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First published in 1931, this classic psychological melodrama has been viewed as more of a social document in his tragic legend of the South than mere story. From Popeye, a moonshining racketeer with no conscience and Temple Drake, beautiful, bored and vulnerable, to Harace Benbow, a lawyer of honor and decency wishing for more in his life, and Gowan Stevens, college student with a weakness for drink, Faulkner writes of changing social values and order. A sinister cast peppered with social outcasts and perverts perform abduction, murder, and mayhem in this harsh and brutal story of sensational and motiveless evil.
Students of Faulkner have found an allegorical interpretation of "Sanctuary" as a comment on the degradation of old South's social order by progressive modernism and materialistic exploitation. Popeye and his co-horts represent this hurling change that is corrupting the historic traditions of the South, symbolized by Horace Stevens, which are no longer able to protect the victimized Negro and poor white trash due to middle-class apathy and inbred violence.

317 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1931

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About the author

William Faulkner

1,021 books8,737 followers
William Cuthbert Faulkner was a Nobel Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer. One of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, his reputation is based mostly on his novels, novellas, and short stories. He was also a published poet and an occasional screenwriter.

The majority of his works are set in his native state of Mississippi. Though his work was published as early as 1919, and largely during the 1920s and 1930s, Faulkner was relatively unknown until receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature, "for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel." Faulkner has often been cited as one of the most important writers in the history of American literature. Faulkner was influenced by European modernism, and employed stream of consciousness in several of his novels.

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Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
July 22, 2021
Sanctuary, William Faulkner

Sanctuary is a novel by the American author William Faulkner about the rape and abduction of a well-bred Mississippi college girl, Temple Drake, during the Prohibition era.

It is considered one of his more controversial works, given its theme of rape.

First published in 1931, it was Faulkner's commercial and critical breakthrough, establishing his literary reputation.

It is said Faulkner claimed it was a "potboiler", written purely for profit, but this has been debated by scholars and Faulkner's own friends.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1989میلادی

عنوان: حریم؛ اثر: ویلیام فاکنر؛ مترجم: فرهاد غبرایی؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، نیلوفر؛ 1367، در 322ص، شابک9644483030؛ چاپ سوم سال1385، موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م

رخدادهای این کتاب نیز، همانند دیگر کتاب‌های «فاکنر»، در سرزمین خیالی «یوکناپاتافا» رخ می‌دهند؛ داستان چارچوب جنایی و معمایی دارد؛ «گودوین» به همراه همکارانش، در خانه ای در جنگل، نوشابه میسازند، و آنرا به اهالی، به صورت قاچاق میفروشند؛ «بن بو» وکیلی است، که با همسرش به هم زده، و در راه خود به خانه ی پیشین والدینش، یکروز مهمان «گودوین» میشود؛ از سوی دیگر «تمپل» نیز، دختر جوان و دانش آموزی است، که روزی با پسری قرار دیدار دارد، و پسر از او میخواهد، سر راه، به خانه «گودوین» بروند، و نوشابه بخرند، اما ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 30/04/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Perry.
632 reviews516 followers
March 3, 2019
I Am What I Am and That's All That I Am

"Good God, I can't publish this. We'd both be in jail." So said Faulkner's publisher prior to the 1931 publication of this sensational novel of rape and murder, focusing on Temple Drake, an Ole Miss debutante, and a violent bootlegging criminal named Popeye.

Faulkner throws his 2d favorite female character, Temple Drake (behind Caddy Compson), an Ole Miss cutie, into the devil's pit by circumstances (caused proximately by the same brown devilwater that accompanies besotted Ole Miss frat boys to Sat'day football games to this day).

This book is not for the weak of will. It's the only Faulkner novel, I think, that describes masturbation in Faulknerese (btw, any sex act in his vernacular is a fun hobby for comics with a literary bent), or of his that centers on a brutal rape.

This was Faulkner's commercial and critical literary breakthrough. In the novel's preface, he panned the novel as a "cheap idea deliberately conceived to make money." Though it's not nearly on par with his three most critically acclaimed, "The Sound and the Fury," "Absalom, Absalom!" and "As I Lay Dying," or what I consider his best, Light in August, I would not at all characterize it as a "potboiler" "for profit."

For those new to Faulkner it's a better place to start than the trio most often taught in American Lit classes, though I'd suggest a Faulkner newbie start with "Light in August," which is much more accessible and more conventionally structured than the big three.
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,644 reviews5,102 followers
March 13, 2017
The celebrated painter goes to a zoo to view some animals and paint some pictures. He paints these pictures to make some bucks, sure, but above all things he's an artist, and so the paintings are indeed works of art. His technique amazes: images that flow into each other like thoughts, a graceful juggling of light and shadow and pure dark, a way of turning a grim and bleak landscape into something beautiful, even sublime. This is a painter who knows his subject. A master of his form. This is an artist!

There is much hushed conversation at the art gallery opening. What are these wonderfully realistic yet often inexplicable images? What are these animals doing? In one series of linked paintings, an animal looks trapped, surrounded by other animals, fleeing here and there, finally cornered. A brave society matron approaches the celebrated painter and asks him about this particular series - what exactly is it depicting? The artist replies, "That is a young female, confused and alone while among others of her species, and in that particular painting she is being raped with a corncob by that unusual-looking beast. Later, she will imprint upon her rapist and so they form a couple; but because he is physically unable to mate, he allows another male to mate with her. He later kills that male." "But of course," replies the matron. "It becomes so much more clear upon closer inspection!" The artist smiles a secret smile, and murmurs, "And as you'll see in this final series, I've depicted this impotent male's strange and violent childhood. He is certainly an unusual fellow! His story is quite worthy of both high society and the masses' contemplation."

And so it goes. The gorgeous and ambiguous imagery illustrates a host of terrible things within settings that are strikingly rendered yet also resolutely banal. The beauty of the images enhances the experience - particularly for those viewers who appreciate mastery of technique and persistence of vision - and the bleakness of the settings allow the viewers to feel as if they are understanding something basic and primal about these animals. Such depressing lives these sad creatures must live! The guests at the art opening may not have been "entertained" per se - outside of their appreciation of style and virtuosity - but they do leave the gallery quite edified. It has been an educational experience and they will have much to discuss at the next dinner party.

One lone straggler remains. He eventually approaches the celebrated painter and after first praising his works, rather timidly says, "In the end I must admit I am left wondering... how do you actually feel about the animals in these paintings? What is your own personal perspective?" The artist dryly replies, "They disgust me. If I could, I'd slaughter them all."
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,867 reviews16.5k followers
September 29, 2021
There’s a scene from the 1987 Coen Brothers film Raising Arizona when a fingerprint tech says to Nathan Arizona, “You may want to wash your hands at this point” as Nathan grabs an expensive coat, ruining it with fingerprint ink.

After reading William Faulkner’s 1931 novel Sanctuary, you may want to wash your hands. And take a shower. And brush your teeth.

