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Reading to learn. Reading is one of the most effective (and engaging) ways to learn, to acquire knowledge. Reading should not be limited to certain genres.
The first time I read William Faulkner’s “The sound and the Fury”, I was eighteen, and it stuck in my head. I read it again several times during the years that followed, finding new reasons to reflect on it and to appreciate it every single time. It is clear that our relationship with a book, with a “story”, is also determined by what is happening in our life when we are reading it. It was the same for me, all those years ago, but the value of that reading has not changed, even years later.
The story of Caddy Compson, as told by his three brothers Benjy, Quantin and Jason, is very effective, even if in the end, the true portrait of Caddy is the one made by the cook, Dilsey. The decay of a large Southern family, the Compson, is at the heart of this great “fresco” depicted by Faulkner. What struck me the most was the the young Benjy, the strange – idiotic even – brother, as well as the title of the book itself, which was inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth, more specifically, by the King’s monologue on his own description of life: … “And then is heard no more: it is a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.”
Therefore, the title is a reference to the figure of the idiot, of the pure fool who knows nothing and to whom nothing responds. Benjy thus becomes another member of a long list of “pure idiots”, a concept which was first introduced by Dostoevsk and which came back more recently in some empty characters of Phil K. Dick’s novels. It was Benjy alone, who made this book irreplaceable for me.
Sergio Cofferati, Member of the European Parliament