Reading – As I lay Dying


Why, Faulkner. The answer is simply, Nick Cave cited him as an influence. Apparently When the Ass Saw the Angel was heavily influenced from his works.
So here I am. Last week I downloaded, “As I lay Dying”. I chose that as my introduction on name alone. Wasn’t there a band with the same name? Anyway I thought it sounded adequately dark. I attempted to start reading last week. One chapter in and I put it down. There were words that described things from that era; I had no idea what they meant. The names of the characters also appear androgynous in this day and age. I could not make sense of who was who or their relation?

I really had no idea how to start? Was I not smart enough? Was the material too dated? Has the internet destroyed my brain, making me incapable of tackling anything that required sustained focus? Most likely on this last one. So it was to the internet I went to learn how to appreciate Faulkner.
Really I think the best advice I found was to read Faulkner as if you are a detective. You are watching the story slowly unfold. Small details become clearer. Really, it’s like watching a painting being created. On this advice I was able to get 4-5 chapters in and I’m actually looking forward to more.

Here is what I have found so far. Each chapter is named for a different character. Those chapters focus on the events at hand from that characters point of view. There are two men or boys. I have not been able to determine age yet named Jewell and Darl. There is a father and a woman who is dying. I think she is their mother? There are some women also, but I have yet to figure out what their relation is to the others?

Anyway this new approach has been successful. So I’ll be posting more thoughts as I progress.

2 Replies to “Reading – As I lay Dying”

  1. If you listen to “cry” by his band the Birthday Party (Before the bad seeds) he talks about fish and crying and uses broken thoughts and sentences similar to vardaman from As I Lay Dying. I might be over analyizing haha.

  2. Ha! I started reading it again and plan on posting more thoughts. This could turn into a series on the literary influences on Nicks music.

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