It’s a gritty, dirty Southern Gothic noir book filled with unlikeable characters and seedy behavior.

Being that it was written in 1931, Faulkner was decades ahead of his time.

Interestingly, two of the characters from Raising Arizona, the two played by John Goodman and William Forsythe, Gale and Evelle Snopes, are a direct allusion to and homage to Faulkner’s infamous Snopes clan of Yoknapatawpha County, a member of which is represented in Sanctuary.

This book has been much maligned over the years because of comments Faulkner himself made about this book having been written only for money. I don’t know about the rest of you … but I do stuff every day for money and that doesn’t mean I mailed in a performance. This book is quite good and although there are sections and scenes that are over the top, it is of a quality of hyperbole that is made for dramatic affect and his intent is still with an outstanding narrative to be completed.

Like much of his best writing, it can be hard to follow. While this eschews the stream of consciousness narrative techniques of some of his novels, his dialogue and scene descriptions call for a patient and adaptable reading. What does not at first make any sense will later be explained in the context of the bigger picture. But Faulkner still asks much of his reader, you’ll need to bring your own flashlight as Faulkner’s murky Mississippi setting remains mysterious and saturnine.

Temple Drake and Blanche DuBois.

Tennessee Williams’ tragic heroine from his play A Streetcar Named Desire, published in 1947, sixteen years after Sanctuary, is a fallen woman representing the fall of a once proud Southern aristocratic family, and as microcosm, representing the South as a culture. A thoughtful reader may harken back to Faulkner’s description of Temple Drake from Sanctuary. Temple, a college student at Ole Miss, the daughter of a prominent Mississippi judge, is also a bit of a libertine. She is the victim of bootleggers, but then she loses her mind in a Memphis whorehouse (madamed by the same Miss Reba we see again in The Reivers) and is made to be a puppet for the antagonist. This psychological change in Temple is the most noteworthy in a book filled with sordid actions and complicated moralities.


Faulkner was a master at creating evil players, and Sanctuary’s villain (though there are many disreputable characters) may be his most foul. Popeye is a sociopathic wrong doer originally from Pensacola but whose crimes stretch across the South. His corruption of Temple and his machinations behind the scenes of much of the conflict are sometimes difficult to read.

Horace Benbow and Atticus Finch.

Readers for generations have marveled and been inspired by the quiet heroism and leadership of Harper Lee’s brilliant defense lawyer. To Kill a Mockingbird is set about the same time as Sanctuary, though Lee first published her novel thirty years later. Before Finch’s courtroom largesse we find Faulkner’s Benbow, not as brilliant or even high minded as Atticus, a tragic player in a farcical tragedy, described by the author with a kind of existential flaw at the core of his being, knowing what is right and what must be done, but fundamentally, fatally unable to rise to such a task and ultimately betrayed by circumstance.

Highly recommended for readers of this genre and a must read for Faulkner fans.

Profile Image for ArturoBelano.
99 reviews287 followers
April 24, 2019
12. bölümün sonu; Snopes ağzındaki baklayı nihayet çıkarır “kız Memphis’te bir keraanede”. 13. Bölümün başında Avukat Horace Benbow’u kerhanenin bahçesinde görürüz. Bir cinayet davasıyla ilgili en önemli tanığın peşindedir. Kız kerhaneye kapatılmıştır, görüşür bir sonuç alamaz. Döner, odasına kapanır.

“Elektriğin düğmesini bulup ışığı yaktı” cümlesiyle başlayıp “Çok aşağılarda mısır kabuklarının sesini duyuyordu” ile biten paragraf ile bölüm biter ve biz de sayfayı çeviririz.

2019’u Faulkner yılı ilan ettiğimden beri 3, toplamda 4 kitabını okudum ve her sayfayla beraber hayranlığım artarak devam ediyor. Ses ve Öfke’yle kapanış yapacağım ancak çok satsın diye yazılmış bu kitabı görünce de beklentim de arşa çıkmış durumda.

Faulkner zor bir yazar, okuyup geçmenize pek izin vermiyor. Öyle uzanır okurum derseniz sizi evrenine almasına imkan yok. Belki yüzeysel bir iki değerlendirme o kadar ve ama bunun da Faulkner’la bir ilgisi yok. Ama yine de Faulkner okumaya niyetli okura Tapınak’dan başlamasını öneririm zira bu kitap onun tüm numaralarını rafine bir şekilde önünüze serecektir.

Bir Faulkner kitabı tam da ortadan başlar, siz önce karakterleri tanıyıp sonra yola devam edemezsiniz. Karakter yolda oluşur, siz cümlelerden ipucu toplarsınız. Hiçbir şey havada kalmaz, sadece dikkat ister. Kitabın ilk kelimesi Popeye olsa da siz onun karakterini belirleyen şeyi kitabın sonunda öğrenirsiniz.

Faulkner’ı okuyacaksanız bilmeniz gereken diğer bir şey onun şair olduğu ve şiirinin ve üslubunun esinlendiği yerin Fransız simgecileri olduğudur. Göstermez, adlandırmaz, karikatürize etmez, sadece sezdirir, hissettirir en fazla ve bu her cümleye baptist bir vaazin İncil’i okuması gibi dikkat isteyen inceliki bir iştir. Onun kelimeleri ona özel gibidir, bizim anladığımızı adlandırmaz, bunun yetmediği yerde kendi kelimelerini türetir, kendi şehrini icat ettiği gibi. Popeye böceklerden mi korkuyor, bu neyi ifade eder… Ya o sırta batan mısır koçanları.

Faulkner’ın zamanının bizim zamanı yaşama biçimimiz ile bir ilgisi yoktur. Onda hiç kimse doğup, büyüyüp ölmez, önce büyür sonra doğar. Kronolojik bir anlatı göremeyiz onda, karakter gibi olayda bir yerden başlar, ileri geri yol alır ve bir yerde biter gibi olur. Geçen ve gelecek birbiriyle iç içe geçmiştir, tarih bir türlü uyanamadığımız bir lanettir. Elektiriği açınca kızının resmi Temple’nin silüeti ile iç içe geçer ama biz bunu başka bir anda, simgeleri takip ettiysek anlarız yoksa o sayfa okunmuş ama mide bulantısı anlaşılmamış olur. Basit bir flashbacak’den bahsetmiyorum, görme, niteleme ve bakış açımızla da oynar.

Bakış demişken, bir başka zorluk da odaksız anlatımdır. Ben anlatıcı ve tanrı anlatıcının yerine çoklu bir bakış açısı çıkar karşımıza. Anlatının zamanı belirsiz olduğu gibi anlatıcı da yer değiştirir, farklı açılar ve onların doğruları devreye girer. Bakış açısının çokluğu üslup karmaşası yaratır ve biz hangi zamanda kimin sesini dinlediğimizi ıskalarız ya da ıskalayabiliriz. Bu sayede Güney’in düşün dünyası farklı gözlerden önümüze serilir. Suç varsa kolektifleşir, kimsenin gözünün yaşına bakılmaz. Temple, Horace, Narsicca, Lee, Ruby hem kendi hem de simgeledikleri adına eyler, konuşur ve köşelerine çekilir. Elbette bu öyle basit, ha bu da bunun simgesiymiş gibi ucuzlukta olmaz. Faulkner’ın estetiği böyle basitliklere izin vermez.

