Monday, September 09, 2013
After reading David McCullough's Path Between the Seas, I decided to tackle a classic that had stumped me when I first received it as a gift about 10 years ago. With only about 5 pages in, William Faulkner's The Sound and The Fury wasn't the read I was looking for. 10 years later here we are. With my girl partying it up in Miami Fourth of July weekend, I blazed through the first baffling chapter of the book, told through the perspective of a mentally disable man with a thick southern dialect coupled with the author's seemingly random time changes. It was a beast. The rest came together, and I can see how it was a classic then. But I won't lie, I didn't exactly enjoy myself. It was like going to the gym.
Sticking with the southern theme but needing something much lighter, Tony Horwitz's Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War hit the spot. An informative, fun read that covered my historical-nerd impulses while entertaining was just what I needed after Faulker's exercise. Writing essays from every state in the Confederacy, Horwitz encounters hilarious hardcore reenactors, teenage recklessness co-opted into Confederate pride and Japanese tourists searching for Gone With the Wind. I consciously picked this to follow the southern world built in Faulkner's but didn't see the connections of southern pride and setting suns so much until I was done.