For the Back to Classics Challenge Gothic/horror category I decided to dip into the genre of Southern Gothic. My local library doesn’t have any of Flannery O’Connor’s novels so I grabbed William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! …I only made it through about 20 pages before giving up (and I don’t give up on books very often). The sentences were incredibly convoluted, some of the paragraphs were pages long, and the story consisted of the bitter ramblings of an old person that kept doubling back to the same ideas over and over. I opened to random pages and skimmed a bit and it looked like the remaining 300 pages were more of the same no matter who was talking.
This seems to be more about Faulkner showing off or experimenting than anything. I don’t mind pretentious literary fiction now and then (I like some Italo Calvino), but not 300+ densely packed pages of it. I’ve heard/read people gush about Faulkner, but my first encounter with him was not encouraging…maybe I’ll try something shorter like his As I Lay Dying one of these days, but for now he’s a big Nope! For my Gothic/horror category I’ve decided to opt for the true Gothic The Monk by Matthew Lewis – I’ll take melodramatic over pretentious.