Books of 2013, #36: As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner

Oh, mercy.

I hadn’t read this since high school; it’s lost none of its delight, really, but I get that it’s a sort of delight not everyone understands or enjoys. My own re-read was triggered largely by the news that James Franco has adapted it for the screen, which is an odd thing to consider — AILD is infamous for its constantly switching points of view and stream-of-consciousness technique (typically from Vardaman); it’s not at all clear how either idea will translate to the screen. I had similar reservations about adapting Watchmen, and had them largely vindicated. In general, when a work lives so fully in the medium that birthed it, translating it to some other medium is an undertaking fraught with peril.

But I’m sure I’ll still go see it, because Faulkner.

(By the way, it turns out there’s a band — working in the previously unknown to me genre of “Christian metalcore” — using the title as its name. Said band (who I’m sad to say own the domain name “”) are in the midst of some difficulties at present, as it appears that, back in May, their lead singer was arrested in a Barnes and Noble for trying to hire an undercover policeman to kill his estranged wife.

The gentleman in question — Tim Lambesis — also has a sideband/solo project called “Austrian Death Machine,” which I think we can all agree is several steps down the band-name-quality ladder from his day job. It is, of course, an Arnold Schwarzenegger tribute project.

I am not making (any of) this up. We learn odd things from time to time via Heathen, don’t we?)

One thought on “Books of 2013, #36: As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner

  1. I was once lucky enough to see the original handwritten manuscript when I was at UVA. Faulkner claimed he wrote the whole thing in the course of a few weeks without changing a word, and based on the manuscript I saw it looks like he may have been telling the truth (chronic prevaricator though he was).