Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (1 of 7), Read 27 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Steve Warbasse swarbasse@iowabar.org Date: Thursday, November 01, 2001 10:58 AM Not intending to rush anyone. Faulkner's avowed purpose in writing this was to do a "potboiler" and make some money. He succeeded. This is the only one of his books that sold well when it appeared. Therefore, it is a little different from the others. We've taken a look at race and bigotry, religion and religious fundamentalism, Southern romanticism about the war. Now we take a look at another touchy subject--Southern womanhood. I really do feel for Horace Benbow during his slow disillusionment as this novel progresses. The closing of Faulkner's 1950 Novel Prize acceptance speech goes this way: I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail. I'll be damned if I can see how this squares with his novels, most particularly Sanctuary. The despair at the end of this one seems overwhelming to me. As a result I think the title of this novel is a supremely ironic one. There is no sanctuary. Steve
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (2 of 7), Read 22 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Thursday, November 01, 2001 02:09 PM Oh, good! A thread on Sanctuary!!!! Those little day-to-day mundane responsibilities have seriously beaten up my reading and computer time lately. But I've set aside a couple hours this afternoon to (hopefully) finish Sanctuary. I had a really difficult time keeping everybody straight in the first third of this book. I felt as tho I were trapped in a story between the 'Hatfield and McCoys' and the backwoods boys from 'Deliverance.' But, now I'm approaching the meat of the novel; folks are becoming familiar and the writing is clearly on the wall that Horace Benbow is in for the ride of his life. Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (3 of 7), Read 22 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Thursday, November 01, 2001 02:17 PM Has this guy ever written a bad book?? It seems each one I pick up is better than the last one of his I've read! I'm really looking forward to The Sound and The Fury..I've heard that's his best. Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (4 of 7), Read 13 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Dale Short dshort@bham.rr.com Date: Thursday, November 01, 2001 03:24 PM Beej: If you want to see yet another side of Faulkner, please check out one of his lesser-known short stories titled "Two Soldiers." I think it originally appeared in The Saturday Evening Post. It may be less "literary" than many of Faulkner's other works, but it was a solid favorite when I taught it to high school writers over the years. And considering today's current events, I suspect "Two Soldiers" has more impact now than ever. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (5 of 7), Read 17 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Thursday, November 01, 2001 09:14 PM Hey, Dale! I'll check into that one, too. Thanks! It does seem each Faulkner story I've read so far is different than the ones before. Jesse, I remember you said before you're a papa of two (three?) little munchkins and I'm sure your time is at a premium. Take all the time you need to read Sanctuary. I don't think this post will spoil anything for you, but you might want to skip my post for right now. (I just don't want to ruin anything for you...) This is such a 'dark' novel. I wasn't sure I could go on reading about Temple's ordeal at Reba's house. It hurts to read this book. Then, BAM! All of a sudden we get a big dose of Virgil Snopes and Fonzo. And we are swept from tragedy to comedy in a heartbeat. Same house, same people, but watching two numbskulls in a whorehouse was absolutely delightful! (Oh, and Dale? I know you've been busy slaving over a keyboard, pounding out those wonderful newspaper columns, but its sure nice to hear from you!) Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (6 of 7), Read 4 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Steve Warbasse swarbasse@iowabar.org Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 11:54 AM Help me, Beej. The madame of the brothel. She with her dogs. What's her name? It has slipped my mind. While it is a little improbable, the fact that these two rubes stay in a brothel for a couple of weeks without knowing what it is was very funny. Steve
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (7 of 7), Read 2 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Steve Warbasse swarbasse@iowabar.org Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 12:00 PM Never mind. Miss Reba. It just popped back into my head. Steve
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (8 of 24), Read 18 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 12:18 PM Yes, Miss Reba. I liked Miss. Reba..her dogs were pretty obnoxious, tho. I finished Sanctuary and I think its safe to say Popeye really was a psychopath. There are parts of this book I'm a bit fuzzy on but I'll wait until Jesse is done before I ask to have those cleared up for me. Popeye was a bastard. Worse than bastard. A corn cob would be too good for him. Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (9 of 24), Read 21 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 12:26 PM Steve, Is either Popeye or Lee Goodwin black? Faulkner doesn't use his usual dialect for them but there are references such as Popeye's black leg, and Goodwin's dark face.. There are several little references that lead me to think that, and if they are black, then there's an added element since Temple and (I presume) Mrs. Goodwin are white. And Narcissa! Boy, what a tough old southern bird she is! The original 'Steel Magnolia.' Her name suits her well. Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (10 of 24), Read 20 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Steve Warbasse swarbasse@iowabar.org Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 12:36 PM Contrasting Joe Christmas and Popeye is very interesting to me. Joe is full of rage and self-hatred, but he does think and feel. Popeye on the other hand? There is a great chapter in Moby Dick wherein Melville discusses the terrifying nature of the whiteness of the whale. He points out that white is more terrifying than black. Black implies something, but white is nothingness and is therefore far more frightening. This, I think, applies to Popeye. There is no emotion or thought in this guy. He is completely unfeeling. There is this frightening nothingness about him. His impotence is part of this. Perfectly cold blooded killer. When he stands at the end of the bed watching Temple and Red have sex and whinnies as he does so, it gives me the heebie-jeebies. Steve
