In every city I visit, I made a point of finding good and reliable record stores and bookshops. They might sell used or new items, I really don’t care as long as there are good stuff to buy.
When I was in New Orleans in the end of last year, I came acroos a nice bookshop on Chratres Street called Librarie Bookshop. Then, I actually remembered that I’ve been there many times in my other trips to the Big Easy and was happy to see that the owner was still the same.
Anyway, I actually made two visits to this place this time and in the second time, a very nice old lady was at the counter. I went in, took my time and chose to buy two William Faulkner books: “Sanctuary” and “Requien For a Nun”. I chose “Sanctuary” at random, but “Requiem For a Nun” I bought it because I read at the backcover that it was the continuation of “Sanctuary”. As I went to the counter to pay, the nice old lady asked me:
– Have you read Faulkner before?
– No – I said- do you think this is a good place to start?
– Yes, a lot of people say that his writings are very important.
I thought she hasn’t understood exactly what I asked her, but I didn’t mind. However, as soon as I started reading “Sanctuary”, I knew the reason for the first question. Faulkner is really different. He has a style all of his own and uses a lot of typical Southern expressions. It does demand patience from the reader, but in the end is rewarding and compelling read.
Both “Sanctuary” and “Requiem For a Nun” have a lot of stream of consciousness parts, where the writer goes non-stop describing things and things happen at the same time without a break (which, in writing terms, means a period. Everything is separated by commas).
“Requiem For a Nun” is even weirder than Sanctuary, because it tells one story in prose and one in a play form. In prose the story of the fictitious Yoknapatawpha County and in play the continuing story of Temple Drake, the main character from “Sanctuary”. However, the stories have no connection between them, which makes for an even more intriguing read.
I haven’t finished “Requiem For a Nun” yet, but I went online to obtain more information about it and found out that some scholars say that the prose form was a huge influence on Gabriel Garcia Marquez in writing “100 Years of Solitude”, specially the creation of a fictional location (Yoknapatawpha County in Faulkner and Macondo in Marquez) and that the connection between the prose and the play are really just a few parallels about the moral dilemma of man. It’s also the book where you’ll find the famous quote: “The past is not dead. It’s not even the past,” used by President Obama and also by Woody Allen in “Midnight In Paris”.
Anyway, I ‘m really enjoying getting in touch with Faulkner’s work and I’m anxious to read his other books.
As final note today, I wanna pay tribute to the great Phillip Seymour Hoffman. What a loss! He was so versatile. He could be hilarious as a failed actor in “Along Came Polly”, scary as Ethan Hunt’s nemesis on “Mission: Impossible 3” and just perfect as Truman Capote. Rest In Peace. Will be missed.
Listening: J. Geils Band – Flashback: The Very Best Of The J.Geils Band; Toxic Holocaust – Hell On Earth; Elton John – 16 Legendary Covers from 1969/70
Watching: NCAA Basketball