We’ve been reading the book Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner in one of my classes.
As part of the research I have to do for it, I’ve been reading all about the intentional, semi-genius absurdity that is Mr. Faulkner’s sentence structure and story-telling in this book, and especially how details of the one big story come out from four different storytellers in all sorts of crazy order… always leaving the key details for the end, though they all knew these details from the very beginning.
Now, I read from a happy book every night before bed – a book that has me excited to snuggle up in bed to read it each night, anyway,if not always “happy”.
That book right now is The Voice on the Radio by Caroline B. Cooney, a book from a series I admired and loved as an elementary schooler.
The sort of irony of it is that, while I wasn’t really a fan of the Absalom reading and research originally, I finally got interested in it today with my findings on the style, as I was mentioning already…. and then tonight, reading my book, a conversation comes up in which a professor says how his wife keeps a chart by their radio – you see, the student is a radio talk guy for the campus station, and has been telling pieces of the story of a kidnapping (don’t worry, though, because the kidnapping got all sorted out, and everyone is safe from it all in the story now) all out of order and only in tidbits here and there – so that she can note whatever tidbit the student shares that night, and hopefully eventually piece together everything to understand the full story.
The student’s mental response to this comment from the professor is, “So his master plan was working,” and that “[t]he delivery of overlapping stories, out of order, had hooked the audience[…]” (quote from page 81 of the September 1998 printing)
… just like Mr. Faulkner’s Absalom style, I found myself thinking…
And so, I start to like this bit about Absalom, and, that same day, I find a strong connection to it in another book that I already like lots and lots… 😛
Kind of crazy, huh?
And I said ‘sort of irony’, because it’s kind of coincidence combined with irony – finding a connection to something I hated in something I love, except that I now actually like some of the former, so the irony is semi-replaced by coincidence…