Go Down, Moses

( 8 )

Overview

“I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.” —William Faulkner, on receiving the Nobel Prize
 
Go Down, Moses is composed of seven interrelated stories, all of them set in Faulkner’s mythic Yoknapatawpha County. From a variety of perspectives, Faulkner examines the complex, changing relationships between blacks and whites, ...

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Overview

“I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.” —William Faulkner, on receiving the Nobel Prize
 
Go Down, Moses is composed of seven interrelated stories, all of them set in Faulkner’s mythic Yoknapatawpha County. From a variety of perspectives, Faulkner examines the complex, changing relationships between blacks and whites, between man and nature, weaving a cohesive novel rich in implication and insight.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“For range of effect, philosophical weight, originality of style, variety of characterization, humor, and tragic intensity, [Faulkner’s works] are without equal in our time and country.” —Robert Penn Warren
 
“He is the greatest artist the South has produced. . . . Indeed, through his many novels and short stories, Faulkner fights out the moral problem which was repressed after the nineteenth century [yet] for all his concern with the South, Faulkner was actually seeking out the nature of man. Thus we must turn to him for that continuity of moral purpose which made for greatness of our classics.” —Ralph Ellison
Warren
"For all the range of effect, philosophical weight, originality of style, variety of characterization, humor, and tragic intensity [Faulkner's works] are without equal in our time and country." --Robert Penn Warren
Wilson
"Faulkner… belongs to the full-dressed post-Flaubert group of Conrad, Joyce, and Proust." --Edmund Wilson
Ellison
"For all his concern with the South, Faulkner was actually seeking out the nature of man. Thus we must return to him for that continuity of moral purpose which made for the greatness of our classics." --Ralph Ellison
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679732174
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/1/1991
  • Series: Vintage International Series
  • Edition description: First Vintage International Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 165,305
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

William Faulkner
William Cuthbert Faulkner was born in 1897 and raised in Oxford, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life. One of the towering figures of American literature, he is the author of The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom!, and As I Lay Dying, among many other remarkable book. Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1950 and France’s Legion of Honor in 1951. He died in 1962.

Biography

William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on September 25, 1897. His family was rooted in local history: his great-grandfather, a Confederate colonel and state politician, was assassinated by a former partner in 1889, and his grandfather was a wealth lawyer who owned a railroad. When Faulkner was five his parents moved to Oxford, Mississippi, where he received a desultory education in local schools, dropping out of high school in 1915. Rejected for pilot training in the U.S. Army, he passed himself off as British and joined the Canadian Royal Air Force in 1918, but the war ended before he saw any service. After the war, he took some classes at the University of Mississippi and worked for a time at the university post office. Mostly, however, he educated himself by reading promiscuously.

Faulkner had begun writing poems when he was a schoolboy, and in 1924 he published a poetry collection, The Marble Faun, at his own expense. His literary aspirations were fueled by his close friendship with Sherwood Anderson, whom he met during a stay in New Orleans. Faulkner's first novel, Soldier's Pay, was published in 1926, followed a year later by Mosquitoes, a literary satire. His next book, Flags in the Dust, was heavily cut and rearranged at the publisher's insistence and appeared finally as Sartoris in 1929. In the meantime he had completed The Sound and the Fury, and when it appeared at the end of 1929 he had finished Sanctuary and was ready to begin writing As I Lay Dying. That same year he married Estelle Oldham, whom he had courted a decade earlier.

Although Faulkner gained literary acclaim from these and subsequent novels -- Light in August (1932), Pylon (1935), Absalom, Absalom! (1936), The Unvanquished (1938), The Wild Palms (1939), The Hamlet (1940), and Go Down, Moses (1942) -- and continued to publish stories regularly in magazines, he was unable to support himself solely by writing fiction. he worked as a screenwriter for MGM, Twentieth Century-Fox, and Warner Brothers, forming a close relationship with director Howard Hawks, with whom he worked on To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, and Land of the Pharaohs, among other films. In 1944 all but one of Faulkner's novels were out of print, and his personal life was at low ebb due in part to his chronic heavy drinking. During the war he had been discovered by Sartre and Camus and others in the French literary world. In the postwar period his reputation rebounded, as Malcolm Cowley's anthology The Portable Faulkner brought him fresh attention in America, and the immense esteem in which he was held in Europe consolidated his worldwide stature.

