Saturday, May 30, 2015

June 26 -- The Hamlet, Vol. 1 of Snopes Trilogy, by William Faulkner

Meeting Information:
Location: Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Small Meeting Room
Address: 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO
Date: June 26, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM

We will discuss The Hamlet by William Faulkner

The Hamlet is a novel by the American author William Faulkner, published in 1940, about the fictional Snopes family of Mississippi. The Hamlet is the first of the "Snopes" trilogy, completed by The Town (1957), and The Mansion (1959).

Bernard Norcott/Mahany (member of our group) has recommended reading the short story, Barn Burning, before reading The Hamlet because it is a prequel and explains some background information.

The novel, The Hamlet follows the exploits of the Snopes family, beginning with Ab Snopes, who is introduced more fully in Faulkner's The Unvanquished. Most of the book centers around Frenchman's Bend, into which the heirs of Ab and his family have migrated from parts unknown. In the beginning of the book Ab, his wife, daughter, and son Flem settle down as tenant farmers beholden to the powerful Varner family.

As the book progresses, the Snopes move from being poor outcasts to a very controversial, if not dangerous, element in the life of the town. In contrast, V.K. Ratliff stands as the moral hero of the novel. Faulkner uses the eccentricities of the Snopes to great comic effect, most notably in his description of Ike Snopes and his carnal inclinations towards livestock.

A section towards the end of this book, detailing Flem's return from Texas and the auction of several horses, has also been published as the short story Spotted Horses.

King Lear Discussion Photo

Photo of the group that met May 29 to discuss King Lear by Shakespeare.
Tim Thurman, Marty Hatton, Don Pepper, Bernard Norcott/Mahany, Jan Carter, Tom Brown, Ed Doering, David Lindberg, Karen Hostetler and Clif Hostetler (behind camera).