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Who was Cassandra?


  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.

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« Reading Faulkner and the News (1) | Main | Reading Faulkner and the News - 3 »

August 24, 2010

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I've not read this book, or any of Faulkner's novels that I recall, so thank you for outlining the plot. I did stumble on the "concept of the elect" term but figured it out. I've read other literature about the South and slavery so have a bit of a sense of the background. Now I really should read Faulkner as well, inspired by this conversation with Peter.

Marja-Leena, maybe if we do a really good job, you won't have to read it! Thanks for pointing out that phrase, too. I'm so used to religious jargon, I forget not everyone is.

I've had English profs say that, to understand a culture, it's better to read its literature than its history. I think the American South makes the case for that position perhaps better than any other region. So many good writers who speak to a universal condition through a real regionalism. I love a lot of the Southern novels, short stories, essays, and poetry I've read. (Though I'm not well-enough read in it to speak with a lot of authority about it.)

I read *The Sound and the Fury* with my favorite English professor, but I never have warmed to Faulkner. And this is even though I understand the truth of what he says. I mean I know he's great and I know he's right. But the obsessiveness of his characters bothers me. It's like nobody sane can catch a break in the dear old Southland.

When I read Absalom, Absalom, I listened to podcast lectures by Professor John Bishop of UC Berkeley. They were very helpful. You can find them at this link (http://webcast.berkeley.edu/course_details_new.php?seriesid=2008-D-28162&semesterid=2008-D) or in the iTunes U area of the iTunes store

You're right, Hattie, and in this book he kills them all off, too! That's OK, it's not everyone's taste,a nd after four books I'm going to be more than ready for something a lot lighter!

Arcster - thank you so much for this lead! I'm going to download them for a road trip I have coming up. Much appreciated.

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