Zorlukları yanında bir kolaylığı vardır yazarın. O nihayetinde Güney’li bir beyefendidir ve derdi, tasası, olayı bu Güney’le şekillenmiştir. Tapınak gibi bir cinayet tecavüz hikayesinde dahi Güney’li olmanın tüm hallerini görürüz. Dini bağnazlık, ahlaki maskeler, ırkçılık, kör cehalet üstünüze üstünüze gelir ve bu kör kuyudan çıkış yine de kuzey modernitesi değildir. Bu da aslında yazarı farklı bağlamda Dostoyevski, Mişima ve aşırı bir yorumla 1935 Heidiger’i ile akraba kılar, biçimler farklı ve ama nihai dertler ortaktır. Bir nehrin iki yakasında karşı karşıya gelen, beceriksiz ama iyi niyetli Horace ile “saf kötü” Popeye iki farklı kültürün, kuzey ile güneyin prototipi gibidir. Ama beceriksiz bir iyilik bu savaşın galibi olamayacak kadar bu dünyadan kovulmuş, kendi evi, toprağı ve ailesinin altını oymuştur.

Peki alt tarafı çok satsın diye yazılmış ve amacına ulaşmış bir cinayet ve tecavüz hikayesinde bu 13. bölümün ne işi var. Okuyanların aklında kalmış mıdır bilmiyorum ama Ulysses’in sonunun 200. Sayfa civarında anlatılması ve bizim anlamamız gibi bu kitabın da etrafında dolaştığı olay( o gece ne oldu) ve Horace’in içini kemiren kaygılar böyle bir ustalıkla üst üste bindirilerek verilip ve yine de hiçbir şey söylenmeden nasıl anlatılır, açıklarken üstü örtülür hayran kaldım. Ve elbette bu mide bulandırıcı ana eşlik eden tren vagonları, demir tekerleklerin gürlemesi… Peki, bunlarla nereye gideceğiz biz.

Okuyun, okutun. Buradayız, konuşuruz.
Profile Image for Ugh.
175 reviews79 followers
February 9, 2018
Update as of 1/11/2017.....Faulkner still sucks...

OK, Im going to be honest and tell you how I feel about Faulkner.....Fuck Faulkner. No, seriously, fuck him! Im sorry, he's got a lot of street cred. but his books are slow and dull and do not capture the reader at all within the first chapter (I have the attention span of a fish). This is ground for dismissal on my part. I tried reading this one and "The Sound and Fury" and even though they sounded awesome, within the first chapter I couldn't read anymore. His work is like nails on a chalkboard. I can't follow his writing at all, maybe I'm retarded (good possibility of this). It's so slow and dull, I don't know what any of the characters are doing half the time. I drift in and out of consciousness while reading his work. I have no patience...

I thought this was going to be about rape, brutality of human nature, and other awesome things; But instead, it was about....fuck, i dont even know what it was about (I read the first chapter and came to the conclusion that getting poked in the eye for 20 minutes would have been better...).
He also loves to use Southern slang, which is the most annoying thing to hear in your head after 15 pages; "Ya'll" and shit like this! See isn't it annoying just thinking about that one word, imagine 15 pages of this!

So there, I said it.

Now that I've ranted, maybe I can stop critiquing the works of famous writers and do something more constructive like get a job or a steady girlfriend. Like I have any right to judge such a famous writer! Where the hell do I get off?!? I think I'm so smart with my dumb little critiques, my updates on facebook every 20 minutes, and my lack of any ambition. If it came down to it; I could not write if my life depended on it. I'm full of shit. If you read this far, disregard everything I've written....I need a life....

P.S. I copy and pasted this whole critique from "The Sound and Fury" critique. I cant even write an original review! For Chrissake...
Profile Image for Anthony Vacca.
423 reviews279 followers
June 28, 2017
Sanctuary is a bleak southploitation novel casually dismissed by Faulkner as a "potboiler" he wrote to make a few bucks back when he was a coal-shoveler that pumped out groundbreaking experimental novels by night. Faulkner also claims he wrote this novel with the modest goal in mind of writing the most horrific tale he could imagine. Say what you will about the merits of this book (read: piss off if you dismiss this book) but you have to give the man his due: this novel is some seriously twisted shit. It's no small feat in this day and age of tykes and tykettes raised from an early age on bodily-carnage and pornographic gymnastics to have a written a novel that still causes the reader to gasp in horror. (Or, in the case of this particular reader, who deals with the horrors of reality in questionable ways, to close his eyes for a moment and give a sputter-laugh at the are-you-serious?-ness of it all) The novel's narrative focuses on a hussy of an eighteen-year old socialite, Temple Drake (who for the first half of the book may strike us modern readers, with our wonderful gift of female badasses like Lisabeth Salander, Clarice Starling, and Miriam Black, as resembling a little too much a helpless canary panicking in its cage), who gets kidnapped by a grotesquely-noirsh, redneck thug named Popeye. Little more can be said without giving away some of the grim twists and sordid reveals this Gothic tale takes, but know this: Faulkner uses Sanctuary as a means of focusing his fury and discontent with rural society by populating his novel with sleazy politicians, vile spinsters, ghastly babies, drunken frat boys, lowlife lawyers, ruthless killers, delusional prostitutes, and even the rare sighting of a few actually decent people. While nowhere near as challenging or experimental as Faulkner's modern classics (insert list here), this novel is written in an often breathless, ramshackle pacing that will keep the scandalized reader turning pages. A must read for lovers of redneck antics.
Profile Image for Apostolis Kalogirou.
42 reviews29 followers
March 6, 2021
Πρώτη μου επαφή με τον Φωκνερ και νομίζω πως έγινε με το κατάλληλο βιβ��ίο! Το Αδυτο κρίνεται σκληρά από την κοινότητα επειδή ουσιαστικά ο Φωκνερ δήλωσε πως το έγραψε απλά για να βγάλει χρήματα και να τα φέρει γύρα σε μια εποχή τρομερού στενέματος.. Δεν μπορώ να καταλάβω που είναι το πρόβλημα με αυτό; Δηλαδή αν δεν είχε ειπωθεί ποτέ κάτι τέτοιο, τι θα άλλαζε στο τελικό αποτέλεσμα; Ισα ισα κιόλας, έχοντας στο νου μου αυτό, βγάζω το συμπέρασμα πως ο Φωκνερ είναι απίστευτα ευφυής και ταλαντούχος και τον τοποθετώ αυτόματα στο πάνθεον της παγκόσμιας λογοτεχνίας.

