Read Requiem for a Nun by William Faulkner Online


This sequel to Faulkner's most sensational novel, 'Sanctuary', was written twenty years later but takes up the story of Temple Drake eight years after the events related in 'Sanctuary'. Temple is now married to Gowan Stevens. The book begins when the death sentence is pronounced on the nurse Nancy for the murder of Temple and Gowan's child. In an attempt to save her, TemplThis sequel to Faulkner's most sensational novel, 'Sanctuary', was written twenty years later but takes up the story of Temple Drake eight years after the events related in 'Sanctuary'. Temple is now married to Gowan Stevens. The book begins when the death sentence is pronounced on the nurse Nancy for the murder of Temple and Gowan's child. In an attempt to save her, Temple goes to see the judge to confess her own quilt. Told partly in prose, partly in play form, 'Requiem For A Nun' is a haunting exploration of the impact of the past on the present....

Title : Requiem for a Nun
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ISBN : 7913246
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 365 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Requiem for a Nun Reviews

  • mark monday
    2019-05-21 16:54

    William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, the first of four sons of Murry Cuthbert Falkner and Maud Butler. He had three younger brothers: Murry Charles "Jack" Falkner, author John Faulkner, and Dean Swift Faulkner. Soon after his first birthday, his family moved to Ripley, Mississippi. On September 21, 1902, the Falkner family settled in Oxford, where he lived on and off for the rest of his life. His family, particularly his mother Maud, his maternal grandmother Lelia Butler, and Caroline "Callie" Barr (the black woman who raised him from infancy) crucially influenced the development of Faulkner's artistic imagination. Both his mother and grandmother were avid readers and also painters and photographers, educating him in visual language, and thank you Wikipedia for all of this personal history that doesn't have a whole lot to do with this review. Faulkner is all about the history and context of a person, and in Requiem for a Nun, of a place. It is a curious book in that at least half of it is an absorbing faux-history lesson - one that doesn't have a whole lot to do with what the book is supposedly about. So what is the point of Requiem? It appears to be a continuation of Temple Drake's story from Sanctuary, in play form. Like so:Temple Drake, wringing her hands, her voice on the edge of hysteria: "I-I-I am still an empty vessel, now a walking symbol of a life not being lived, of selfishness and self-denial and just plain denial-denial, oh woe is me! My dead eyes refuse to cry but my angst smolders and burns!"Nancy, resolute and vaguely saintly: "I am Temple's black servant and I shall die for her sins! It is what I have been placed in this story to do! My spirituality and my checkered past and my willingness to sacrifice myself for some sad, trifling white woman illustrates my innate saintliness! Also, I murdered Temple's baby because sometime you have to kill an infant so that a wife can be forced to stay with her husband and not run off like some slattern! Hallelujah, oh glory be! Off I go to die! Praise Jesus!"Temple Drake, nervously tapping her foot, her eyes darting here and there: "Farewell, saintly black woman! You die so that I shall live! And that's not messed up at all, no way, not one little bit! I'm sorry, what was your name again?"William Faulkner: "Both of you are dreadfully tedious and so I find myself being endlessly distracted when trying to make something meaningful out of your so-called lives. I think I shall write more about the history and context of a certain place because why not, I'm motherfuckin' Faulkner and I do what I wanna do!"The language that Faulkner uses to describe the history and context of this certain place is gorgeous. Swooningly beautiful in that classic, often hypnotic Faulkner way, full of these gloriously long, long, looooong sentences; writing that is subtle and ironic and often a deadpan sort of humorous - my favorite. Style to die for, which is a rare and wonderful thing when reading history. I could get lost in that kind of prose, and I often did. Lost in the best sort of way. I often forgot that this book was supposed to be about irritating, useless Temple Drake... and apparently Faulkner did too.

  • Sue
    2019-05-14 16:04

    Faulkner's sequel to Sanctuary, set eight years later with Temple Drake married to Gowan Stevens, gives a more complete picture of the inner workings of this woman's mind and soul, though it remains far from clear in true Faulkner style. Temple seems a very damaged woman, but when that damage began and who inflicted it cannot be answered. Was it when Gowan crashed his car? Or perhaps her decision to meet him for that game? Or later with Popeye? Or earlier, as an overly cherished and protected daughter of Jefferson, Mississippi prominence? As a young woman of entitlement, she had always done what she wished to do.For me she is not evil so much as incapable of being a full human being. There is something missing in her, perhaps the ability to truly relate to others. Faulkner has chosen an interesting structure for Requiem. There are discourses on the long history of Jefferson and the surrounding county, some parts exquisitely told, separated by a three act play whose major players are Lawyer Gavin Stevens and Temple Drake. The play contains very detailed stage directions, such as are found in the plays of Tennessee Williams. These add greatly to both understanding and enjoyment.Any one planning to read this book really should read Sanctuary first. The connections are very specific. And I would suggest reading Requiem soon after.I have purposefully not provided much specific plot information here. That would only serve to spoil a future reader's enjoyment. And, as I see it, Temple is the rather inscrutable center of both books.

