Absalom, Absalom

Influence and significance

Absalom, Absalom!, along with The Sound and the Fury, helped Faulkner win the Nobel Prize in Literature for the year 1949.[7] In 2009, a panel of judges called Absalom, Absalom! the best Southern novel of all time.[8]

The title refers to the Biblical story of Absalom, a son of David who rebelled against his father (then King of the Kingdom of Israel) and was killed by David's general Joab in violation of David's order to deal gently with his son, thus causing heartbreak to David.

The 1983 Guinness Book of World Records says the "Longest Sentence in Literature" is a sentence from Absalom, Absalom! containing 1,288 words.[9] The sentence can be found in Chapter 6; it begins with the words "Just exactly like father", and ends with "the eye could not see from any point". The passage is entirely italicized and incomplete.

The final lyric of Distant Early Warning, a single released by the Canadian rock band Rush, is the word 'Absalom' repeated three times. Drummer Neil Peart, the band's lyricist, said he "loved the sound of" the title of Faulkner's novel and was inspired to look up the Biblical story of Absalom after reading the novel. "Since one of the main themes of the song was compassion, it occurred to me that the Biblical story was applicable."[10]

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