Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Fable by William Faulkner

A Fable by William Faulkner, 1954

William Faulkner created a great story in A Fable, unfortunately he wrote it for himself.

A Fable is a novel written in 1954 by the American author William Faulkner, which won him both the Pulitzer prize and the National Book Award in 1955. Despite these recognitions, however, the novel received mixed critical reviews and a reputation as one of Faulkner's lesser works [1].

Faulkner spent over a decade on A Fable, which on a Pulitzer prize in 1955, and considered it his masterpiece.

The book takes place in France during World War I and stretches throughout one week. "Corporal Zsettslani" is the central figure and a Christ figure. He orders 3,000 troops through his 12 N.C.O's (disciples) to disobey orders to attack in trench warfare.

The traitorous ceasefire cause the Germans to not attack, and the war comes to a halt when the soldiers realize that it takes two sides to fight a war.

The "old general," who is the head of the Allied Forces, has the corporal arrested and executed but not before trying to convince the corporal that war can never be stopped because it is critical to the human race.

Like As I Lay Dying, written 15 years prior, Faulkner manages to write a book that requires 20 days to read. His stream-of-conscience style makes following the story difficult to say the least.

At one point, the reader is in France and the next in the Deep South of the United States. The dialog is extremely hard to follow especially since Faulkner seldom uses names to identify his characters.

Page-long paragraphs leave the reader begging for a break.

A Fable is like reading 450 pages of poetry, and I don't mean that in a good way.

Yet, the overall story makes this book worth reading as the parallels with Jesus and the Bible are unmistakable and pronounced through the setting of World War I.
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