  • Diane Barnes
    2019-05-21 23:01

    This sequel to "Sanctuary" is so much better than that one, it almost makes up for having to wade through that one just to read this one. It tells us what really happened to Temple Drake, and is set 8 years after her abduction. The style is very different, written in a combination of prose and play dialogue. I wasn't sure I would be happy with that before beginning, but by the end thought it was just more example of Faulkner's willingness to take chances in his literature. If you read "Sanctuary", this is a must, but don't read this as a stand alone. Not the place for anyone reading Faulkner for the first time to start, but the history of Jefferson and Yoknapotawpha County given in Act 1 was really helpful to me in understanding characters and timelines from earlier novels.

  • Gill
    2019-04-22 22:54

    3.5 starsThis is the 6th book I have read by William Faulkner this year, and it is my least favourite. It has a strange structure. It's written in 3 Acts. Each 'Act' is in two sections; the first is a narrative, linked to the history of the jail and courthouse in Jefferson (the fictionalised town where Faulkner set so many of his novels); the second part is written as a play script taking up the story of Temple Drake, 8 years after the events in Sanctuary.I felt the play script sections were written in a rather plodding style, although they did give me a better understanding of some of the events in the earlier book.With the narrative sections, for much of the time I felt that I was reading a parody of Faulkner's writing style. And then, we reached Act 3. I thought the narrative section here was brilliant. It was Faulkner at his best, sending shivers down my spine. In my opinion, nobody else writes about the history and legacy of the southern states in such an emotive and impressive way.So, finally, it was a worthwhile read to end my 2015/2016 Faulknerfest with.The best known quote from Requiem for a Nun is'The past is never dead. It's not even past', but there are many others. I especially like ' vast, so limitless in capacity is man's imagination to disperse and burn away the rubble-dross of fact and probability, leaving only truth and dream ...'

  • Lawyer
    2019-04-25 21:52

    Faulkner experiments with a very different plot device and structure in "Requiem For a Nun." Faulkner surrounds and connects the acts of a play with three prose pieces addressing the early history of Mississippi through the construction of the county's courthouse and jail. In his prose, Faulkner traces the development of society's need for law. In his drama, he illustrates that the enforcement of law does not necessarily render justice."Requiem For a Nun" takes up eight years after the story of Temple Drake and Gowan Stevens in "Sanctuary," although Faulkner wrote "Requiem" twenty years after the appearance of "Sanctuary." Gavin Stevens defends the alleged murderer of Temple Drake Stevens' infant child by her black nurse Nancy.Almost on the eve of Nancy's execution, Gavin Stevens takes Temple Drake to the Governor's office to plead for clemency for Nancy. In the process, Temple is forced to examine her actions in and following "Sanctuary," and her recognition of her choices between good and evil.It is here that we find this oft quoted passage. "The past is never dead. It's not even past." In the context of "Requiem," Faulkner tells us that our actions have lasting repercussions far into the future. The only way we can find redemption for the acts we commit is to recognize those repercussions and suffer for them, though the law does not make us responsible for those acts.I recommend that "Requiem" be read immediately following "Sanctuary." I recommend the original text edition prepared by Noel Polk, published by Random House in 1981.

  • Kirk Smith
    2019-05-18 19:56

    If you have read Sanctuary you MUST continue with this sequel. It is SO much better. Reading Sanctuary was like paying dues, this is the treat. Twenty years after Sanctuary this is Faulkner's fifteenth novel and his work is so much better. He uses a few of the same characters, the connection is not that important. I did thoroughly enjoy this one, dialogue is in the form of a play, with a few visual prompts for scene and setting. Clever and easy to visualize as black and white cinema. Lawyer Gavin Stevens would look and sound good on film. Temple Drake is a knock-out. Alternating chapters are sliced in bits of, in my opinion, his forte: historical fiction. Every one of his novels that really captures me has that element of history. It's just his strong suit. The history of wilderness Mississippi, the founding of fictional Jefferson, and even the creation of the state capitol delivered as high drama, Faulkner's full page paragraphs, who could do without that. It seems this should be considered more of a classic.

