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About Binker

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    Dallas, Texas

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  • Location
    Dallas, Texas
  • Current Book
    Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner
  1. Gail Honeyman

    I just finished this book and liked it very much. It's very funny in places, but has some very touching and powerful parts as well. Thanks for reviewing it Mr. HG. I doubt I would ever have known about it if it weren't for your review.
  2. I think I will watch the second episode tonight. Thanks for the recommendation.
  3. Gail Honeyman

    Me, too. I've already pre-ordered it on my tablet.
  4. We are watching: "The Magicians" (2nd season, just waiting for the last episode, based, more or less, on the books by Lev Grossman, which I've read and enjoyed), "Fargo" (which has been excellent during the last 2 seasons and already has my favorite phrase of the year: "unfathomable pinheadery")(2 episodes in), "American Gods," based on the Neil Gaiman book, which I also really enjoyed (first episode only, but very good!).
  5. William Faulkner

    Dan, I think the issue in your spoiler is the point of the book and much of Faulkner's writing. What sort of bizarre system would be offended by one and shrug off the other? Faulkner is pretty clear that he's criticizing, not endorsing, that view. I think you and Faulkner would be nodding your heads in agreement. It reminds me of The Great Gatsby, in which Fitzgerald is seen as glorifying the times when what he was actually doing was criticizing them with every sentence that he wrote.
  6. H E Bates

    It IS a great review. So I tried to order it on my kindle. Not available. Bummed. I even checked if there were alternative names.
  7. William Faulkner

    I'm so glad you enjoyed it Luna. Dan didn't at all, I liked it better than Dan did, but you liked it best. Thanks for reading with us.
  8. Vivek Shanghag

    It's also quite an amazing little read. Mr. HG and I don't always agree on our interpretations of the "truth" of a story, but I'm going to plunge in anyway. I agree with Mr. HG that this is worth reading. It's very short. I read it in an afternoon.
  9. William Faulkner

    I finished the book last night, through to the final resolutions. I think the last 2 paragraphs sum up Faulkner's attitude toward the South and its myths better than almost anything. And the last line is very telling about Quentin. Poor Quentin is unable to reconcile his highly conflicting emotions about the South as embodied in this book and I think that leads him to where we saw him in The Sound and the Fury. I think Absalom, Absalom takes place only a short time before the events of the Sound and the Fury just because they both concern Quentin's time at Harvard and his roommate appears in both. I've just re-visited the story of Absalom from the Bible. I knew he was David's son who began a revolt against David and who was killed while putting down that revolt. Despite his treachery, David is heartbroken and cries for "Absalom, my son, my son." But what I forgot was that Absalom had a sister Tamar who was raped by their older half-brother, Amnon and that Absalom killed Amnon 2 years later in revenge. Faulkner is known as an author of Southern Gothics and some of his books fall into that category more than others. This is one of the ones that does and it felt a bit much to me. I don't think The Sound and the Fury feels quite that much that way, which is probably why I prefer it. Still, a great read.
  10. William Faulkner

    Sometimes his prose feels overdone and then all of a sudden, I realize that it's NOT and that every word is important. Very interesting. Glad you are enjoying it. I've made very slow progress and am still in chapter 8. Of course there are only 9 chapters, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm near the end with any author, but particularly with Faulkner.
  11. Stefan Zweig

    I've ordered this on my tablet. I will let you know when I read it. Based on the almost 2 years that it took me to read Ghost River, that may not be right away. But it sounds great.
  12. Tony Birch

    That image of the rising water was very powerful, I agree. And I liked that the homeless men were not demonized. Kids that age would have been fascinated. I did not know that about Birch and have a very imperfect understanding of the issues of Aboriginals in Australia, but I have to assume that they are as bad as everywhere else. I once heard Stephen Jay Gould speak about what would have happened if Neanderthals had survived into the modern day so that you had 2 species of humans, one significantly less intelligent. He said (paraphrasing), "I like to think there would have been love and care, but the history of the human race tells me that differences result in concentration camps and mass sterilizations." Not saying Aboriginals are less intelligent, just that those kinds of differences never work in the favor of the people who are viewed as "lesser." At the time that Gould was speaking, the accepted scientific consensus was that the Neanderthals did not interbreed with our ancestors and so "Natural History" magazine had an article by some dimwit who started out saying, "I know that no part of my DNA comes from Neanderthals,..." and I thought, "I'm positive that's going to turn out to be false." And it has. Which means, had Neanderthals survived into the modern world as a separate species that there would have certainly been 1-drop rules. People are just awful.
  13. William Faulkner

    I'm in Chapter 8 and we have learned a LOT. My assumption about New Orleans was on the right track, but there was so much more than that. Faulkner does a great job of exploring class and race and where they intersect. And yet, he "kept clear of the sheets and hoods and night-galloping horses with which men who once his acquaintances even if not his friends discharged the canker suppuration of defeat." There are some themes the Faulkner explored in The Sound and the Fury that show up here as well. Brothers being obsessed with their sister's virginity, which Faulkner calls "a false quantity." The South having wasted everything that was great about it in defense of something as sinful as slavery, with Biblical language: "the South would realise that it was now paying the price for having erected its economic edifice not on the rock of stern morality but on the sifting sands of opportunism and moral brigandage." Side note: the Battle of Pittsburg Landing was the Yankee name for what is much more commonly called the Battle of Shiloh. Usually, Southern partisans made a point of calling the battles by the name of the nearest city or town whereas the Yankees called it by the nearest natural feature. It's...interesting...that Faulkner used the Yankee name, especially when the Confederate name is the one used widely. At the time, the Battle of Shiloh was the bloodiest battle in American history, although there were 2 even bloodier battles to come.
  14. William Faulkner

    It wasn't so much rescinded as modified in a way Rosa considers unacceptable (with good reason). I'm sorry I've checked out on the discussion so far, but I'm still ahead of you. I think the longest sentence in the English language is in the next chapter.
  15. William Faulkner

    I think there is. I'm farther than this, but I've been out of town and work is swallowing me right now.