I bought three William Faulkner books and forced myself to read them all.
One of them had a family trying to move their dead mom all over town. One of them had somebody looking for the father of her kid. And one of them was called The Sound and the Fury.
If you ever want to be so confused that your brain starts to ooze out your ears, read The Sound and the Fury. I defy you to make one bit of sense out of that monstrosity. Each chapter is written from the perspective of a different character, one of whom is mentally retarded (or, in the parlance of today, an “individual with an intellectual disability.”)
You could pour words out of a bucket and end up with a more comprehensible book than that.
So thanks to William Faulkner, I am now done reading fiction. Now I have moved on to watching movies by famous directors.
One of those directors whose films I am now watching is Howard Hawks. One of his movies is The Big Sleep with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
Yesterday I watched The Big Sleep. I followed the plot for about ten minutes. Then the thing exploded into the most ridiculously complicated storyline I have ever seen, involving twenty-five different characters, all of whom are lying and killing and lying about the killing.
By the end, I didn’t care who killed whom. I just wanted them all to die so that the film would end. Mercifully, after what seemed like the better part of three days, it did.
So at the end of the movie, I checked the credits. And I saw this:
“Screenplay by William Faulkner”
I am now going to find every literary critic who ever called Faulkner a great writer and punch them in the head. Then I’m going to find every movie critic who ever praised The Big Sleep and punch them in the head.
And if all that fails to dissipate my anger, I’m going to Oxford, Mississippi where I will unbury William Faulkner and punch him in the head.
Then I’ll confess to my criminal spree in a book I’ll call Stephan’s Sound and the Fury. But no one will be able to arrest me, despite what I put in the book.
Because no one will understand it.
Because I’ll write the entire thing from the perspective of “an individual with an intellectual disability.”
Take that, William Faulkner.