  • Joey Anderson
    2019-05-17 17:43

    To begin with, Requiem for a Nun is a great novel, but be careful in comparing it to Faulkner’s other works. It is just as good, but it is different.In the follow-up novel, Faulkner combines a mixture of novelistic forms—about the founding of Jefferson, the Golden Dome as the state capitol building in Jackson, and the longevity of the jail—and the dramatic form of the play for the present story about Temple Drake eight years later after the events of Sanctuary. The novel is quite well done, but the narrative summaries and history (from the beginning of Jefferson to 1952 when the reader becomes a tourist) outshine and overwhelm the present action of Temple’s attempt to find peace and salvation for her tortured soul concerning the coming execution of Nancy for the death of Temple’s child. The history is so large that it dwarfs Temple’s story. And I find it more interesting as well, but some of the past is gone, contrary to Steven’s immemorial statement, as the modern world replaces the previous one (no more mules). The narrative summaries, which precede the drama, about the history of how justice and law came into being in Jefferson and Mississippi create the setting and the background (the past) to the present story of Temple and her confession about how she was partially responsible for the death of her child and her attempt to have Nancy pardoned. The interplay is nicely done. The past seems to be that one cannot escape justice whether it be social or personal. Temple and Gavin are also encased in the grand history of Jefferson, Mississippi, and the South. They are just the minute, present figures of a long, diverse, and complicated story.Now the story of Temple is interesting and does remove all ambiguity about Temple’s character that was present in “Sanctuary” (while I withheld judgment on her despicable character while reading the first novel due to the physical violence she endured, this novel removes any doubt that Temple is a young woman who lacks morality, but wants to find it; who wants to relieve her guilt, but wants an easy method to find salvation).Faulkner shows how much the dramatic form of the modern play does not fit his needs when in Act Two, he allows his notorious narrating voice to supersede the character voices of Gavin Stevens and Temple. Since modern dialogue cannot contain the thematic material that Faulkner desires to express, he implants his narrating voice into these characters so that we receive the full volume of what he wishes to portray about Temple’s need to confess and her unwillingness to do so. Instead of dialogue, we gain speeches infused with Faulkner’s high poetic rhetoric. Yet Faulkner is not alone in his desire to mix the genres of the drama and the novel (Melville and Joyce are just a couple that preceded him), but he just can’t get away from being a novelist as the dramatic parts of the novel pale in comparison to his novelistic ones. For Faulkner, the drama just doesn’t work as well, but those parts are still as engaging as the other, but I wish Faulkner would have found another characterizing trait to show Temple’s anxiety (Temple’s constant smoking or not smoking; Stevens’ belief that she needs a cigarette or doesn’t) or another allusion to Temple’s belief that she will be empty for the rest of her days (her constant recitation of “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow”).One caveat: read “Sanctuary” first and you will receive a full understanding of “Requiem.” Without reading the first, you might find “Requiem” less that satisfying.And who is the Nun? I would guess, and it’s only a far-fetched guess, that the Nun is an amalgam of Cecilia Farmer, Nancy, and Temple. The narrator in the third act describes and combines disparate characteristics of females and it is the only time I found “nun” mentioned in the novel: “—to stand, in this hot strange little room furious with frying fat, among the roster and chronicle, the deathless murmur of the sublime and deathless names and the deathless faces, the faces omnivorous and insatiable and forever incontent: demon-nun and angel-witch; empress, siren, Erinys: Mistinguette too, invincibly possessed of a half-century more of years than the mere three score or so she bragged and boasted, for you to choose among, which one she was,—not might have been, nor even could have been, but was: so vast, so limitless in capacity is man’s imagination to disperse and burn away the rubble-dross of fact and probability, leaving only truth and dream,—then”

  • Ned
    2019-05-02 18:57

    Old Bill is a genius, not just tedious, and his jewels bubble up on top of his strange rabble. His liberties with made up language and punctuation annoyed me, as his penchant for repetition. But the themes are dark and deep, and touch on the eternal. Damnation, sin and human will vs that of the almighty are neatly detailed in this play within a history lesson. The history was interesting and educational but his writing gets in the way. The play was superb and I learned where a favorite quote comes from: "the past is never dead. It's not even past." Lovely brevity this is, amongst the other 100 word rambling sentences and double or triple or even quadruple negatives. I needed a calculator to understand some sentences. This story links with many other Faulkner books in a pleasing loop, and elucidates the plot line of Sanctuary more clearly than the original novel. Great overall, but I still don't understand the title.

  • Galina
    2019-05-16 19:47

    Четенето на Фокнър винаги леко ме обърква - залагането на дълги, протяжни, безкрайни изречения, които започват от една точка, а завършват толкова далече; препратките към различни времена, събития и произведения; на моменти небрежното и нехайно отношение към повествованието, което отвъд повърхността всъщност следва желязна логика. И на фона на всичко това - жестоки, морални, винаги актуални въпроси за вината, греха и спасението, тяхното зараждане, начинът, по който предопределят и живота на човека, и смъртта му.

  • Brian Willis
    2019-05-23 20:04

    Interspersing typically Faulknerian stretches of prose (told in three Acts, the prose sections are all one sentence lasting anywhere from 10-50 pages - yes, one sentence) with dramatic sections written for the stage, this sequel to Sanctuary focuses on the consequences of Temple Drake's actions. She in fact enjoys what she did in the previous book and in one of the few passages in all of Faulkner's work to directly reference religion, both Nancy the accused murderess and Temple muse on why God allows people to suffer and tempts them with sinful choices.Most powerful and important are the interspersed prose sections which detail the history of the town of Jefferson in Yoknapatawpha County, in essence the prequel to all of Faulkner's fictional work. While not the most important of Faulkner's works, it is is essential for a Faulkner enthusiast as well as a truly devoted reader of his work for the details it adds to our understanding to his fictional mise-en-scene. Always worth the effort with Faulkner.

