As I Lay Dying by William FaulknerAs I Lay Dying is Faulkner’s harrowing account of the Bundren family’s odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Narrated in turn by each of the family members—including Addie herself—as well as others, the novel ranges in mood, from dark comedy to the deepest pathos. Considered one of the most influential novels in American fiction in structure, style, and drama, As I Lay Dying is a true 20th-century classic.
This edition reproduces the corrected text of As I Lay Dying as established in 1985 by Noel Polk.
The 100 best novels: No 55 – As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (1930)
Faulkner said that he wrote the novel from midnight to AM over the course of six weeks and that he did not change a word of it. The novel utilizes stream of consciousness writing technique, multiple narrators , and varying chapter lengths. The book is narrated by 15 different characters over 59 chapters. It is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her poor, rural family's quest and motivations—noble or selfish—to honor her wish to be buried in her hometown of Jefferson, Mississippi. As the book opens, Addie is alive, though in ill health.
Which are the most intelligent and sympathetic voices in the novel?
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Addie wants to be buried in Jefferson so that she can
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Blake Nancy. In: Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire , tome 63, fasc. As I Lay Dying : one would suppose that the first person pronoun must refer to the mother since the mother it is who dies. The dying of the title refers to whose death? Still, there is no signifier without a subject. If the signifier is a material foundation for signification, it is in the very materiality of the signifier that knowledge and truth go their separate ways.
As I Lay Dying is told in individual sections, so that the narration of the story shifts from one character to another. While most sections are narrated by members of the Bundren family, the few that are told by neighbors and other observers offer a glimpse of the family from an outsider's perspective. Each narrator — family members and outsiders alike — is believable but at the same time unreliable, forcing readers to decide for themselves what is reality and what is not. As the novel begins, Addie Bundren lays dying in her bedroom while her son Cash builds her coffin. Addie's ineffectual husband, Anse, is arranging to have her buried in Jefferson, a town forty miles away, because Addie has requested this last wish.