Nancy, a black nursemaid, is about to be hanged for killing her mistress's baby. The mother, Temple Drake, knows the reason why. The night before the execution, a lawyer pleads with Temple to intercede, but will the past allow for justice or absolution in the present? Switching between narrative prose and play script, this is Faulkner's haunting sequel to his earlier bestseller, Sanctuary.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Requiem for a Nun by William Faulkner. Requiem for a Nun by William Faulkner. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published May 12th by Vintage first published More Details Original Title.
Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi United States. National Book Award Finalist for Fiction Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Requiem for a Nun , please sign up. Who said, "The past is never dead. It's not even past"? Gowan Stevens. See all 4 questions about Requiem for a Nun…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order.
Start your review of Requiem for a Nun. May 20, mark monday rated it it was ok Shelves: world-of-insects , into-the-past , mind-the-gap , unstablenarratives. Soon after his first birthday, his family moved to Ripley, Mississippi. On September 21, , the Falkner family settled in Oxford, where he lived on and off for the rest of his l William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi.
On September 21, , the Falkner family settled in Oxford, where he lived on and off for the rest of his life. His family, particularly his mother Maud, his maternal grandmother Lelia Butler, and Caroline "Callie" Barr the black woman who raised him from infancy crucially influenced the development of Faulkner's artistic imagination. Both his mother and grandmother were avid readers and also painters and photographers, educating him in visual language, and thank you Wikipedia for all of this personal history that doesn't have a whole lot to do with this review.
Faulkner is all about the history and context of a person, and in Requiem for a Nun, of a place. It is a curious book in that at least half of it is an absorbing faux-history lesson - one that doesn't have a whole lot to do with what the book is supposedly about.
So what is the point of Requiem? It appears to be a continuation of Temple Drake's story from Sanctuary, in play form. Like so: Temple Drake , wringing her hands, her voice on the edge of hysteria: "I-I-I am still an empty vessel, now a walking symbol of a life not being lived, of selfishness and self-denial and just plain denial-denial, oh woe is me! My dead eyes refuse to cry but my angst smolders and burns! It is what I have been placed in this story to do! My spirituality and my checkered past and my willingness to sacrifice myself for some sad, trifling white woman illustrates my innate saintliness!
Also, I murdered Temple's baby because sometime you have to kill an infant so that a wife can be forced to stay with her husband and not run off like some slattern! Hallelujah, oh glory be! Off I go to die! Praise Jesus! You die so that I shall live! And that's not messed up at all, no way, not one little bit! I'm sorry, what was your name again?
I think I shall write more about the history and context of a certain place because why not, I'm motherfuckin' Faulkner and I do what I wanna do!
Swooningly beautiful in that classic, often hypnotic Faulkner way, full of these gloriously long, long, looooong sentences; writing that is subtle and ironic and often a deadpan sort of humorous - my favorite. Style to die for, which is a rare and wonderful thing when reading history. I could get lost in that kind of prose, and I often did. Lost in the best sort of way. I often forgot that this book was supposed to be about irritating, useless Temple Drake View all 11 comments.
Apr 07, Diane Barnes rated it really liked it. This sequel to "Sanctuary" is so much better than that one, it almost makes up for having to wade through that one just to read this one. It tells us what really happened to Temple Drake, and is set 8 years after her abduction. The style is very different, written in a combination of prose and play dialogue.
I wasn't sure I would be happy with that before beginning, but by the end thought it was just more example of Faulkner's willingness to take chances in his literature.
If you read "Sanctuary This sequel to "Sanctuary" is so much better than that one, it almost makes up for having to wade through that one just to read this one. If you read "Sanctuary", this is a must, but don't read this as a stand alone. Not the place for anyone reading Faulkner for the first time to start, but the history of Jefferson and Yoknapotawpha County given in Act 1 was really helpful to me in understanding characters and timelines from earlier novels.
View all 7 comments. Apr 16, Sue rated it really liked it Shelves: american-southern , faulkner , read , library-book , fiction. Faulkner's sequel to Sanctuary, set eight years later with Temple Drake married to Gowan Stevens, gives a more complete picture of the inner workings of this woman's mind and soul, though it remains far from clear in true Faulkner style. Temple seems a very damaged woman, but when that damage began and who inflicted it cannot be answered.
Was it when Gowan crashed his car? Or perhaps her decision to meet him for that game? Or later with Popeye? Or earlier, as an overly cherished and protected da Faulkner's sequel to Sanctuary, set eight years later with Temple Drake married to Gowan Stevens, gives a more complete picture of the inner workings of this woman's mind and soul, though it remains far from clear in true Faulkner style.
Or earlier, as an overly cherished and protected daughter of Jefferson, Mississippi prominence? As a young woman of entitlement, she had always done what she wished to do. For me she is not evil so much as incapable of being a full human being.
There is something missing in her, perhaps the ability to truly relate to others. Faulkner has chosen an interesting structure for Requiem. There are discourses on the long history of Jefferson and the surrounding county, some parts exquisitely told, separated by a three act play whose major players are Lawyer Gavin Stevens and Temple Drake.
The play contains very detailed stage directions, such as are found in the plays of Tennessee Williams. These add greatly to both understanding and enjoyment. Any one planning to read this book really should read Sanctuary first.
The connections are very specific. And I would suggest reading Requiem soon after. I have purposefully not provided much specific plot information here. That would only serve to spoil a future reader's enjoyment. And, as I see it, Temple is the rather inscrutable center of both books. View all 6 comments. Dec 02, Gill rated it liked it Shelves: challenge. It has a strange structure.
It's written in 3 Acts. Each 'Act' is in two sections; the first is a narrative, linked to the history of the jail and courthouse in Jefferson the fictionalised town where Faulkner set so many of his novels ; the second part is written as a play script taking up the story of Temple Drake, 8 years after the events in Sanctuary.
Requiem for a Nun
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Requiem for a Nun (Text Key 228)
Requiem for a Nun is a work of fiction written by William Faulkner which was first published in It is a sequel to Faulkner's early novel Sanctuary , which introduced the characters of Temple Drake , her friend later husband Gowan Stevens, and Gowan's uncle Gavin Stevens. The events in Requiem are set in Faulkner's fictional Yoknapatawpha County and Jackson, Mississippi , in November and March , eight years after the events of Sanctuary. In Requiem , Temple, now married with a child, must learn to deal with her violent, turbulent past as related in Sanctuary.
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