Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Aimless Reading: The F's, Part 3 (William Faulkner)

As I Lay Dying
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Faulkner, William
As I Lay Dying

Not sure where or when I bought this book. I read it in college, though I am sure I never read it in a class. I don't know if this is the copy I read back then or if I bought it later to have a copy of my own. It contains underlining toward the back of the book, but it is not mine. Alas.

I remember that me & my friends who had read the book found the one sentence chapter by Vardaman endlessly entertaining. It reads thus:

My mother is a fish.

It became kind of joke among us to blurt this sentence out in the middle of a group at a party, apropos of nothing, and then to repeat it a hundred times in funny voices until we burst out laughing.

In fact, now that think of it, I was part of the joke before I had actually read the book on my own. I remember being surprised when I did read it on my own to discover that though the words were idiotic and were spoken by a character who was more or less an idiot, they made a certain kind of sense in the context of the narrative as a whole.

Not that I any longer remember what sense they made. But they did make sense. Of that I am sure.


Jessica Smith said...

I read this exact edition in high school (senior year, AP English with Mrs. Cammarata) ... we had to do a number of projects with it. One was to make a map of their journey, which I made so that it looked like a Mondrian painting-- red and blue and black squares and lines-- and my group members were pissed b/c they thought we'd surely fail b/c it looked nothing like a map, but of course maps don't have to look like anything, they just have to "map" (function, verb) so we did fine. The second group activity was to put on a skit. I was Vardaman and I'd just learned about catatonia, so I got to be this traumatized kid with one refrain (now makes me think of Deleuze)... a very fun role, but one that made people think I was weird. I was, of course, ... well yes maybe a little.

Michael Kelleher, Buffalo, NY said...

Sounds like a fun role to play, anyhow.