Faulkner wrote seventeen books set in the mythical Yoknapatawpha County, home of the Compson family in The Sound and the Fury. "No land in all fiction lives more vividly in its physical presence than this county of Faulkner's imagination," Robert Penn Warren wrote in an essay on Cowley's anthology. "The descendants of the old families, the descendants of bushwhackers and carpetbaggers, the swamp rats, the Negro cooks and farm hands, the bootleggers and gangsters, tenant farmers, college boys, county-seat lawyers, country storekeepers, peddlers--all are here in their fullness of life and their complicated interrelations." In 1950, Faulkner traveled to Sweden to accept the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature. In later books--Intruder in the Dust (1948), Requiem for a Nun (1951), A Fable (1954), The Town (1957), The Mansion (1959), and The Reivers (1962) -- he continued to explore what he had called "the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself," but did so in the context of Yoknapatawpha's increasing connection with the modern world. He died of a heart attack on July 6, 1962.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

Good To Know

William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text

The publisher, Harrison Smith, received Faulkner's typescript for As I Lay Dying in January 1930 and published it with very few editorial changes on October 6, 1930. That text remained the same through various reprints until 1964 when Random House brought out a new edition that was corrected in accordance with the original manuscript and typescript. For the "corrected text" shown here, scholar Noel Polk used Faulkner's own ribbon typescript setting copy, corrected to account for his revisions in proof, his typing errors, and other clear inconsistencies and mistakes.

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    1. Also Known As:
      William Cuthbert Falkner (real name)
      William Faulkner
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 25, 1897
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Albany, Mississippi
    1. Date of Death:
      July 6, 1962
    2. Place of Death:
      Byhalia, Mississippi

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2006

    Amazing

    I love Faulkner. I'm a junior in high school and love how Faulkner describes the human soul in his characters. My favorite was Rider.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2005

    Why I Rate It So Low

    Some people may be wondering why I have given this book such a low rating. I am a sophomore, and I had to read this story in English class this year, and I found it at best terribly boring. So much so that I found I could not follow along. This story jups from one time zone to another, and even though I've read others like that, I just was not able to follow this one.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2010

    The Nights They Drove Old Dixie Down

    This ain't for those who can't read a sentence that's longer than a page or those who aren't willing to back up and re-read what just passed, confused out of their wits as to what it is that Faulkner decided to say in a manner so archaic that it will turn off everyone, and I mean everyone, who isn't patient or a completionist or a stoont under the very best teacher, and even then only those who take the time to understand and not just complete what i feel to be the greatest 20th century American book, which is something I probably don't have much authority to award what is, after all, a collection of interrelated short stories.
    But they are some of the best. The stories of the life of the man who would go on to be Uncle Ike, last true heir of the McCaslins as he watches everything from his youth fall, and the way that former-slaves-turned-negroes-eventual-African-Americans develop, suffer, and survive in the heart of the South, in Faulkner's made up county, is something no one should miss. The Bear in particular, if no other part of the book can be completed, must be recommended to everyone.
    But don't buy this as a gift unless your certain that the person will do more than love the Cover. And don't expect to be able to easily talk about this to anyone not in an English class with you and even then don't expect much (but hey, sometimes ye can be surprised).
    And as you can tell, Faulkner's style, for good or ill, is contagious.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2007

    A reviewer

    This novel is comprised of several interrelated stories tracing the growth of the individual identity of the african-american. As the novel progesses, problems and mysteries unfold about the McCaslin geneology. Faulkner purposefully uses distorted sentence structure to perpetuate the distorted image of african americans. This book will enrich your life! I reccomend this book to anyone who is willing to invest a little time and has an open mind! Each re-read is rewarding as you will uncover more mysteries and make more meaning out of Faulkner's text.

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    Posted November 12, 2011

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    Posted February 25, 2012

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    Posted January 13, 2009

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    Posted November 11, 2009

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