  • Sketchbook
    2019-04-30 15:44

    Critic Kenneth Tynan has the first - and last - word on this undramatized bosherie. Faulkner wrote the pulp "Sanctuary" for $$ (which he admits) and years later this igloo-quel on the human condition (god help us) out of guilt, maybe ?Tynan finds it a bollocks of "turgid statements" w "stammering paradoxes." The infanticide therein is "profoundly unreal, if not inhuman," he adds. Trivia: Insiders giggle that Faulkner gave the play 'rights' to onetime sweetpoo and terrible actress Ruth Ford. Which explains why she played it for a few sad weeks on Bwy. That Ford is an Edsel.

  • Simona
    2019-04-24 00:06

    Requiem per una monaca è il seguito di Santuario. Se in Santuario la protagonista era anche la morbosità e la violenza di certi capitoli, qui si assiste a un cambiamento.Requiem per una monaca è una commedia in tre atti con scenari diversi di volta in volta, accompagnati ognuno da prologhi non dialoghi che racchiudono la storia della città e della sua costruzione. Si passa dal tribunale nell'atto primo sino al Parlamento nell'atto secondo per poi giungere alla prigione nell'atto finale e conclusivo.Ognuno di questi scenari racconta cosa avviene ai protagonisti e cosa succede loro.Riprende da quanto avvenuto nell'opera precedente cercando di trovare una soluione, un finale alle vicende narrate.A differenza di Santuario, il cambiamento che avviene qui e di cui si parla ha a che fare con la possibilità del perdono, la possibilità di perdonare se stessi e il male fatto."C'era qualcosa più forte della tragedia a tenere due persone insieme: il perdono".In questa commedia, i personaggi cercano di trovare un significato alla propria vita e anche attraverso la sofferenza di ognuno provano a cercare la salvezza del mondo. Qui si tenta di dare una possibilità alla speranza, alla quale sembra difficile rinunciare e resistere.

  • Will
    2019-05-02 18:07

    It's like Faulkner sucked everything entertaining and affecting out of Sanctuary (the prequel to this) only to write his stiffest, most pretentious novel since Mosquitoes.

  • Martin
    2019-05-21 17:08

    Stevens living-room, 6:00 P.M.A center table with a lamp, chairs, sofa left rear, floor-lamp, wall-bracket lamps. The atmosphere of the room is up-to-date but has the air of another time – the high ceiling and cornices indicate an ante-bellum house, perhaps inherited from a spinster aunt. Sound of feet, then the door L opens and Temple enters. Her air is brittle and tense. She reaches for a cigarette on a side table and nervously lights it. TEMPLE The best thing I can say is that it was over quickly. Gavin Stevens follows her into the room. He is a small town lawyer in his 40s. STEVENS First I will dispense with the play: it seems as though Faulknerwanted to finish a few thoughts on “Sanctuary” and couldn’tcome up with any other way – TEMPLE (tightening rather than relaxing witheach drag on her cigarette) Yes...I would rate the play a '2' and the prose section a '4'... STEVENS -- unlike his Compson appendix which added to the familyhistory before and after “The Sound and the Fury” and wasfurther embellished with a humorous chapter in “The Mansion”concerning Jason and the land that had been the golf coursethat had been part of Compson mile… The lights go completely down. At this time in his career Faulkner began thinking about the overarching themes of his work and the mythology of his fictional world so the prose sections of “Requiem” are quite good and justifiably included in the revised “Portable Faulkner” although it is a bit confounding at first to read 30 pages that are superficially about a padlock, it is ultimately rewarding after one realizes that Faulkner has taken a unique approach to discuss how civilization takes root through the objects and actions that, when taken alone, have little meaning, but when seen in a broad context can carry the significance of history marching silently into the town that never had time to even be a village before it needed a jail and a courthouse and a town square that would be burned and rebuilt soon enough in the Battle of Jefferson, the vainglorious memory of which could cause the oldest ladies attending a screening of “Gone With the Wind” to walk out in the middle of the picture and into a city transformed by the automobile which had been banned so unsuccessfully by Colonel Sartoris (not the real Colonel who built the railroad with the man who would later shoot him, but his son Old Bayard who inherited the title and who was the only male in his tragic family line who had no war to get himself killed or decorated in, it wouldn’t have mattered which) that one of the first residents to own an automobile, Manfred de Spain, became mayor almost for the very fact that he looked grand behind the wheel;And then another 35 pages discussing the jail and the girl who was sometimes blonde and sometimes brunette who carved her name in the window of the jail who was based on a real girl whose name Faulkner had seen carved in a window in an article I read once about a family whose ledgers had inspired Faulkner to write the famed Chapter 4 of “The Bear” in “Go Down Moses”; and I don’t think it is proper to write run-on sentences and end them with a semicolon at a paragraph break, I think it’s a bit of a cheat and that’s why I prefer listen to Faulkner on audiobook, if only this had been available on audio which it probably never will as it’s considered a minor work even though there is some major writing within it; still I would recommend tracking down “The Courthouse” and “The Jail” in the “Portable Faulkner” and that should be enough to satisfy you and even if you have loved Temple Drake in “Sanctuary” there is nothing of interest for you in the play sections of this book.

