As I Lay Dying is one of those insane novels that is absolutely essential for anyone who was wondering why William Faulkner is still the man. Vardaman’s exclamation “My mother is a fish” is traced so deeply into the hard drive of my imagination that it was wild to see Julie Ruane’s post about names in As I lay Dying that includes some pretty wild images that infuse that preposition with some crazy graphics:
I love when someone takes something near and dear to you like a quote from Faulkner and further accentuates it’s insanity.
Julie is posting as one of a number of students for Mara Scanlon’s Freshman Seminar on Ethics in Literature, and given the number of posts (106) and comments (256), let there be no question that Scanlon is quickly becoming the diva of blogging at UMW. She has been amazing in having her student reflect and share openly about their readings, as well as sharing relevant resources like Julie demonstrates beautifully.
On a Faulkner-related note, I was recently asked to talk about Absalom, absalom! (the greatest American novel ever written) to a book club at a restored African American School in Winchester, VA., which I believe was a Julius Rosenfeld funded school. This is kind of wild for me, because I make no claims to be anything more than a Faulkner fanboy, I am not entrenched in the Faulkner scholarship, which is immense, but rather believe Faulkner and I share one very basic thing—a strong belief in nostalgia as the only way forward. Regardless, despite my attempt to tell them I am probably not the best person for the job, I am still being courted and it looks like in may actually happen sometime in April or May—though I hold out the real possibility that they will come to their senses before then.
But to be honest, I am thrilled at the opportunity to read Absalom, absalom! a couple of times before then and try to frame some kind of vision of why the hell an instructional technologist is talking to a group of folks about Faulkner in a restored African American school. Regardless of the absurdity of the situation, I haven’t been even remotely as excited about anything I’ve been asked to do in the past four years as I have at this opportunity. It may very well be the coolest thing I’ve ever done as an instructional technologist—if that makes any sense.