Literature

Lazy Afternoon Reruns: “‘I don’t hate it! I don’t hate it!'”

And next came Absalom, Absalom! After I got through reading The Sound and the Fury, for about a week I was reading parts of Petrarch’s medieval poetry work La Canzionere as a literary pallet-cleanser when I decided to go ahead with the other William Faulkner novel on my New Year’s Resolution list. Would I have the mental energy to devour another of The Dixie Limited’s novels, this one reputed to be even more difficult and mind-boggling than The Sound and the Fury, while I am teaching next school year? Probably not. Let’s get it done now. So on a Wednesday in mid-June, I put my kids in my little white Echo and we braved the heat between home and the Juliette Hampton Morgan branch of the public library. After finding them another round of summer reading books in the kids’ area, I herded my two little ones across the hall to the adult fiction section, found F FAU, took Absalom, Absalom! off the shelf— and with a sigh went up front to the checkout counter, thinking, Why do I do these things to myself? Couldn’t I just find some enjoyable books and relax this summer . . . ? While a lot of people I know are chattering in veiled terms about those Fifty Shades of Gray housewife porn novels or expressing an intention to read that Henrietta Lacks book, my reading self would remain in self-imposed exile in Yoknapatawpha County, probably to return to the world somewhere around the 4th of July.

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