Το Αδυτο είναι ενα βιβλίο με δυνατή πλοκή και δράση που φτάνει όμως το 5αρι λόγω της λογοτεχνικής ένταση που το διέπει. Εχω διαβάσει πολλά βιβλία περιπέτειας με καλύτερη πλοκή και δράση, που όμως υστερούσαν γιατί τους έλειπε η ένταση. Χωρίς αυτό το μαγικό συστατικό, τα βιβλία που βασίζονται στην πλοκή, προσπερνάνε απλά χωρίς να ακουμπήσουν.

Κλείνω με μία απορία: αν ο συγγραφέας κάνει παπάδες σε ένα βιβλίο που κατ ομολογίαν του γράφτηκε για τα φράγκα, δηλαδή απλοϊκά και στο πόδι, στα υπόλοιπα που έχει αφιερώσει χρόνο και φαιά ουσία, τι παίζει να έχει φτιάξει ; Με ποιό συνεχίζω ρε παιδιά;;
Profile Image for Sue.
1,241 reviews533 followers
March 13, 2017
My tour through the works of Faulkner continues, this time courtesy of the monthly read with OTSLT group. I didn't know of the history of this book before I began reading and read it as I always do Faulkner, with an eye out for the impenetrable prose and the other simply waiting for remarkable prose. I found less of the impenetrable prose than usual but much that struck me as beautifully written. I was also struck by the almost stage-manager sense of some of the descriptions provided in the set up of scenes and actions. It reminded me of the actual copious stage directions Tennessee Williams provided so that reading his plays actually provides visual scenes for the reader.

And then there are the characters. As I said in my final update for my reading, "I'm left with a feeling of inevitability and sadness at the end of this reading, sadness for everyone, disdain for many, but continued admiration for Faulkner's skill." There is such hopelessness for everyone in this tale; even the youngest show little promise or have been compromised. I know that at least a part of Faulkner wrote this in an attempt to have a break-through novel. And he succeeded. But he also used the settings of all his other books, the same family clans that have/had been developing in other novels, so this novel cannot be considered outside of his work.

In this novel we see almost everyone living down to the lowest common denominator. And those that don't? They are overwhelmed by everything around them. A sad novel, so well written by one of my favorite writers. Thanks to On the Southern Literary Trail for selecting this for a March read.
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,539 followers
November 14, 2022
Faulkner is accused of having written this book just for the money. It has some grueling, graphic sensational moments (think:bloody corncob) and so, it may not be for everyone. As you’ll see in the quotes below, we are in the mature writing phase of William after Sound and Fury and before Light in August. But, the depiction of Temple Drake is depressingly familiar as the 2-dimensional victim wannabe/stockholm syndrome survivor. Or as I put it in a comment below, a cross between a American Psycho’s Popeye meeting Lolita-like Temple. It is visceral and rather hard to follow, but still powerful. I am not sure I love the message in the book, if there was one, and I certainly lost all respect for Gowan Stevens (what a chickenshit) and gained a little for Horace Benbow, however powerless he was.

Horace Benbow: “Time’s not such a bad thing after all. Use it right, and you can stretch anything out, like a rubber band, until it bursts somewhere, and there you are, with all tragedy and despair in two little knots between thumb and finger of each hand.”

Final sentence of the book:
She closed the compact and from beneath her smart new hat she seemed to follow with her eyes the waves of music, to dissolve into dying brasses, across the pool and the opposite semicircle of trees where at sombre intervals the dead tranquil queens in stained marble mused, and on into the sky lying prone and vanquished in the embrace of the season of rain and death.
Profile Image for BAM the enigma.
1,853 reviews360 followers
April 17, 2022
Ok so after a book discussion…. Monday? with a Goodreader I chose to look at exactly how many more Faulkner books I need to read for THE LISTS personal challenge. The answer about 3 too many. So I need to remedy this ASAP. Or they will just sit there…on the shelf…collecting dust…which part of me is ok with

Oh my sweet baby Jesus if I have to read the word "said" one more time...it's probably in the book 10,587 times because obviously Faulkner doesn't own a thesaurus. I am not enjoying myself. This will probably take me longer to read than the de Balzac and we all know how that is going...

Alright so I actually liked this one. All of the characters are despicable, and the story screams dysfunction, but I didn’t suffer or die. I still have a couple more Faulkner to read, but this may be the one at the top of my Faulkner survival list
Profile Image for Sara.
Author 1 book484 followers
March 28, 2017
I’m trying to imagine a darker world than the one William Faulkner portrays in Sanctuary, and I can’t come up with one. There is not one character who isn’t pretty much despicable in his/her own right. Even Benbow, the lawyer who seeks to help a man that he knows is not guilty of the murder for which he is charged, is weak and unsavory in many ways.

What happens to Temple Drake, who finds herself in a very dangerous situation because she is young, naive, and clueless about the world at large, should not happen to the worst among us. The passages concerning her were desperately difficult to read. They are so stark and realistic, written in a quick clipped manner that echoes the shallow, frightened breathes you know she is taking. I found myself holding on to my own breath and gasping, with a tightness in my chest that surprised me.

No one could ever accuse Faulkner of being easy reading. He suggests more than tells sometimes, or you get a few chapters along and wonder if you missed something previous or even misunderstood what you have read. He loves to answer questions only after you have given up on getting the answers you need, and he washes through a very important event and then gives you bits of details later in the story. It is exhilarating and irritating at the same time. I have never closed one of his books without feeling that I should start over at the beginning and read it again.

Sanctuary is not my favorite Faulkner, but Temple Drake is, I believe, one of his stronger characters. She is a complicated mixture of vixen and child, she is a victim of not only the evil that is Popeye, but of the evil that is the system in which she has been raised and from which she draws her morals, or lack thereof. I’m looking forward to reading Requiem for a Nun and seeing where her future takes her. What possible meaning could life have after an experience like this one?
Profile Image for FotisK.
356 reviews158 followers
July 6, 2018
Ο Φώκνερ δεν επιδέχεται αξιολόγηση, τουλάχιστον όχι την τρέχουσα, του συρμού. Η "Ars longa" του δεν εμπίπτει στην κατηγορία των πεπερασμένων κειμένων και γραφιάδων που καταναλώνονται σωρηδόν ��αι στη συνέχεια παραδίδονται ανερυθρίαστα στη λήθη του χρόνου (στο θλιβερό ημίφως ενός σκονισμένου ραφιού).
Η "πλαγιομετωπική σύγκρουση" του φίλεργου αναγνώστη με την απαράμιλλη γραφή του Αμερικανού συγγραφέα είναι αδύνατον να μη λειτουργήσει αφενός απελευθερωτικά, αφετέρου ως θρυαλλίδα συναισθημάτων και σκέψεων.
Αυτή τουλάχιστον την επίδραση έχει σε εμένα. Ακροπατώντας σελίδα τη σελίδα, αίφνης νιώθω πως κάτω από τη βελούδινη επίστρωση των λέξεων συντελείται μια απολύτως ελεγχόμενη έκρηξη, της οποίας το ωστικό κύμα χτυπάει κατά κύματα, συμπαρασύροντάς με σε μια σπάνια μέθεξη που συντελείται σταδιακά και μεθοδικά, αφήνοντας μια λεπτή επίγευση στους γευστικούς "κάλυκες" του εγκεφάλου.
Μπορεί το "Άδυτο" (ή "Ιερό") να μην συγκαταλέγεται -κατά τους επαΐοντες- στις κορυφαίες στιγμές του συγγραφέα, θεωρούμενο ως το πλέον εμπορικό του μυθιστόρημα (κυρίως λόγω θεματολογίας και παρεκκλίνουσας σεξουαλικότητας). Συγγνωστό το… αδίκημα, καθότι όλα τα επιμέρους υφολογικά στοιχεία που ο Φωκνερικός αναγνώστης έχει συνηθίσει να αναζητά στα έργα του συγγραφέα είναι παρόντα. Και εμείς, για μια ακόμα φορά, προσερχόμαστε ευπειθώς στο "εκκλησίασμα" του… Ιερού του Φώκνερ.
Profile Image for Danica.
54 reviews28 followers
August 12, 2016
I want to begin by saying that reading through the reviews for this book is a very frustrating experience. Every second review quotes that Faulkner only wrote this book to make money and that this is why they do not like the book.

