"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain









7.03.2010

Searching for those ghosts....

As I am on my way to Seaside, we drove all afternoon and stopped for the night in Oxford, Mississippi.  Oxford just happens to have been the home of William Faulkner. Oxford is the home of John Grisham.  Oxford has been a literary hot house for years.


So for a few hours Beach Bum Lori (or Bumette) has gone into hibernation and English Teacher Lori/Lover Of All Great Literary Works Lori has come out.  I plan to spend my morning soaking in all things Faulkner.  


I realize that many people are put off by Faulkner's works. He is known for being extremely wordy (why use 6 words when 18 is better?), and many of his words are archaic and (very!!)multi-syllable. 


 When teaching high school students the trilogy of lots of words, old words, and big words combines for immediate shut down of teen-age brains......... Until you show them words like arsenic, lime (the powder kind), locked bedrooms, skeletons, death, taxes, single strands of gray hair, horrid smells, and rotting corpses


 Then you have the making of a story that students love.  It's all about hooking them in!!  




One of my favorite stories to teach is "A Rose For Emily" by William Faulkner.  It involves all of the words from above.  
The students I teach remember this story for years. And years.  It is that kind of story.


The story takes place in Jefferson, Mississippi.  It is well known that Jefferson was a really Oxford, Mississippi. It is well known that Faulkner loved to write about the people he knew in and around Oxford.  


From that story, if you know anything about Emily...or Homer Barron....or Tobe....or the townspeople that really knew what was going on in that attic bedroom and let it go on for forty years....then you would understand why I have to spend my morning in search of all things Faulkner.  


And while I am searching, if I happen upon all things John Grisham, that would be twice as nice. 


Enjoy the start of your holiday weekend. The next time you hear from me, I will have returned to Beach Bum status....


Until then, I'm going to look for Miss Emily's decrepit house...and the eyes watching from the upstairs bedroom.









2 comments:

  1. Anonymous7/03/2010

    That is definitely a memorable story. I read it when #1 son had to study it as a high school sophomore. I wasn't wild about some of the subjects it brought up, but I've never forgotten it.
    Such a sad story. Her entire life, Emily never knew what it was like to be close to anyone, not her father or even the guy she'd wanted to marry. He'd been closer to the young men at the bar.
    I can't imagine going through life without touching hearts with even one person.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ahhhh the life of a beach bum:) I showed pictures of the family room, check them out!

    xo
    LeAnn

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