communication with the dead family dog and a spirt named "Angus," possibly.

At some big school event, Donald climbs a huge tower with his friend ??? and there is a dramatic rescue. Mor acts heroically but Donald disappears.

Nan goes on vacation with daughter. Mor continues affair, but does not sleep with Rain. Nan comes back and finds Rain in her house with William. Runs to Tim Burke for consolation. Drinks alchohol, which normally she doesn't touch.

At the big banquet in honor of Rain's portrait of headmaster, Nan is to give a speech. She announces something that effectively ends the affair. She has won. Mor will be MP, but Rain runs away from him.

I actually remember more than I thought I would. I could even provide more detail than I have here but I need to go to bed.

1 comentario:

Terry dijo...

I think the last one failed.

I hate it when I can't find the note I want. I am not able to do what you did (I play the pennywhistle), and have to map the shape of the melody, and figure out the relative distance of the notes.

Worst is when I am trying to play an arrangement I prefer to the one written in front of me.

When I manage it, however, it feels wonderful.