  • Behnam Riahi
    2019-05-03 20:55

    The following review has been copied from http://behnamriahi.tumblr.comRequiem for a Nun, written by William Faulkner and published by Vintage Books, is a three-act play following the life of Temple Stevens (formally Temple Drake in Sanctuary) in her recovery following the murder of her second child. Eight years after her kidnapping, Temple has become a mother and a wife, more articulate now than before and willing to face conflict head on to end her perpetual suffering. When her maid, Nancy, puts Temple’s child to death, Temple is faced with two choices: hang the woman that killed her baby or hang herself in contrition for her own misdeeds. Back to Faulkner again. I’m beginning to run out of books by this fella, though he’s definitely become one of the few authors that I will indeed go out of my way to purchase more of in the future. In fact, it might not be too long—those of you who have been following this blog have no doubt seen a strange assortment of books on here, from how-to-manuals to Christian reading to local favorites. Why, might you ask? It all began three years ago, when I really started taking this blog seriously. I spied my shelf and noticed that I owned a tremendous amount of books that I simply hadn’t read, collecting dust while their pages remained unturned. I had half a mind to give most of them away, but part of growing as an author is forcing yourself to read the things that you won’t like. Thus began my journey, reading anything and everything so long as it sat on my shelf, hoping to grow as an author and expand my literacy, while ideally saving money from buying too many other new books. I am proud to admit, that after going through roughly sixty books in the last few years, I have only about thirty remaining, not including poetry books. 60% through. In addition to pushing myself to read things that normally sit outside of my comfort zone, my writing has grown as a result of it. Though my work tends to remain in a novelist’s focus, I’ve picked up many traits from authors good-and-bad, in my attempt at understanding what’s effective and what isn’t. Thus, I’m proud to say that I’ve completed the sixth (and hopefully final) draft of my first novel, one that I’ve proudly handed off to four others to validate the work for quality and assist in trying to publish it. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Fingers crossed, either way. Thus, we’re back to Faulkner and the first play I’ve had the honor of reviewing. It isn’t the first play that I’ve read, by any means—after all, we all read Shakespeare in high school. I was awfully fond of Macbeth. But it certainly has been a while. As it were, it’s probably not the last play I’ll review either, since I’ve got a few more Shakespearean works waiting to be read through, though I think beginning at Faulkner is more beneficial for my overall judgment of the medium, bridging the gap between quality literature to quality play-writing. This specific book is especially well known for its line, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” quoted in a speech by Barrack Obama and featured in the literary film, Midnight in Paris. In addition to being a play following Temple Stevens, this book also provides an oral history, told in Faulkner’s voice, of Jefferson, with references to the Compson family (known primarily from The Sound and the Fury) and General Satoris (of The Reivers). It expands on how a gathering of huts and cabins became a town, the naming of such town, and the evolution of the town through the Civil War and the turn of the century. In essence, that makes this one of Faulkner’s most underrated and valuable works, because of how important it is to the defining of the setting that appeared so commonly in his works before. It’s only more poetic that it’s told in Faulkner’s own voice, instead of one of his characters, because of the intimate relationship between himself, his characters, and their setting, and interspersing this oral history between a play was an ingenious method of telling both stories.The play itself moves in correlation to the evolution of the town, beginning at the courthouse where Nancy’s fate is decided and ending at the jail, built in tandem with the courthouse, though one of the few, unchanged facets as the town transformed. Essentially, Jefferson’s jail becomes a metaphor for the town itself and in the same way, for Temple’s own unendurable struggle following the actions of Sanctuary. In that same context, how the town was named after its mail messenger, Temple herself is launched back into her own past when love letters she wrote once upon a time to her murdered lover resurface and send her on her crazy, nihilistic adventures again, though this time at the risk of her own family. The play itself plays out just as Faulkner’s prose, alluding to numerous ideas and events that don’t materialize into their true form until later, when they become the admissions and testimonials instead of mere events that once tragically turned the lives of the characters. Faulkner, as always, is a master of dialogue and with dialogue alone, examination of what his characters don’t say juxtaposed against what they do is that much clearer than in his other works, allowing the audience to understand his style from an approach of minimalism. As before, he distracts his audience with incessant worries and soft-spoken tragedies without really expanding on the truth contained within his narrative until later on and the play form makes it that much more effective by focusing primarily on dialogue and not the colorful description that ends to surround it.This is the first Faulkner book I’ve read where we get to continue on in a character’s life after her initial appearance in a different novel. This continuation done by other authors has proven to be a worthless feat—one that demeans both the original and the sequel because of how they become parodies of one and other. However, Faulkner sets this book so that Sanctuary doesn’t necessarily need to be read in order to glean the full emotional response to this work. The actions of Popeye, Temple’s former kidnapper, are not only clearly illustrated, but summed up in a way that best suits this work as a story-in-story, taking on the role as more of a sub-story to Temple’s own guilt for following the man that became her husband to the tragedy that became of her life to begin with. You know enough about Popeye from this to understand his actions in the previous work, but they don’t overshadow the current conflict examined within this work but become one more other event that crafted Temple into the woman she became.Those who have read both pieces will enjoy that for a subtly different reason, as we see that in some ways, Temple adheres to the lies that she told in the previous piece as though she’s come to accept them as truth and presents them as truths in this work. She’s convinced herself that Popeye, her kidnapper, wasn’t guilty of murdering Tommy and though there’s no mention of Tommy or the man accused of killing him, it seems as if the lie she chose to believe has in fact, become her truth, thus characterizing Temple further and making fans of Sanctuary that much more attracted to Requiem for a Nun. Stage actions are told simply in this, and not in Faulkner’s complex prose, making the actions that go on, on the stage, that much easier to follow. In a weird way, the play almost reads as Salinger-esque because of the use of gesture and movement versus Faulkner’s powerful metaphorical language. But each gesture, each movement, like in Salinger’s work, is very poignant and helps to set mood, create tension, and become metaphor in themselves in each scene and act, enabling Faulkner to write as he normally would while still establishing his versatility from one style to the other. However, there’s a lot less to be said for plays than there are for novels. Despite my preference to prose, the play has shown itself to be a very challenging and beautiful medium, though better yet in the context of a novel writer. Though most plays and their emphasis on dialogue instead of description and action tend to leave me wanting more, what Faulkner established in his previous pieces and what he establishes in the historical narrative set between acts makes this for a read that you can’t overlook if you enjoyed anything of Faulkner’s other works.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-01 23:58

