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The Old People (included in The Norton…
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The Old People (included in The Norton Introduction to Literature - 5th… (edició 1942)

de William Faulkner

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584346,947 (3.5)8
Bei einer Überschwemmung des Mississippi rettet ein entflohener Sträfling eine Schwangere; das schafft eine Bindung zwischen ihnen, der sich der Mann entzieht, indem er seine Freiheit aufgibt und ins Gefängnis zurückkehrt..
Membre:jymkata
Títol:The Old People (included in The Norton Introduction to Literature - 5th Edition)
Autors:William Faulkner
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Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:fiction, example of initiation context, The Norton Introduction to Literature

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The Old Man de William Faulkner (Author)

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As far as I can recall I never read a Faulkner novel before. I have read a short story or two such as "Two Soldiers" which I remember liking well enough. I could never get very far into "The Sound and the Fury."

"Old Man" is not going to make me a Faulkner fan. He starts off, on page one, with one of my big pet peeves. The neverending sentence. Like the yard that went on forever. I had to go back just now and count the words in the second sentence of this novel ... 309 words. I didn't count twice so don't quote me. My brain doesn't read that way. Of course, this would not be the only sentence to run on a bit.

This story did, however, soon come to fascinate me. Reading this is hard work in several places. Still, I can admire this book - it is a good story. The prose isn't too dense most of the time, but at times I was re-reading trying to make sense of scene shifts and losing track of, literally, who what when where and why. The story itself is set in May 1927, with a massive flooding of the Mississippi river. I wondered if Faulkner was throwing this confusion at me the reader to emulate the confusion of the main character who is caught up in the flood and twisted around night and day. He didn't know where he was or where he was going because it constantly wasn't what he thought. He would try to get a handle on things and then be thrown again into chaos.

For a short novel this is a powerful work. But it is a roiling work and I'm not going to try and describe it further. That can be left to scholars. Honestly, though, the prose is too much for me. I thought about re-reading it when I finished to try and clear some confusion from the story, but I decided that wouldn't help me personally. I had already re-read confusing passages within the novel and remained confused.

So then I went here: http://faulkner.lib.virginia.edu/display/wfaudio16_1 and listened for about half an hour to Mr. Faulkner himself read quickly from the end of the story to a Freshman English class in May 1957. He then fields questions from them. So Faulkner tells us that this story is the counterpoint to another. He wrote a chapter of one story and then he wrote a chapter of this story. The people in this story do the exact opposite of the other story. The two stories were originally together in "The Wild Palms". Alternating chapters.

Mr. Faulkner points out that it is NOT "The Old Man". In his words: "No. It's—it's not "The Old Man," it's "Old Man." That's what the—the Negroes along the river call the river. They never call it the Mississippi nor the river. It's just Old Man. And this had to have some title and so that struck me as being a good title for it. That refers simply to the river."

The extra background from the Q&A with Faulkner added a lot. But since I don't have the point to counterpoint to ...

I don't think the other part of the story would help me understand what happened in this story. ( )
  RBeffa | Feb 7, 2014 |
439. The Old Man, by William Faulkner (read 29 June 1952) This book is not very long and made so little impression on me that I made no mention of it in my diary, though the previous day when I read Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury and his As I Lay Dying I was moved to mention them in my account of that day. ( )
  Schmerguls | May 27, 2013 |
"its folly and pain, which seems to be its only immortality: All in the world I want is just to surrender"

Old Man is a devastatingly poetic account of a convict who is taken out of jail to help in a huge flooding in Mississippi. After a month and 3 weeks of endless rowing along the overflowing river, the convict will taste freedom again, he will help give birth to a child, he'll save several people and in the end he'll return again to the deputy to be arrested again and charged ten additional years for "attempted escape" to his previous sentence.
The unfairness of the situation is presented in such an absurd but logical way that I couldn't help but wonder how could it be possible to make some sense out of these unpredictable and rambling waves of words and sentences which stream along with perfect melody, almost like a soft lullaby.
Indescribably wonderful, don't ask me why. ( )
1 vota Luli81 | Jan 16, 2013 |
i am too old for faulkner. i don't want to work that hard. convict is assigned to help people in a flood. the old man is the river. that's all i know. ( )
  mahallett | Jun 30, 2008 |
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Bei einer Überschwemmung des Mississippi rettet ein entflohener Sträfling eine Schwangere; das schafft eine Bindung zwischen ihnen, der sich der Mann entzieht, indem er seine Freiheit aufgibt und ins Gefängnis zurückkehrt..

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