Today was the first day of teaching Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury to my freshmen. It’s the most challenging book I’ve ever read (I think, though Joyce’s Ulysses comes close), so you might have some pity for my freshmen. But I think they will eventually find themselves appreciating all that they’ve gleaned from the book through their hard work. Fascinating book, and one that I think very nicely gets my hurried students to slow down and be sensitive to subtleties for which they may not normally make time.
I’ve forgotten how many sensitive subjects come up when teaching Faulkner: how to refer appropriately to someone with severe mental and physical handicaps, race relations in the South in 1928, class issues, and sexual mores. All in the first three pages of the book!