Let me clarify this issue for anyone that doesn't know the actual facts surrounding the changes that Sanctuary undertook before it was published. I'm certain other people have done so already on this thread, but please humour me.

Here is a quote from Faulkner at the back of my copy of Sanctuary: "Then I saw that [Sanctuary] was so terrible that there were but two things to do: tear it up or rewrite it. I thought again, 'it might sell; maybe 10,000 of them will buy it.' So I tore the galleys down and rewrote the book. It had been already set up once, so I had to pay for the privilege of rewriting it, trying to make out of it something which would not shame The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying too much and I made a fair job and I hope you will buy it and tell your friends and I hope they will buy it too."

So, if you don't like this book, that's fine (we all have differing opinions and that's a great thing), but you shouldn't go into it with a bias that Faulkner half-assed this one.

That being said, I'll talk a bit about the book. As with everything I've read by Faulkner, I found the writing very compelling. I couldn't put it down. The book is undoubtedly extremely grotesque in some places and gratuitously so. People seem to think that because something they've read makes them uncomfortable or disgusted, it is immediately a terrible piece of literature. I disagree. Literature that can evoke strong emotion is a powerful thing that deserves its due attention. Though I must admit that this isn't one of my favourites by Faulkner, I also admit that the prose flows. Faulkner is, as always, a master at conveying stunning imagery and he uses gorgeous metaphors. Whenever I read him, I feel as though I've watched a film as everything seems like it's been burned onto my retinas. I'll leave off with a few quotes I found gripping enough to mark and that will hopefully whet your appetite.

"The cigarette wreathed its faint plume across Popeye's face, one side of his face squinted against the smoke like a mask carved into two simultaneous expressions."

"Time's not such a bad thing after all. Use it right, and you can stretch anything out, like a rubber band, until it busts somewhere, and there you are, with all tragedy and despair in two little knots between thumb and forefinger of each hand."

"Holding the towel about her she stole toward the door, her ears acute, her eyes a little blind with the strain of listening."
Profile Image for Brown Girl Reading.
349 reviews1,589 followers
May 2, 2016
I do love Faulkner's writing although my first read of The Sound and the Fury nearly drove me mad. A second reading and analysis at college helped me understand and love it better. The only other novel I'd read by Faulkner was Light in August, which I also enjoyed. Sanctuary not really knowing only the strict minimum about it took me by surprise. The writing is thorough, direct, and easy to follow. The readability of it is reassuring, especially for those who haven't read any Faulkner. However the characters are all unlikeable and the subject matter is graphic to say the least. Popeye is definitely one of the most evil characters in literary fiction. Faulkner is known for his grimy, dark tales, but this one is that personified. I liked it though. What I love about Faulkner is the way he created Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, a fictional town, and made it feel like it could have been a very real place. At no point will the reader question its existence nor that the characters are unbelievable. Sanctuary is interesting on all levels - plot development, character analysis, themes, etc. I'd say this is a great place to start with Faulkner. All the same, I'll never look at corncobs the same way again...
Profile Image for Dagio_maya .
912 reviews256 followers
July 4, 2021
“Era una giornata grigia,
d'una estate grigia,
d'un anno grigio...”

Fernanda Pivano racconta che alla pubblicazione di Santuario frotte di persone fecero a gara per averne una copia.
Lo facevano avvolgere in carta pesante così da non far intravedere la copertina di un romanzo sconvolgente, una lettura scabrosa:
era il 1931.

In un'introduzione apparsa alla riedizione Faulkner scrisse:

” Questo libro è stato scritto tre anni fa.
Per me adesso rappresenta un'idea meschina perchè fu concepito deliberatamente per far quattrini “

La trama sconvolgente, pertanto, aveva l'obiettivo del guadagno (pare che Faulkner con i proventi abbia ristrutturato casa..) ma non per questo il romanzo ne risulta sminuito, anzi…

Faulkner impreziosisce una storia truce con una scrittura unica.
Se si pensa poi che è stato scritto dalle 18 alle 6 di mattino mentre faceva il turno di notte nell'azienda del carbone dove lavorava, beh..


Mi sono sentita un po' presa in giro da questo mio primo Faulkner.
Durante la lettura mi devo spesso soffermare, riflettere e spesso tornare indietro di qualche pagina. «C'è qualcosa che mi sfugge. Mi sono rincoglionita di colpo e non capisco?»
Lo stile -diciamo “arcaico” - non aiuta ma imbriglia ed imbroglia e, come se non bastasse, ci sono salti temporali ed elementi della storia che non vengono chiaramente spiegati.
E', dunque, un romanzo che necessita di interpretazione e possibilmente di una rilettura.
Gli aggettivi? A volontà!

“…aveva un ciuffo di capelli paglierini, bruciati dal sole, stopposi, laidi. Aveva gli occhi chiari, furbi, una barbetta morbida, accesa, color oro, sudicio…”

Tanto per far un esempio.
Il risultato: una scrittura che straripa!

Una tragedia

“Santuario” ha tutti gli elementi tipici di una tragedia greca.
Primo fra tutti il fato. Ci sono segni che ne fanno intuire il nero orizzonte (” Ella vide l'albero (…) le sembrò che fosse la logica e disastrosa fine di una serie di circostanze nella quale era stata coinvolta” ).
Horace è l'unico personaggio che cercherà di sviare il destino mosso da un grande senso di giustizia.
Ma come tutti anch'egli dovrà soccombere a ciò che è stato già scritto.

Nulla è a caso…

E' evidente l'intento di giocare con i nomi e legarli alla loro sorte.

