Monday, May 19, 2008

Please, Sir, I Don't Understand Your English

what have I done to have been given children like these Benjamin was punishment enough and now for her to have no more regard for me her own mother I’ve suffered for her dreamed and planned and sacrificed I went down into the valley yet never since she opened her eyes has she given me one unselfish thought at times I look at her I wonder if she can be my child except Jason he has never given me one moment’s sorrow since I first held him in my arms I knew then that he was to be my joy and my salvation I thought that Benjamin was punishment enough for any sins I have committed I thought he was my punishment for putting aside my pride and marrying a man who held himself above me I don’t complain I loved him above all of them because of it because my duty though Jason pulling at my heart all the while but I see now that I have not suffered enough I see now that I must pay for your sins as well as mine what have you done what sins have your high and mighty people visited upon me but you’ll take up for them you always have found excuses for your own blood only Jason can do wrong because he is more Bascomb than Compson while your own daughter my little daughter my baby girl she is she is no better than that when I was a girl I was unfortunate I was only a Bascomb I was taught that there is no half-way ground that a woman is either a lady or not but I never dreamed when I held her in my arms that any daughter of mine could let herself don’t you know I can look at her eyes and tell you may think she’d tell you but she doesn’t tell things she is secretive you don’t know her I know things she’s done that I’d die before I’d have you know that’s it go on criticize Jason accuse me of setting him to watch her as if it were a crime while your own daughter can I know you don’t love him that you wish to believe faults against him you never have yes ridicule him as you always have Maury you cannot hurt me any more than your children already have and then I’ll be gone and Jason with no one to love him shield him from this I look at him every day dreading to see this Compson blood beginning to show in him at last with his sister slipping out to see what do you call it then have you ever laid eyes on him will you even let me try to find out who he is it’s not for myself I couldn’t bear to see him it’s for your sake to protect you but who can fight against bad blood you won’t let me try we are to sit back with our hands folded while she not only drags your name in the dirt but corrupts the very air your children breathe Jason you must let me go away I cannot stand it let me have Jason and you keep the others they’re not my flesh and blood like he is strangers nothing of mine and I am afraid of them I can take Jason and go where we are not known I’ll go down on my knees and pray for the absolution of my sins that he may escape this curse try to forget that the others ever were

No, I was not mumbling up there.

And for your information, it was not actually mine either.
The so-called mumbling above originally comes from William Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury.
And yes, that passage above was coming from inside the mind of a particular character, of whom I can barely recall now.

All I wanted to convey is that if you have trouble in understanding the above passage and subsequently failed to finish reading it, so did I.
And it turned out, so did with many others, which are actually Mr. Faulkner’s fellow American writers.

And they said once that Ulysses written by James Joyce was one of the toughest read in the history of modern English literature. D’oh!

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