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (11 of 24), Read 18 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Steve Warbasse swarbasse@iowabar.org Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 12:41 PM Yes, notwithstanding what I said about whiteness above, there are repeated references to the color black in connection with Popeye. His opaque black eyes when he watches Horace drink, for example. Still, it is clear to me that racially, these guys are white. If I am wrong on that, then this is an entirely different novel from the one in my mind right now. Steve
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (12 of 24), Read 16 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 12:45 PM no, I read this book with the understanding that they were white, but then Faulkner would describe Goodwin's face as dark and refer to Popeye's leg as black. I'm confused is all. Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (13 of 24), Read 17 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 12:42 PM And how awful it was when we find out why Temple bled so profusely in the car. What a monster. It was interesting to find out Popeye was born on Christmas day. And again, in this novel, fire was used to solve a problem. Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (14 of 24), Read 17 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Steve Warbasse swarbasse@iowabar.org Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 12:44 PM Yes, and I made a mistake about that early in the Light in August topic. Joe Christmas was not born on Christmas Day. He was put in the orphanage on Christmas Day. I had him confused with Popeye in that regard. Steve
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (15 of 24), Read 19 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Steve Warbasse swarbasse@iowabar.org Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 12:48 PM As for the rape--and I well know this is a touchy subject--does it not appear to you that Temple Drake embraces her own degradation in this novel? I am not going so far as to say "she was asking for it." Still, her conduct out there with these guys was clearly very provocative. Her conduct afterward and in the brothel is certainly not in the nature of resistance either. Steve
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (16 of 24), Read 17 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 12:51 PM The questions I have are partly in regard to Temple's testimony. But I'll wait a couple days until Jesse is done. What is it with Faulkner and fire? Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (17 of 24), Read 16 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Steve Warbasse swarbasse@iowabar.org Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 12:54 PM Maybe fire just intrigues him. His two most highly regarded short stories are "A Rose for Emily" and "Barn Burning," the latter--as you can no doubt tell--again featuring a fire. Steve
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (18 of 24), Read 18 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 12:56 PM Steve, What you said about Temple after the rape. Absolutely! The longer she stayed at Reba's the more she seemed to bask in it all. And proof of this is that after she was able to slip out and make that phone call, she went back! Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (19 of 24), Read 17 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 01:03 PM She and Joanna share similarities in that both were virgins and both, once they became sexually active, behaved like nymphomaniacs. Temple was really turned on by Red, all over him, saying she was 'burning up.' Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (20 of 24), Read 21 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Steve Warbasse swarbasse@iowabar.org Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 01:16 PM Okay. I feel better now knowing I wasn't imagining things about Temple. She is from the higher levels of society and an Ole Miss coed. In fact Miss Reba, the madame of the Memphis brothel, and Ruby, the prostitute, are far more admirable women. [Stop here, Jesse.] She lies during her testimony, and an innocent man is convicted and lynched. Not a good person, this Temple, as it turns out. That weak stick boyfriend of hers does his class no honor either. Steve
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (21 of 24), Read 21 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Steve Warbasse swarbasse@iowabar.org Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 01:21 PM Come to think of it, respectable society does not come off well generally here. The ladies of the town persecute Ruby. Eustace Graham is more of a lynch master than a prosecutor. Clarence Snopes is just a scummy politician and busybody. And with that I need to get back to work. I could easily yack about this stuff interminably. Steve
