young Faulkner


In the last few weeks, the new Salon season has kicked off with Intensive studies of Beloved and Housekeeping–delving deeply into the haunted spaces of the human psyche. There is clarity to be found in these conversations; hearing the responses of others to the raw moments of the human journey reminds me of the extraordinary resilience and hope gained by widening one’s own perspective. The personalities I find most difficult are those who are unable to hear nor value the experience of the other– whether the other is an intimate or a refugee. The study of literature constantly expands the narrow lens of the individual–that is just one advantage.

“They all talked at once, their voices insistent and contradictory and impatient, making of unreality a possibility, then a probability, then an incontrovertible fact, as people will when their desires become words.”
― William FaulknerThe Sound and the Fury

Next week we start our study of The Sound and the Fury— there is a Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday evening schedule option. There are still spaces available for both– please sign up soon so you can get the opening notes and start reading! 

In William Faulkner’s first truly modernist work, he pushes to break through the confines of time and sequence to get at the essence of human nature- as Malcolm Bradbury explains, “Faulkner’s preoccupation with time has to do with the endless interlocking of personal and public histories and with the relation of the past to the lost, chaotic present.” The Sound and the Fury uses the interior world of its narrators to expose a crumbling world, through inference and allusion rather than through direct social critique. In the Modernist method, Faulkner employs stream of consciousness, symbolism as a connecting fibre and several interior realities (that show how one can see the world as absolutely in one’s way, and directly in contrast to others) that must compete for authority.

This Salon will draw upon individual’s questions and ideas to shed light on this complex text. The book is richer upon re-reading, enabling the first time reader access to Faulkner’s complex vision through the insights of others. Upon a first reading, the narratives appear jumbled and opaque but as the pieces start to fit together, one can see the complex and careful planning that Faulkner has used- and to what end? This is what we must grapple with for the Salon.

Next week I was also be starting Joyce’s toolbox: Sources and Experiments on Tuesday evenings (6-7:30) at City Lit in Covent Garden: 

  • Studying Homer’s ‘Odyssey’, ‘Hamlet’ and selections from Joyce’s ‘Portrait of the Artist’, we consider the questioning and dissenting mind across ages. This course will be excellent preparation for a study of Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’. There will be no class on 20 October.

Studies coming:

Proust: Swann’s Way- Vol. I of In Search of Lost Time  — the evening study will commence towards the end of September– in the afternoon study we are on the fourth volume and going strong–participants have found this immersive reading has deepened their reading habits significantly.

Hamlet: We will do this study as a Salon Intensive– one meeting in early October. I will post the date in the coming days– email me ( if you are interested….


Ulysses— This is a Salon signature study– our 20 week voyage will start in January 2016.

Email me with questions or suggestions–comments always welcome! Lots of events in the local community–check out the Salon community happenings on the website for details.

See you in the pages…