    A thousand tiny threads coming together to form what? A country? A soul?

  • Terry Cornell
    2019-04-28 19:50

    One of the strangest books as to organization that I've ever read. The sequel to 'Sanctuary', this book came out twenty years after 'Sanctuary' was published. The book intersperses a long rambling history of the imaginary county in Mississippi that is the setting for many of Faulkner's novels, with a play regarding the exploits of the protagonist from 'Sanctuary' eight years later. Either on their own would have been somewhat entertaining, but not long enough for a book. The history segment I found interesting. Faulkner did a remarkable job of incorporating real history of the country with his imaginary characters in his imaginary county. His writing style was distracting--long paragraphs, no periods, each paragraph ending in a semicolon. The play was also interesting--Temple Drake reveals some more detail regarding her experiences in 'Sanctuary' giving the reader additional clarity. If you've read 'Sanctuary', this is a must read. However, 'Requiem for a Nun' really doesn't stand well on it's own. I'd say the book is two and a half stars.

  • Matthew Wilson
    2019-04-24 22:44

    Summer's the time for associative reading, so in my post about the Balzac novel, The Wrong Side of Paris, I quoted Faulkner on the past not even being past which is a quote from Requiem for a Nun, and I decided to re-read it (I read it maybe 40 years ago). It's a strange text -- part description of place, part drama -- and the description of place is very much in Faulkner's high modernist mode, but with this book (published in 1950) the style feels very much like a tepid holdover, and there's no real urgency driving it as there was in Absalom, Absalom! Then the drama is very problematic in racial terms: an African American woman sacrifices herself, by killing a white baby, to prevent her mother from running away. Say what? Of course, this woman would do that to save the white folks. Totally improbably

  • John
    2019-05-18 00:04

    This is lesser Faulkner, but still the best work I've read in the last few months. A sequel of sorts to Sanctuary, Faulkner has written a play in which is sandwiched three longish chapters of the history of the town of Jefferson and the State. The chapters at time degenerate into near-Faulkner parody (long sentences, words not in Kindle dictionary), but still gripping reading to me, and preferable, in my opinion, to the play.PS - This work has the famous quote: "The past is never dead. It’s not even past."

