Set In The Deep South That Provided The Backdrop For All Of Faulkner S Finest Fiction, Intruder in the Dust Is The Novel That Marks The Final Phase Of Its Author S Outstanding Creative Period The Chronicle Of An Elderly Black Farmer Arrested For The Murder Of A White Man And Under Threat From The Lynch Mob Is A Characteristically Faulknerian Tale Of Dark Omen, Its Sole Ray Of Hope The Character Of The Young White Boy Who Repays An Old Favour By Proving The Innocence Of The Man Who Saved Him From Drowning In An Icy Creek Faulkner is one of my favorite authors and, although this is not one of my favorite of his books, it has so many powerful offerings, I have overlooked the occasional polemics instead of conversation between characters to give it a very good rating It s heart is in the right place and most of the writing is too Lucas Beauchamp has been arrested for the murder of a white man for shooting him in the back of all things And there the story would lie except that a white boy, an older white woman and a black boy decide to look into his story and uncork a genie s bottle.
The adventure tale mystery is rather fun and exciting at times with the outcome not clear until the very end The truths about human nature that Faulkner Gavin Stevens provides are elemental, honest, not pretty, but highly educational Yes some things you must always be unable to bear Some things you must never stop refusing to bear Injustice and outrage and dishonor and shame No matter how young you are or how old you have got Not for kudos and not for cash your picture in the paper nor money in the bank either Just refuse to bear them.
loc 2803 My only real concern about this novel is the amount of time given to speechifying I wonder if this is because it is later in Faulkner s work and he continues to see the same problems errors sins being repeated over and over around him Perhaps he felt the need to speak out forcefully here through Stevens mouth to young Chick s ear This boy is the future of the South perhaps, the future of Faulkner s county.
Rereading this one I realized why I ve never liked To Kill a Mockingbird which I read after this one as much as most people Not that I don t like Harper Lee s novel, just that I see it as simpler, straight forward and less ambiguous than Faulkner s Early in the 40ies Faulkner wrote to his publisher about a book he had in mind which would be a blood and thunder mystery novel, original in that the solver is a negro, himself in jail for the murder and is about to be lynched, solves murder in self defense The main characters are Lucas Beauchamp descended from white men as well as black and Charles Chick Mallinson who s 16 at the time of novel Chick has been trading favors with Lucas for several years ever since he fell through the ice one winter and Lucas gave him shelter, a fire to dry his clothes and some food Chick has attempted to pay him assuming it only right that a white man pay a black man for favors, but Lucas wouldn t accept the money Thereafter whenever Chick tried to reward Lucas, Lucas returned the favor until Chick was downright frustrated with his own attempts to do what he thought the code of his people required him to do Lucas, because he s white as well as black though, refuses to be taken care of by whites Time and again in the novel someone tells him if you d only behave like a black man Lucas, though, absolutely refuses to act like a black man in a time when codes were clear and black and white coexisted pretty well as long as both played their proper roles The novel is at base a mystery novel, with Lucas accused of murder and the family of the dead man determined to burn him alive but the same code that keeps black and white behavior in sync and allows retaliation if a black man kills a white man requires that they not do it on the Sabbath Lucas is cursed for having committed a murder on a Saturday and making them wait There s some humor in all these codes and breaking of codes Chick on the brink of manhood but still a child so that Lucas code allows him to talk to him where he won t talk to his uncle, the attorney recognizes both the possibility that Lucas is innocent and the essential rightness that he be treated as any other man before the law.
I have always bought into Faulkner s sense that righting racial wrongs in this country is everyone s responsibility I m thinking primarily of The Bear here , whether they re Southern or not, even whether they re new immigrants whose ancestors never lived here during slavery His main idea in this novel has to do with the code that developed in the South pre and post Civil War and which required the white man to take care of the black man but which resisted any interference from outside the South, on the theory that, in its own time, the South meaning of course the white South would solve the discrimination problem without interference from the North or from the government Of course it didn t play out the way that Faulkner would have liked Northerners did invade the South in order to jump start the Civil Rights movement and they met with violent resistance But that was 20 years after the publication of this novel.