Temple (Tempio) è la giovane dalle lunghe gambe bionde

Orazio/Horace (Orazione) avvocato che cercherà in tutti i modi di scagionare un innocente rappresenta la speranza o almeno l'atto concreto di un tentativo.

Il titolo stesso “Santuario” è interpretabile simbolicamente.
Un santuario è un luogo circoscritto e sacro quindi intoccabile che va rispettato e difeso; qui il “santuario” è la borghesia che si rivela ipocrita nel suo pensare perbenista e nel suo agire invece depravato ma che comunque detiene il potere del pensiero comune.
Occorre dunque difenderla.
Occorre tenere fuori dalla porta tutto ciò che è sconveniente, bruciare ciò che inquina.

” «Senta. Lei è stato molto gentile. Lei è pieno di buone intenzioni, ma...»
«Lei pensa che non sono abbastanza avvocato, è vero?»
«Penso che ho avuto proprio quello che mi spettava. E' inutile combatterlo.»“
Profile Image for Patrizia.
506 reviews140 followers
February 22, 2021
Il romanzo si apre con una scena apparentemente luminosa. Un uomo si disseta a un ruscello, osservato da un altro sulla riva opposta. Si comprende subito che il ruscello è una linea di demarcazione, il confine verso una terra oscura. L’uomo che guarda è descritto con poche frasi taglienti, secche. É brutto e il riflesso della paglietta che indossa è cattivo.
I due si trovano poi dall’altro lato, sulla stessa sponda, in un’atmosfera soffocante, contaminata dal male. Un male assoluto, che avvolge anche gli oggetti, da cui non esiste riparo. Non vi sono buoni, anche le vittime sprofondano nell’oscurità, quasi per contagio.
È un romanzo spiazzante, angosciante e magnifico.
Profile Image for Mark André .
112 reviews236 followers
October 5, 2021
Probably will never be my favorite Faulkner. Weird, strange, confusing story. Recommended for Faulkner fans only. Three stars, but it was fun to read, so we’ll call it four.
September 1, 2019
Vorrei essere come Fernanda Pivano

Non mi sembra solo per l’economia della narrazione che il romanzo si apra con Horace Benbow, l’avvocato a tempo perso o per lo meno non di successo, che dice di sè: …non ho coraggio, non ci sono nato. Le rotelle ci sono ma non mi funzionano.
E quando la “Donna” gli chiede del perché abbia lasciato la moglie, lui risponde: Perché mangiava gamberetti. Non potevo…soltanto il venerdì e lo facevo da dieci anni, da che ci siamo sposati. E ancora non riesco a sopportare l’odore dei gamberi.
Horace è la voce di Faulkner, Faulkner in “pirsona”. Il disincantato, cinico, esaltato, assetato di giustizia Faulkner. È colui che si costringe all’azione in nome di una giustizia che sente ci sia sapendo che l’azione non porterà a nulla, che sa di non esserci salvezza se non quella inutile del tentativo stesso.

Dice la Pivano, e per l’ammirazione che nutro per lei e l’ignoranza che agisco non ho motivo di dubitare, che in questo romanzo F. rimaneggi il gotico americano: Poe in particolare.
Sulle prime non capisco, in fondo le tetre atmosfere non mi sembrano appannaggio solo del neogotico: “la casa cupa, lontana dal mondo civilizzato, circondata da un bosco tenebroso; il silenzio carico di mistero, il calare della notte, il volo della civetta, la fuga nei corridoi e nei granai, i drappi neri che arredano gli ambienti, i cadaveri, il sangue, i rumori misteriosi, le allucinazioni” da almeno cento anni si trovano dovunque.
Poi sposo la tesi, ma più che a Poe mi attacco a Abram Stoker e al suo Dracula. E mi sembra che ci appatti: Popaye, il gangster impotente, è il conte che contamina le donne che morde ma, attenzione, non stupra.
Temple è la bella e sensuale Lucy che, contagiata dal male, agisce spregiudicatamente in proprio, cercando avidamente i colli dei giovanotti di lei innamorati. E se non fosse stato per il paletto…
Paletto che nessuno infigge nel cuore di Temple, povera vittima in cerca di guai, secondo Horace (il professor Abraham van Helsing di Santuario), che scagiona il suo “stupratore”, per interposta pannocchia, dell’omicidio del giovanotto ingaggiato da Popaye per cene eleganti stile marchese Casati.
Attorno ai due un roveto inestricabile di effetti a catena che trasformano i cattivi in vittime ma senza remissione.

Sì, l’atmosfera è cupa: non si salva nessuno se non, per me, la Donna - ex prostituta generosa alla Palla di Sego, senza il suo senso dell'humour, però - moglie di uno dei distillatori clandestini, accusato del delitto del gigolò, ma di suo lontano dall'essere uno stinco di santo.
Popaye, il vero autore del delitto per gelosia, verrà condannato e impiccato, poi, per un delitto non commesso: la nemesi, l’unica giustizia in cui sperare. Un essere assolutamente ributtante, Popaye: “aveva gli occhi come manopole di gomma, la faccia gli diventava secca come quella di una bambola di cera messa troppo vicina al fuoco e lì dimenticata, sembrava fatto di latta, era figlio di un sifilitico e nipote di un piromane, e aveva passato l’infanzia in un istituto di correzione”.

Raccontata così, sembra solo un romanzo grottesco. Si sente l’influsso di Flaubert, citato già nelle prime pagine e anche quello degli altri francesi a seguire. In parte lo è, lo stile “sincopato” ne è l’indicatore. Del linguaggio F. diceva: è un filo sottile e fragile che può unire per un istante i minuscoli angoli delle superfici e i bordi delle vite umane e solitarie . Ma in massima parte è sun-patia dello scrittore per l’umanità dolente, precipitata nei gironi infernali del male.

E poi a Stoccolma quando ritirò il Nobel disse:
“ Il giovane scrittore a causa della paura ha dimenticato i problemi del cuore umano in conflitto con se stesso, il solo che possa produrre una buona scrittura perché soltanto questo è degno di essere scritto, degno dell’angoscia e del sudore… [ l’artista non deve lavorare che per null’altro che non siano le antiche verità del cuore, le antiche verità universali senza le quali qualunque storia è effimera e dannata: amore e onore e pietà e orgoglio e compassione e sacrificio. Se non farà così, faticherà sotto una maledizione. Non scriverà di amore ma di libidine, di sconfitte in cui nessuno perde il suo valore, di vittorie senza speranza e peggio di tutto, senza pietà o compassione]. I suoi dolori non addolorano ossa universali e non lasciano cicatrici: non scrive per il cuore ma per le ghiandole2.
Fino a quando non tornerà a imparare queste cose, scriverà come se stesse a guardare la fine dell’uomo. Io mi rifiuto di guardare la fine dell’uomo.
[L’uomo] è immortale, non perché è il solo tra le creature ad avere una voce inesauribile, ma perché ha un’anima, uno spirito capace di compassione e sacrificio e sopportazione. Il dovere dello scrittore è di scrivere di queste cose. È suo privilegio aiutare l’uomo a resistere innalzando il suo cuore, ricordandogli il coraggio e l’onore e la speranza e l’orgoglio e la compassione e la pietà e il sacrificio che sono stati la gloria del passato. La voce del poeta non ha da essere soltanto la memoria dell’uomo, può essere uno dei sostegni, dei pilastri che lo aiutano a sopportare e a vincere”.

