Books Acquired Recently

Faulkner, William. Requiem for a Nun. 1951. New York: Vintage, 2011.

I am teaching Faulkner’s Sanctuary in an independent study this semester, and bought its sequel Requiem to read as part of my preparation.  Reading Faulkner is a guilty pleasure–his writing is beautiful, and he is an essential figure in the development of American literature, but for some reason his personal despicableness bothers me more than any other writer’s aside from Ezra Pound’s. I certainly believe in judging a book based on its artistic merits rather than on its author’s biography, but Faulkner’s statement that he would shoot African Americans down in the street if ordered to do so by Mississippi’s governor is difficult to get past.

Bought on

Poore, Michael. Up Jumps the Devil. New York: Ecco, 2012.

I received this book in my school mailbox today, presumably as an (unasked for) exam copy from the publisher as there was no note with it, so I doubt it is from a colleague. The secretaries usually open mail that isn’t obviously personal (which is weird because I feel bad having someone do a task for me that I could easily do myself, especially one that tends to be enjoyable. I, like Virginia Woolf with her servants, feel tremendously awkward around secretaries. I am uncomfortable with the power imbalance, it makes me feel bourgeois.), so I did not get a chance to see the return address. The novel, Poore’s first, sounds like it could be interesting, but it is not something that I would have bought myself, so who knows when I’ll get around to reading it.


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