This one brought back many of my favorite characters from Yoknapatawpha County Lucas Beauchamp is one of a kind, a black man with an attitude that attitude being that he is just as good and maybe better than some as any white man This took a certain amount of courage in 1940 s Mississippi After being accused of murder, being found standing over the dead body of a white man with a smoking gun in his pocket, he is arrested, and the town prepares for a lynching Enter Gavin Stevens, county lawyer, and his 16 year old nephew Chick Mallison The plot proceeds in typical Faulkner fashion, told from Chick s point of view Twisting, turning, weaving sentences and paragraphs into a tide of words and impressions that pull you in and spit you out 2 or 3 pages later, leaving you breathless and wondering what just happened in your head Never mind, just keep reading, you ll figure it out eventually.
I really liked the women in this one, Miss Habersham and Chick s mother You have to love a 70 year old spinster who ll help you dig up a dead body in the middle of the night And Chick s realization of the strength, endurance, and wisdom of his mother was worth the price of the book for me As Lucas said, If you want something done, give it to a woman to do I couldn t have said it better myself.
Oh, and this book has a perfect ending Faulkner s sense of humor at it s best.
Well I m done I think the correct word is cadence, but I ll tell you what , I really have trouble getting into the rhythm of Faulkner s writing Calling a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author a rambler is probably a bit rude but to say his sentences just go on and on really is putting it mildly as many of them may or might not even perchance take up an entire that is to say possibly the complete page And punctuation, what do double parentheses mean Nemmine that Easier to read than The Sound and Fury, I still considered this book a fair bit of homework.
Lucas Beauchamp is a proud black man who after being found with a fired weapon and the dead body of one Vinson Gowrie, a white man, is thrown in jail causing the townspeople to crowd around awaiting a lynching Fortunately due to a previous good deed, young Chick Mallison owes him a favor and with the help of his Uncle Gavin Stevens the town attorney, his boy Aleck , and a 70 year old Miss Habersham, sets about to prove him innocent Written in 1948 as a commentary on racial injustice, you ll also find out about what menfolk love best which is , Yep you guessed it, their motor cars.
Description Set in the deep south that provided the backdrop for all of Faulkner s finest fiction, Intruder in the Dust is the novel that marks the final phase of its author s outstanding creative period The chronicle of an elderly black farmer arrested for the murder of a white man and under threat from the lynch mob is a characteristically Faulknerian tale of dark omen, its sole ray of hope the character of the young white boy who repays an old favour by proving the innocence of the man who saved him from drowning in an icy creek https www.
com watch v nZ78B I read this in part as a response to what happened in Ferguson, the murder of that young black man still in his first youth The poverty and nth class status of blacks in the south at the time this novel is set the 1940s, just before the advent of MLK and the Civil Rights Movement was harsh and Faulkner captures it, and the murderous white vindictiveness, exquisitely I like Faulkner But if you have not yet read him, please don t start with Intruder read either The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Light in August, Sanctuary, Collected Stories or The Hamlet first Faulkner in his mid to late career became very mannered in his style He was a sad alcoholic by this time and the tipple did not help his writing This novel is the weakest I ve read, second only to the last Snopes volume, The Town The critic Irving Howe has called the plot of Intruder mechanical I agree.
Now Intruder is nowhere near as bad as The Town, but it contains many self indulgent passages where the author elects to be opaque for no good reason at all Some choices of vocabulary are just maddening too Not to mention the not even construction which must occur two or three times on every page Having said that, let me add that there is some wonderful writing here But you must wade through the self indulgence to get to it Faulkner does these scenes in the buggy pitch darkness of the American south, bringing them to life like no one else I ve read In this novel most if not all of the action in and around the cemetery is beautifully rendered Also, whenever he s traveling over landscape you are in excellent hands, but then you get to the point where he feels compelled to insert a ten dollar word, to use Hemingway s phrase Hemingway said that you can t reread Faulkner, because when you do you see how he tricked you the first time through I would limit that caveat mostly to the later work The early work, from The Sound and the Fury onward, is outstanding and highly rereadable.
Recommended with reservations.
Faulkner No problem I m dead I have all the time in the world Me Oh, right Still, I m sure you have lots of other fans chomping at the bit to get a few personal words from you So, I thank you again.
Faulkner Let s keep my bits out of it.
Me Pardon me Anyhow, some people say they can t understand your writing, even when they ve read it two or three times What would you say to them Faulkner read it four times.
Me But what about Strunk and White s basic rules Faulkner What s a Strunk and Whitey Me William Strunk Jr and E B White Elements of Style K I S S Faulkner Are you asking me for a kiss Me No sir K I S S Keep it simple, stupid Faulkner Are you calling me stupid Me No Oh god no.
Faulkner Are you calling me God Anyhow, you re getting closer