Friday, September 18, 2020

Review: Intruder in the Dust

Intruder in the Dust Intruder in the Dust by William Faulkner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At a time when so much attention is given to race in this country, wouldn't it be great if everyone stayed home for a day and read some Faulkner. I think so. The truth is buried, so the way to find it is to dig it up, which is what happens in the meat of this novel. First a thief attempts it and fails, then a murderer succeeds, only to be followed by a septuagenarian belle and two teens, who dig it up then cover it up again to wait on law, then the murderer again before law gets there, then law and family from its new shallow and wet graves. It takes all that to un-bury the truth, and when it comes back to town, humanity leaves town for fear of seeing it.

There's what's right and what's right. Sometimes in attempting to treat a wound we merely open it further, extending the time necessary to heal. Faulkner's Southerner has become a nationwide persona, knowing deeply what's right, not wanting to be reminded of the wrong which covers it. Better the truth decompose naturally. Digging is hard work. New grass will not grow on continuously disturbed earth.

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