Friday, December 14, 2012

Flannery Fridays QOTW: Flannery On Faulkner




"The presence alone of Faulkner in our midst makes a great difference in what the writer can and cannot permit himself to do. Nobody wants his mule and wagon stalled on the same track the Dixie Limited is roaring down."

Sometimes the meaning of O'Connors words are a bit hard to decipher. What does William Faulkner do with the art of writing? It seems to me anything and almost everything....as long as it works. That's the thing with Faulkner, it DOES work. Sometimes he uses punctuation; sometimes he does not. His use of stream of consciousness in writing is probably rivaled only by James Joyce (not that I've read many who use the technique. Okay, I've only read Joyce and Faulkner so far). But it always works.

I think what O'Connor is saying is that we should throw out the old if the new is better. Throw out our old ideas about writing, art, personal hygiene, housecleaning, etc, if there is a newer and better way.  That's a tall order. And hard.

Faulkner is that newer way. I've only just started reading him and already he has changed the way I write. He has given me permission to experiment, to see what works. He's even told me to read trash. What else is there? Why am I chomping at the bit at 6 AM to read a book I have to think about in order to understand? Because Faulkner has something I want. And so I read.