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (22 of 24), Read 22 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 01:37 PM Not only do they persecute Ruby, they persecute Horace Benbow for treating her with kindness. Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (23 of 24), Read 25 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 01:44 PM By her weak stick boyfriend I presume you mean Gowan, the guy who got her in this mess to begin with. What a lily livered, little shit he was. And to think he had been engaged to Narcissa. Now, that would have really been a marriage made in hell. On the other hand, they deserved one another. A match made in heaven AND a marriage made in hell. Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (24 of 24), Read 15 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Friday, November 02, 2001 10:05 PM My take on Temple is that she was not really an innocent prior to going to that cabin with Gowan. I think she was bored out of her brain long before any of this occurred. Temple was the only child of an elderly widower. Her father, a judge, spent days on his front porch fanning himself as he watched a black man mow his yard. At the end of the book, she is again with her father. She studies her image in her compact mirror and yawns. She is bored..I doubt she'll be with the judge for long.. Temple offers sex to Tommy in exchange for protection. She doesn't hesitate. Not exactly a typical innocent's suggestion. And, when Popeye stops for gas, she says she cannot get out, that she is bleeding too hard. He leaves and when he returns, he finds her hiding. Is she hiding from Popeye in hopes of escaping? Nope. She says: "He nearly saw me! He was almost looking right at me! He was coming right toward me! A boy. At school." Temple Drake obviously did enjoy her new life. Or, if not enjoy, she certainly wasn't in any hurry to get back to her old life. But, Red was dead, Popeye was gone and Reba was wise, thanks to Horace, to the situation that lead up to Temple being at the brothel. Where else did she have to go? Who else was going to take care of Temple? Nobody. Except daddy. Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (30 of 41), Read 26 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Tuesday, November 06, 2001 08:05 PM In regards to Temple and Little Belle, and how they have become almost intertwined in Horace's mind. When Horace goes to Reba's house to speak with Temple, she tells him of lying on the mattress filled with shucks. She senses Popeye approaching. As he stands over her she says "Come on, touch me. Touch me! You're a coward if you don't. Coward! Coward!" A little while later, Horace goes home and sees little Belle's photograph. Her face appears to breath and appears to 'swoon in voluptuous languor...leaving upon his eye a soft and fading aftermath of invitation and voluptuous promise and secret affirmation like a scent itself'. Horace fantasizes about Little Belle.. 'she was bound on her back on a flat car moving at speed through a black tunnel...the car shot bodily from the tunnel in a long upward slant, the darkness overhead now shredded with parallel attenuations of living fire, toward a crescendo like a held breath, an interval in which she would swing faintly and lazily in nothingness filled with pale, myriad points of light. Far beneath her she could hear the faint, furious uproar of the shucks.' Is Horace fantasizing over Little Belle, or Temple? Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (31 of 41), Read 27 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Tuesday, November 06, 2001 08:18 PM Temple knew Popeye was going to kill Red. She repeatedly told him she would give him one more chance to back out from shooting Red, and Popeye did not back down. Temple constantly threw the word 'coward' into the faces of the men in her life...first Gowan, when he refused to ask Popeye for a ride from that cabin..then Popeye, when he stood over her while on that shuck mattress...Popeye again, about killing Red..and then Red, himself, when she told him Popeye came to kill him. Lying about Lee Goodwin in her testimony was not the only instance where Temple's actions caused the death of a man. She KNEW Popeye would kill Red if she saw him again. I think she was as unfeeling and cold hearted as Popeye..perhaps they were both psychopaths. Except she survived. Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (32 of 41), Read 24 times Conf: Constant Reader From: S.F. Strahan Date: Wednesday, November 07, 2001 10:15 AM Did anyone else catch that Temple affectionately referred to Popeye as "Daddy"? That raises some interesting questions in itself. Also, one thing that struck me at the beginning of the book was that Faulkner used (over-used?) the word "reverted". Usually it was in describing Temple's movements, but it was also used once I think in connection with the woman at the cabin. I have to think the use of that word over and over again is significant. It kept hitting me in the face. It took me a while to figure out what he was talking about. I assume that "she reverted" meant she turned around and if her head revert it turned. It struck me as a really odd usage of the word. And that the word was used so often in the beginning of the novel really has me wondering what if Faulkner wanted to plant that word in the reader's mind, particularly in connection with Temple, so that maybe later in the book we would think of her degradation as being a reversion to her true, inner, self. Just a thought. ~~Susan~~ "Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?" ---Winnie The Pooh
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (33 of 41), Read 25 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Thursday, November 08, 2001 08:03 AM Susan, I wonder if this reference to Popeye as 'daddy' has anything to do with Temple's tendency to want men to take care of her. Besides using men to add more excitement to her life, Temple also manipulates men into taking care of her. That business about Faulkner's repeated use of the word 'revert' is interesting. I wonder if it has anything to do with Faulkner's constant theme in his books I've read so far, to the pre-civil war South..it seems there is always one character in each novel who tries to 'revert' back to those days. I'm toying with the idea of picking up Requiem of A Nun, which is the sequel to Sanctuary. In this sequel, Temple is married to, of all people, Gowan. Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (34 of 41), Read 29 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Steve Warbasse swarbasse@iowabar.org Date: Thursday, November 08, 2001 10:09 AM Requiem for a Nun is really a play, Beej. Before you tear off in that direction, give some consideration to trying a few of his short stories while we catch our breaths. Collected Short Stories of William Faulkner. Just an idea. Steve
