Tuesday, January 1, 1980

William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying published 50 years ago this year

First posted 7/6/2020.

As I Lay Dying

William Faulkner

First Publication: 1930

Category: Southern gothic novel

Sales: ?

Accolades (click on badges to see full lists):

About the Book:

“Considered one of the most influential novels in American fiction in structure, style, and drama, As I Lay Dying is a true 20th-century classic.” AZ Faulkner wrote his fifth novel while working at a power plant. He has said that he wrote it “from midnight to 4:00 AM over the course of six weeks.” WK “The novel utilizes stream of consciousness writing technique, multiple narrators, and varying chapter lengths.” WK

Faulkner said, “I set out deliberately to write a tour-de-force. Before I ever put pen to paper and set down the first word I knew what the last word would be and almost where the last period would fall.” AZ

“The title derives from Book XI of Homer’s Odyssey, wherein Agamemnon tells Odysseus: ‘As I lay dying, the woman with the dog's eyes would not close my eyes as I descended into Hades.’” WK

The story is a “harrowing account of the Bundren family’s odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Narrated in turn by each of the family members – including Addie herself – as well as others the novel ranges in mood, from dark comedy to the deepest pathos.” AZ

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