  • Ffiamma
    2019-05-21 16:04

    "era come se avesse capito per la prima volta che si deve- che tutti devono- o comunque possono dover pagare per il proprio passato; che il passato è qualcosa di simile a una cambiale con una clausola truccata che fin quando tutto va bene può venir manomessa ordinatamente ma che il destino o la fortuna o il caso possono far scadere senza avvertimento. vale a dire, lo aveva saputo, aspettato sempre e non se n'era curata perché sapeva che se la sarebbe cavata, che era invulnerabile per semplice integrazione, femminilità"[vorticoso, memorabile. sto cercando di dirlo, di dirlo abbastanza]

  • LS
    2019-05-03 17:04

    Remarkable to read this now ... story of Temple Drake's self-loathing confession, victimized black nanny ... apparently Faulkner's revulsion/compulsion to express Southern Gothic. Yet strangely unself-aware that his focus on the white deb's infamy skews away from the actual victim who is routinely dismissed as Not the Point, already Lost. Surprised this hasn't been recently resurrected in the media.

  • Elalma
    2019-04-22 23:42

    La storia della contea di Yokpanatawna, con le sue poetiche descrizioni è inframezzata dal dialogo teatrale, quasi un seguito di Santuario.Ora capisco perché ne fanno un maestro di McCarthy, effettivamente ci vedo anche i prodromi di "Sunset Limited" nel bel dialogo finale tra la bianca e la nera che discutono sulla vita, la morte, la redenzione, il dolore.

  • Dave Russell
    2019-05-07 22:05

    There are no nuns in this book.

  • Sara
    2019-05-14 18:56

    Faulkner obviously could not leave Temple Drake as we last saw her in Sanctuary. There was more to her story and it must have haunted him, as it haunted me, for he returned to her twenty years later to put her soul under a microscope.I, unlike so many, do not view Temple as an evil person. I view her as a damaged soul, someone who has been so marred by life that she can no longer function. She fails to understand, even herself, what makes her unable to feel emotion as others do, and she carries the blame within her for her obvious shortcomings. She is trapped forever in the moment of her life in which she gets into a car with a drunkard and leaves her life and self behind. Married to Gowan, she can never hope to escape that moment...for even his mere presence is a constant reminder. To read this without first reading Sanctuary would certainly lessen the impact of the story, and in truth, I do not think you could sufficiently understand Temple without the background story that unfolds in Sanctuary. Faulkner is such a remarkable writer and his works are so layered, that I think I will still be thinking about these characters and dissecting them for some time. The format used here is quite unique. There is a play, sandwiched within three sections of historical exposition of Jackson and Yoknapatawpha County. The history is riveting and it is unbelievable how much information and emotion Faulkner is able to convey in a these rather short sections.I pondered the title. Faulkner does nothing haphazardly, so I’m absolutely sure there is some deep meaning to this choice. A requiem is a mass for the dead soul--and that is easy enough to equate to Temple. Her soul is undoubtedly dead. But, why a nun? Is she cloistered by her past, living apart from society, from secular life? She has no spiritual attachment to save her, nothing to worship that I can see. If anyone else has an idea about the title, I would love to hear your thoughts.

  • Paula Ferreira Pinto
    2019-05-18 19:02

    Uma entidade literária atípica, um misto entre romance e dramaturgia, utilizado por Faulkner para retornar, conferindo-lhe um certo desfecho, à história de Temple Drake, personagem de "Sanctuary" - este assumidamente escrito com o principal propósito de ganhar rapidamente dinheiro.Cada acto é antecedido por uma narrativa acerca do surgimento de Jefferson, capital de Yoknapatawpha County, sua evolução e desenvolvimento até ao momento em que Faulkner procede ao relato da sequela, levando ao palco o drama que se desenrola subsequentemente ao assassinato da filha bebé de Temple, pela sua ama, Nancy - que, de um modo tortuoso, encontra na prática do crime a única maneira de salvar a mãe da criança - e a própria - da desgraça que antevia ser o desfecho de ambas, e na pena infligida pela Justiça o modo não só de se redimir do infanticídio mas também de escapar a uma vida de vício, de desgraça e de miserável infelicidade. Para mim, o relato sobre Jefferson, em especial a peculiar forma como a localidade, à altura "um quase nada populacional", foi assim baptizada, é o que resgata o livro, escrito que se encontra à boa maneira do seu autor, pejado do humor subtil que frequentemente imprime à descrição dos acontecimentos e através do qual realça a sua aleatoriedade, fruto da contínua interacção entre o puro acaso, mesquinhas circunstâncias, pequenas necessidades e algumas vaidades humanas.Contudo, uma vez que a dramaturgia não é a minha forma literária favorita, provavelmente aí residirá o relativamente escasso apreço pela parcela da obra elaborada segundo os seus ditames.

  • Wendy
    2019-05-08 20:43

    The opening piece, about the founding of the jail, is first-rate Faulkner, the rest Faulkner trying to be Sophocles and not succeeding. It's worth reading to see, side by side, how easily mediocre writing dates itself, whereas the great writing is timeless. (The opening piece was reprinted as a short story in The Faulkner Reader, so you can find it there.)