E io sottoscrivo punto per punto: e non mi vengano a raccontare che non c’è più niente da dire, che tutto è stato detto e scritto. Che ciò che distingue un vero scrittore è la sua ricerca semiologica: egli è il suo stile e può, curando questo, dire ciò che vuole come Virna Lisi con il sorriso al Colgate.
Profile Image for Edita.
1,303 reviews392 followers
March 27, 2021
I have but one rift in the darkness, that is that I have injured no one save myself by my folly, and that the extent of that folly you will never learn.
Profile Image for Myriam V.
111 reviews41 followers
September 23, 2022
Esta novela tiene buen ritmo y no se puede dejar de leer, se avanza rápido porque no tiene la complejidad de otras obras de Faulkner (no hay flujo de conciencia, hay menos elipsis y menos saltos temporales), esto, sumado a un despliegue de depravaciones, la acercó al gran público. Pero quizá yo no pertenezco al gran público si este disfruta leyendo atrocidades.
Santuario se publicó en 1931 después de esperar dos años hasta que un editor se atreviera a publicarla. Faulkner dijo que la escribió por necesidades económicas, quién sabe, no necesita justificarse, cada uno escribe lo que quiere, si puede, y bien harían unos cuantos escritores contemporáneos en aprender a contar horrores como lo hace Faulkner, en comparación algunos innovadores atrasan cien años.
La historia empieza con dos personas que se encuentran en un paraje solitario. Desde el primer momento presentimos el peligro pero este se demora, se evade y aparece en otro lado, después de todo es Faulkner y la narración no iba a ser tan simple. La historia está bien contada pero sobra el último capítulo donde el autor se extiende en la biografía de uno de los personajes, un destacado degenerado.
¿Si me gustó? No sé. ¿Si la recomendaría? Tampoco.
Profile Image for Tim.
199 reviews88 followers
March 26, 2021
Sanctuary is a novel about a murder which takes place in the house of a pair of bootleggers and where, on the night in question, a young girl, the daughter of a judge, has been taken. It's not a straightforward narrative. Faulkner seems to take pleasure in withholding detail. However, there's the sense that the wrong man is arrested for the crime. The main character is this man's lawyer whose somewhat inept attempts at proving his client's innocence are not the stuff of Hollywood movies. I enjoyed the story but for me all the descriptive passages were overwritten, straining for some poetic revelation which never quite happened for me. I felt Faulkner was trying too hard to wow me with the poetry of his prose. I suspect though he's written better novels than this one.
Profile Image for Kansas.
575 reviews271 followers
December 8, 2022
"-Las mujeres no tenemos la culpa. Los hombres se empeñan en no vernos tal como somos. Nos obligan a ser de una manera y luego esperan que seamos diferentes. Esperan que no miremos nunca a otro hombre mientras ellos van y vienen cuando les apetece."

Es complicado abordar una reseña de una novela de Faulkner cuando ya dije prácticamente todo, sobre todo el año pasado, cuando me leí cinco de sus novelas y entiendo que ahí ya lo volqué todo. Sin embargo, en Santuario, me encuentro con un Faulkner un tanto diferente en el sentido de que el flujo de conciencia prácticamente brilla por su ausencia, y porque Faulkner la concibió como una especie de novela negra, una herramienta más accesible para el lector de la época, y así poder pagar las facturas. Parece ser que en un principio Faulkner no la tenía en muy alta estima, pero no sé, a mi me ha parecido una novela magnifíca e incluso habiéndola abordado como una novela negra con gángsters, contrabandistas y mujeres al borde del abismo, y así todo, es puro Faulkner. Y aquí lo vuelve a hacer porque Faulkner no nos prepara para lo que nos va mostrando, deja muchísimos detalles en off y el lector puede encontrarse un poco a la deriva sin encontrar las respuestas a ciertas situaciones o personajes por las que Faulkner ha pasado sin explicar nada; llegado un punto, las respuestas pueden estar más adelante o no, personajes como el de la pequeña Belle que dejan un poso de turbación porque no sabremos nada de ella aunque lo intuyamos, o incluso algún asesinato que el lector puede pensar que lo ha soñado, porque realmente no se cuenta, pero el lector intuye que algo ha pasado… pero ¿qué??? El propio lector tendrá que estar muy atento para ir conectando hechos y escenas, personajes y situaciones...

"-Nadie le ha pedido que venga. A nadie le importa si tiene usted miedo o deja de tenerlo. Y además no tiene usted agallas para estar realmente asustada, como tampoco las tiene para enamorarse."

Podríamos decir que la novela está claramente dividida en dos partes diferenciadas:

Por una parte tenemos a Temple Drake, una joven de diecisiete años que una noche en que se escapa de la universidad con su amigo Gowan Stevens, acaban en Old Frenchman´s Place en busca de alcohol, no nos olvidemos que estamos en la época de la Ley Seca. Gowan, completamente borracho, destroza el coche y ambos se ven obligados a quedarse en esta vieja casa ocupada por contrabandistas y gángsters, que en plena Prohibición, se esconden de la ley. Aunque Temple desde un primer momento está asustada por el ambiente que se respira allí, en ningún momento hace nada por huir, la ambigüedad de Temple entre ese miedo al peligro y por otra parte, una especie de atracción por lo prohibido, es quizá uno de los puntos clave en esta novela. Faulkner construye una atmósfera claustrofóbica, densa e inquietante en esta primera parte, porque a medida que el círculo se estrecha y Temple se ve cada vez más amenazada por una cierta tensión sexual que fluye en el ambiente desde su llegada, el hecho de que Faulkner deje muchas escenas casi inconclusas, puede convertir algunas escenas en autenticos puzzles a resolver. En esta primera sección hay muchos momentos atmosféricos que tanscurren en la oscuridad como cuando alguien enciende una cerilla como una especie de código secreto, o cuando Temple completamente sola se sabe acechada pero es incapaz de ver a nadie…

"Mientras el día moría lentamente dentro de la habitación, permaneció sentada fumando cigarrillo tras cigarrillo, atenta a todos los ruidos que procedían de la escalera."
"-Pensé que pudiera ser una rata cuando los oí por primera vez, pero en una habitación q oscuras se siente a las personas: ¿Lo sabía? No hace falta verlas."

En la segunda parte, hay un cambio de escenario que transcurre prácticamente en su totalidad en Memphis y en Jefferson, y aquí aunque seguiremos acompañando a Temple, se podría decir que el protagonista lo será Horace Benbow, un abogado que le seguirá la pista a Temple hasta dar con ella.

