A Fable: I Don't Understand It!

I'm still slogging my way through my Pulitzer Project:  reading as many of the Pulitzer Prize Winners for Fiction as I can find electronically.  (Just makes more sense to read them this way as I can carry one device with lots of books on it.)  I have been struggling with William Faulkner's A Fable.  I don't know whether to give up and move on or keep trying.

I've read only one other Faulkner, As I Lay Dying, about a year ago.  That was also an e-book and was poorly composed/translated.  I got through it but thought my dislike/frustration of the book had to do with the "translation" as it were.  The formatting was done poorly so I thought that was what caused by difficulty with reading it.  Now I have to wonder.  Am I just missing the Faulkner gene? Is stream of consciousness writing just not something that I can understand? (I don't think that's the case as I've read other authors such as James Joyce, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Virginia Woolf who fall into this category and while I may not have loved their works, at least I understood them!  And if you count Chekhov's plays in the category, I can safely say that I have enjoyed some stream of consciousness.)

I've read some difficult books in my day; mostly thanks to two wonderful teachers I had in high school.  As part of a two year AP English class I read, read, and then read some more.  Some of the "literature" was awful (as in, not my cup of tea) and some was wonderful.  (It's where I discovered my love for F. Scott Fitzgerald and Eugene O'Neill)  But if I had been assigned A Fable in this class, I'm afraid I would have resorted to Cliff Notes.  (Full disclosure here:  With all of the reading that we were assigned over the course, I only gave up once.  It is true that I did actually read all of Crime and Punishment, but could not handle Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad.  I never finished it and relied on class discussion as well as Cliff Notes to muddle my way.)

So do I slog my way through sentences that run for three pages or do I call it a day?  In all honesty, I had a heck of a lot more fun on the beach this weekend with my worn copy a Susan Wigg's Chick Lit.  (I bring well-worn second hand books to the beach to read, so if something happens to them I don't feel too bad.  Although I am still somewhat mourning the loss of Pat Conroy's Beach Music to Superstorm Sandy.  Sure I read it two or three times, but it kept me going for hours on end.)  Do I just need a break for a while and then try to return to it?  (Go Set a Watchman comes out tomorrow and I can't believe I've gone over a month without diving into In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume.)  I'm looking for advice here (especially from my fellow AP English-ers and any teachers.)  Has anyone read this?  Is anyone out there a fan of Faulkner that could guide me to the light?  I'm counting on every and all thoughts to help me decide my Fable fate!


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