  • Aomame*
    2019-04-28 21:53

    "Il passato non è mai morto. Non è neanche passato"- Stevens a Temple

  • Aurimas Nausėda
    2019-04-28 16:48

    Pasakojimas apie aistrą, pasirinkimus, nusikaltimo ir bausmės poveikį žmogaus gyvenime.

  • Tuco
    2019-05-09 17:57

    Impegnativo. Stancante. Il romanzo è diviso in due parti che si alternano: in una Faulkner descrive a tutto campo il Sud degli Stati Uniti e la sua strada verso la modernità, nell'altra si svolge la trama vera e propria di un dramma familiare, scritto in forma teatrale. La prima parte è decisamente più lunga (e particolare) ed è quella a cui si riferiscono i due aggettivi iniziali; il nocciolo della difficoltà sta nel fatto che, in queste poche righe, ho usato più punteggiature io che non l’autore in tutto il primo capitolo! Prima ipotesi (suggerita della vecchissima edizione del libro): Faulkner aveva la macchina da scrivere col tasto per il punto rotto. Seconda ipotesi: vuole farci penare. Nella parte del libro non in stile teatrale l’autore non mette (praticamente) mai un punto, se non ogni tre/quattro pagine; lesina anche sulle virgole risultando difficile e sfibrante da seguire. Buona parte del libro è in questa forma ed è stato come leggerlo in apnea perché non si vi si trova mai un’interruzione di punteggiatura per riprendere fiato o dare ritmo: perifrasi interminabili, periodi concatenati ad altri periodi legati al soggetto/fatto scritto molte righe prima che quindi torna ad essere protagonista dell’attuale frase che però, dopo una semplice virgola, si congela per lasciar spazio ad una digressione su un dettaglio di due frasi fa… Insomma, l’idea ce la siamo fatti: o si è totalmente riposati, concentrati e carichi per affrontare la lettura o altrimenti la pagina appare come una sequela interminabile di parole disposte una di seguito all’altra, senza intermezzi su cui fermarsi un attimo a distendere la mente e ripensare a quanto appena letto.La parte scritta in forma teatrale è ben fatta, più accessibile e avvincente, dà una boccata d’aria fresca molto utile per riprendersi dalla sudata cerebrale della parte precedente; è stata bella da leggere perché non avendo letto molto spesso libri teatrali ho provato un gusto nuovo, diverso dal solito. In questa parte è l’autore a sistemare tutti i personaggi, a farli muovere, gesticolare, tentennare: non si è liberi di immaginare la scena che si sta svolgendo, si è presi per mano dall’autore che ti spiega ogni particolare; la scena compare davanti agli occhi come si guardasse un film.Del libro mi rimarrà dentro il modo assurdo con cui scrive la parte descrittiva sul Sud degli Stati Uniti: l’assenza di un soggetto intorno a cui costruire, l’intima conoscenza delle dinamiche sociali come pure l’assenza di punteggiatura (in una forma molto differente da Saramago, che apprezzo tantissimo e non mi sfinisce) rende certi capitoli particolari e unici. Non nascondo che terminare il libro mi è sembrata un’impresa notevole nonostante non sia un libro lungo.

  • Matt
    2019-04-23 21:53

    This was an interesting combination of 2 fairly distinct stories.The first is sort of a fast forward, at times, history of Jefferson, MS in Faulker's Yoknapatawpha country. It starts out with the story of how the courthouse was formed. When a group of bandits (arrested stray militia maybe?) are broken out of the jailhouse by removing an entire wall. Unfortunately they also end up taking the world's greatest lock. The lock is a big deal in the story, which is kind of funny, keeps pulling you along. Because of the loss of the lock, the entire town rebuilds the jail and decides to add a courthouse.Then comes the first scene of the 2nd story in RfaN. It is written as a play and describes what happens at the end of a trial of a black woman who was the nanny of a white family and murdered their infant. The lawyer meets with the mother later after the fact and it becomes clear something fishy was going on.At this point you realize that these are the characters from an earlier book of his. I forgot which one exactly, but thanks to the Google's it turns out to be Sanctuary (definitely read that first). A lot of the past is vaguely alluded to and it becomes clear the mother feels much more guilt about the death of the child than the nanny, who was by all accounts a very good and caring nanny.Then it goes back to the history of the town and discusses the State House.Then it returns to the play and following the mother's confession to the governor of why things happened the way they did, and her asking for a pardon for the muderer.Then another trip to the history of the city and more details on the jail house.Then the final scene of the play where the mother meets the nanny in the jailhouse.This was a very well done and creative follow up to Sanctuary. The history of the town could get very dense as it was often in prose with paragraphs that spanned multiple pages, but the play style story of Temple Drake and Nancy Mannigoe more than made up for it and you can't help but fly through it to find out what really happened.Faulkner also brings back tons of his other characters from his Yoknapatawpha county, like Sartoris, Compson, etc. Another great novel by Faulkner.