The Town (Vintage International)
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This is the second volume of Faulkner’s trilogy about the Snopes family, his symbol for the grasping, destructive element in the post-bellum South. Like its predecessor, The Hamlet, and its successor, The Mansion, The Town is completely self-contained, but it gains resonance from being read with the other two. The story of Flem Snopes’s ruthless struggle to take over the town of Jefferson, Mississippi, the book is rich in typically Faulknerian episodes of humor and profundity.
from behind the coca cola bottling plant; Otis said he didn’t know how in the world they got into it because no door was open nor window broken, but he could smell warm coca cola syrup spilled down the front of the little one’s nightshirt or dressing-sacque or whatever it was from five or six feet away. Because that was as close as he got; he said he hollered at them to go on home to the Snopes, I mean the Jefferson Hotel but they just stood there looking at him and he said he never intended
it.” “Lie yourself!” Mother said. “She sent it!” “No,” Uncle Gavin said. “Then she should have!” Mother said; and now Gowan said she was crying, half way holding to Uncle Gavin and half way beating him with both fists, crying: “You fool! You fool! They dont deserve you! They aren’t good enough for you! None of them are, no matter how much they look and act like a—like a—like a god damn whorehouse! None of them! None of them!” Only Mr Snopes left more footprints than them on Jefferson that
watched the two bonding fellers come out of the hotel and cross the Square with their little lawyers’ grips, the young one toting his own grip but Samson, the hotel porter, walking behind the white vest one toting his, and Samson’s least boy walking behind Samson toting what I reckon was the folded Memphis paper the white vest one had been reading while they et breakfast and they, except Samson and his boy, went in too. Then Lawyer come up by his-self and went in, and sho enough before extra long
would have been Byron Snopes except that he didn’t show up. So they had to wait for the next one with a key: which was Mr de Spain. And by fifteen minutes after eight, which was about thirteen minutes after the auditors decided to start on the books that Byron kept, Mr de Spain found out from the Snopes hotel that nobody had seen Byron since the south-bound train at nine twenty-two last night, and by noon everybody knew that Byron was probably already in Texas though he probably wouldn’t reach
I did not believe, not because of the anguish, the jealousy, the despair, but simply because of Ratliff. In fact, it was Ratliff who gave me that ease of hope—or if you like, ease from anguish; all right: tears too, peaceful tears but tears, which are the jewel-baubles of the belated adolescence’s clown-comedian—to pant with. Because even if the child had been only one day old, Ratliff would have invented the walking, being Ratliff. In fact, if there had been no child at all yet, Ratliff would