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (35 of 41), Read 22 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Thursday, November 08, 2001 03:16 PM Faulkner's short stories sound good, too. In fact, I promised Anne Wilfong I would read Go Down, Moses with her next. Isn't that a collection of shorts? Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (36 of 41), Read 23 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Steve Warbasse swarbasse@iowabar.org Date: Thursday, November 08, 2001 04:02 PM Well, yes, in a way. Good choice. Let's do it. Steve
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (37 of 41), Read 17 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Felix Miller felix3rd@bellsouth.net Date: Thursday, November 08, 2001 09:46 PM Go Down, Moses is a great choice. A collection of separate parts which make a whole. Along with The Sound and the Fury and Absalom, Absalom, my favorite Faulkner. O the Book/ Of the Dead, and the dead bright sun on the page/ Where the team stands ready to explode/ In all directions with Time... Felix Miller
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (38 of 41), Read 16 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Anne Wilfong anne.wilfong@gte.net Date: Thursday, November 08, 2001 10:42 PM Beej, Steve... I'll be starting GO DOWN MOSES this weekend. I got THE PORTABLE FAULKNER,too, and it looks priceless. Looking forward to the ride! Anne
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (39 of 41), Read 16 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Daniel LeBoeuf dan1066@yahoo.com Date: Thursday, November 08, 2001 10:47 PM While you're setting up the next Faulkner, what is that early Faulkner novel where two unrelated stories are meshed--one about a couple having problems in Mississippi and another about a convict trying to claw his way out of a raging river? I remember this book reminded me a lot of Sanctuary, but I can't for the life of me remember its title. Dan It's OK--they're all smoking!
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (40 of 41), Read 10 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Felix Miller felix3rd@bellsouth.net Date: Friday, November 09, 2001 12:27 PM Daniel, I believe that was from some collection titled "If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem," or some such. Hallmark made a TV drama a couple of years back of that story. The convict caught in the flood, I mean. I read the story after the Hallmark special, although I had not read any of the earlier stuff before that. Sanctuary had been my earliest Faulkner read. O the Book/ Of the Dead, and the dead bright sun on the page/ Where the team stands ready to explode/ In all directions with Time... Felix Miller
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (41 of 41), Read 3 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Steve Warbasse swarbasse@iowabar.org Date: Friday, November 09, 2001 06:10 PM I believe Felix is correct, and I also believe, though I am less sure, that the convict story was also published as a separate short story. I will check. Steve
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (52 of 54), Read 22 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Jesse Munoz jmunoz@ont.com Date: Monday, November 12, 2001 11:35 AM Hey guys, Sorry about the belated reply. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I just finished the book this weekend. By the way, this is a great thread. I purposely avoided it until I finished the book. Thanks to those who warned me about spoilers. Alright, first thoughts. To call this novel "dark" is to understate on a cosmic level. Wow, I almost felt like I needed to bathe after I finished it. I found parts of the novel difficult. Faulkner seems, at times, to burst from one scene to another with no warning whatsoever(I better get ready for Sound and the Fury. By the way, the scene where Horace is fantasizing-- I presumed he was thinking about Temple. This was my first Faulkner novel, and I want to read more. He is, as advertised, difficult. But he rewards the reader for pushing through. I was fascinated by the novel's structure. Nothing is straightforwardly revealed. And as violent as it is, Faulkner is almost subtle in his approach. He strikes me as a supreme artist, shading words as an painter might shade a pastoral scene. I'm baffled by one thing. Why the scenes involving the two barber students? Was it to lighten up a very dark, moody tome? Beej and Steve, sorry I took so long to reply. Is GO DOWN MOSES... next on the list? Jesse Munoz
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (53 of 54), Read 21 times Conf: Constant Reader From: Beej Connor connorva@mindspring.com Date: Monday, November 12, 2001 12:07 PM Jesse, Sometimes I think Faulkner uses 'lighter' characters for a twofold purpose. Definitely as a comic relief, but perhaps also to make us less accustomed, less numb, to the darkness of his characters. These lighter characters allow the reader to 'heal' a bit. And then Faulkner re-opens the 'wound', so to speak....perhaps just a touch of literary sadism there? I suppose the ability to cause the reader emotional pain is a talent unto itself. And Faulkner sure does have this ability.. Go Down, Moses is what some of us are reading next but I'm more than happy to dally here in this thread for awhile longer to further discuss Sanctuary with you! Beej
Topic: Sanctuary: Wm. Faulkner (54 of 54), Read 20 times Conf: Constant Reader From: R Bavetta rbavetta@prodigy.net Date: Monday, November 12, 2001 12:53 PM >>perhaps also to make us less accustomed, less numb, to the darkness of his characters. Wow, Beej, that's a terrific insight. I hadn't thought of it that way. Ruth "I don't have a favorite song. I only have the song I'm singing today" Berenice Reagon