The final events of William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury take place over Easter weekend of 1928. The first section, “April Seventh, 1928,” is from Benjy Compson’s point of view and takes place on Saturday, although with Benjy free-associating across time from the 1890s to 1928. The last two sections, April 6th and April 8th, [...]
Then Ben wailed again, hopeless and prolonged. It was nothing. Just sound. It might have been all time and injustice and sorrow become vocal for an instant by a conjunction of planets.
Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
One of the Southern sayings of my childhood was that “blue jays go to Hell on Fridays” (my father’s punch-line was to always, having raised this on any day but Friday, ask if any listener could specifically recall seeing a bluejay on Friday). Apparently, the part of the folk-tale I never heard was that they went [...]
I read the newspapers with lively interest. It is seldom that they are absolutely, point-blank wrong. That is the popular belief, but those who are in the know can usually discern an embryo truth, a little grit of fact, like the core of a pearl, round which has been deposited the delicate layers of [...]
Simin Behbahani, the poet known as “the Lioness of Iran,” has died at 87. I’ve only read a few of her poems, but she seems to have been a master of justified righteous fury. As an example, here’s her poem about the 2009 uprising known as the “Green Revolution”
Stop Throwing My Country [...]
Oxford writer and Ole Miss writing prof Chris Offutt has been selected for Best Essays of 2014. Congratulations!
From River Teeth, where the essay appeared:
Congratulations to Chris Offutt, whose essay “Someone Else” from River Teeth Volume 15, Number 1 will be reprinted in The Best American Essays2014. This year’s anthology is guest edited by John Jeremiah Sullivan. The series [...]
I’m almost done with Charles Marsh’s biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which is a powerfully written and moving book. I am very much looking forward to the reading tomorrow at 5:30 at Square Books. Here’s the passage from the end of the chapter where the Gestapo has arrested Bonhoeffer (he did not leave prison alive), [...]
I’m reading Charles Marsh’s biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and looking forward to his reading at Square Books on May 7th.
Marsh was here previously with his book about theology in the civil rights movement, God’s Long Summer. That was one of my favorite readings ever at Square Books.
I’m 170 pages or so into this [...]
University Press of Mississippi has a new look out at the Minor – Scruggs – DeLaughter bribery cases, titled Power Greed Hubris: Judicial Bribery in Mississippi. This one is by James R. Crockett, a professor emeritus at the University of Southern Mississippi and adjunct professor of accountancy at the University of Mississippi. He wrote Hands in [...]
Michiko Kakutani has a really moving review of a new Johnny Cash biography, by Robert Hilburn, that is as good as anything I’ve read for describing the strengths of Cash’s music. It begins:
Johnny Cash’s life was a country song full of love and loss, passion and heartbreak — grief, loneliness, guilt, faith, melodrama [...]