"¿Pero no comprende que quizá un hombre puede hacer algo únicamente porque sabe que está bien, porque la armonía de las cosas exige que se haga?"

Así que sí se puede decir que Faulkner ha construido una novela negra con un argumento prototípico del género donde una jovencita que desaparece, es prácticamente secuestrada y confinada en un ambiente donde la violencia campa a sus anchas, para más tarde intentar ser encontrada por un adalid de la justicia, Horace Benbow. Pero a pesar de esta fórmula prototípica, esta es una novela de William Faulkner y lo que en un principio parece previsible, no lo será en ningún momento porque aquí la frontera entre el bien y el mal se difumina, nadie es completamente inocente ni completamente culpable. Todos los personajes están de alguna forma atrapados, sobre todo ellas, y todavía sigo sin entender esa misoginia con que se ataca a Faulkner a veces porque esta novela me ha parecido eminentemente femenina, con tres mujeres que tienen una fuerza rabiosa.

"...e incluso Temple, a pesar de su ignorancia, se sintió sumergida en fantasmal promiscuidad con la ropa interior, con los discretos susurros de los cuerpos ajados, tan inexpugnables como frecuentemente sitiados, que ocultaban las puertas silenciosas que iba dejando a sus espaldas."

Por una parte, el personaje de Ruby Lamar, fuerte y zarandeada por los vientos, sobre todo masculinos. Los momentos en los que Ruby narra parte de su vida, son casi lo mejor de la novela:

"-He vivido como una esclava por ese hombre. -musitó la mujer. Era como si estuviera repitiendo una receta para hacer pan-. Trabajaba de camarera en un turno de noche para poder ir a verlo a la cárcel los domingos. Viví dos años en una habitación, cocinando en un mechero de gas, porque se lo había prometido. Le mentí y gané dinero para sacarlo de la cárcel, y cuando le expliqué cómo lo había ganado me dio una paliza."

Reba Rivers, la madame del prostíbulo:

“-Cualquier persona de Memphis te dirá quién es Reba Rivers. Pregunta a cualquiera que te encuentres por la calle, tanto si es policia como si no. todos conocen a Reba Rivers. Se gastaban aquí el dinero a manos llenas, ya lo creo que sí. Todos me conocen. Nunca he engañado a nadie, corazón -Miss Reba bebió cerveza, respirando pesadamente dentro de la jarra, perdida la otra mano, enjoyada con diamantes amarillos tan trandes como guijos, entre las exuberantes ondulaciones de su pecho.”

Y finalmente el personaje de Temple Drake, que cuando acaba la novela tiene ya dieciocho años y ya no es la misma que era al principio. Hay varios momentos magistrales donde Faulkner incide en el hecho de que aunque podamos recuperarnos de ciertos traumas, estos dejan secuelas. Temple, que durante un momento dado parece una muerta en vida debido a la violencia que se ejerce sobre ella, también es cierto que llegado un momento, decide dejar de sacrificarse y sacrifica a otros en el camino. Se ha convertido en una mujer dura. Su evolución a lo largo de la novela es fascinante.

“De piernas largas, brazos delgados y nalgas poco pronunciadas, con una figura infantil pero sin ya niña ni tampoco completamente mujer, Temple se movió con gran rapidez mientras se alisaba las medias y se retorcia para introducirse en su breve y ajustado vestido. Ahora ya me puedo enfrentar a cualquier cosa, pensó calmosamente, con una especie de embotado asombro; puedo enfrentarme a lo que sea.“

Santuario es una novela violenta pero es una violencia que está en el aire (el pasaje donde Faulkner nos narra el pasado del psicópata Popeye, podría ser una novela de hoy en día), quizás más en la imaginación del lector que en el propio texto. A medida que va avanzando, el autor va resolviendo conflictos y dando datos, pero es cierto que otros se van quedando solapados, y el lector tiene la esperanza de que quizá se puedan resolver en ¿otra de sus novelas?, y ya que en el universo de Faulkner todo está conectado, quizás nos quede la esperanza de encontrarnos de nuevo y en otra novela con la pequeña Belle y el extraño influjo que ejerce sobre Horace o incluso querríamos saber más sobre el pasado de Reba Rivers, o cómo siguió siendo la vida de Ruby Lamar. Santuario es una novela totalmente desesperanzada donde ningún personaje es vencedor en nada, incluso se podría decir que a mí me ha parecido su novela más oscura. La justicia brilla por su ausencia, aunque una cierta justicia poética puede que se vislumbre en una ligera ráfaga lejana. Inmenso como siempre, Faulkner. 

La novela que es de 1931 fue enseguida adaptada el cine, en 1933, en pura era precode cuando el cine era el más fresco y libre en la historia del cine americano.

 "-Lo curioso es que yo no respiraba. Llevaba mucho tiempo sin respirar. Así que creí que estaba muerta e hice otra cosa muy curiosa: verme a mí misma dentro de un ataúd. Quedaba muy bien toda vestida de blanco, ya sabe. Llevaba un velo como de novia y estaba llorando porque estaba muerta o por mi aspecto enternecedor o algo por el estilo."

Profile Image for Roberto.
627 reviews1 follower
August 7, 2017

Potente, essenziale, raffinato. E complesso

La prima cosa che mi ha colpito in questo libro di Faulkner, scritto nel 1931, è lo stile, asciutto, essenziale, complesso, frammentato, quasi cinematografico, raffinato, direi “emozionale”. Uno stile sicuramente moderno e all’avanguardia, considerato l’anno in cui è stato scritto.

"Odora di nero', pensò Benbow; 'odora come quella roba nera che sgorgò dalla bocca di Madame Bovary e le colò sul velo da sposa appena le alzarono la testa."

La seconda cosa è la gestione del tempo, che nel romanzo si restringe e si dilata in continuazione, con improvvise accelerazioni seguite da frenate contemplative di una situazione, dell’attimo.

"Il tempo non è poi questo gran male, dopotutto. Basta usarlo bene, e si può tirare qualsiasi cosa, come un elastico, finché da una parte o dall'altra si spacca, e eccoti lì, con tutta la tragedia e la disperazione ridotta a due nodini fra pollice e indice delle due mani."

La terza cosa è lo scarso ammiccamento al lettore. Nulla viene concesso, il lettore si deve guadagnare tutto, con impegno. Frasi non immediate, salti temporali, azioni non raccordate. In effetti, sotto questo punto di vista, Faulkner aiuta a diventare ottimi lettori.

"Era come se la femminilità fosse una corrente che si diffondesse attraverso un filo lungo al quale fosse attaccato un certo numero di identiche lampadine."

La quarta cosa è il simbolismo, il gioco con le parole, molto accentuato. I personaggi agiscono come corpi che fanno cose, corpi che soffrono, che si emozionano, corpi violati. Sembrano persone che si lasciano vivere attorno ad una ragazzina di diciassette anni, Temple, il cui giovane corpo sembra condannato ad essere profanato, a soffrire, a rigirasi nel letto, a danzare in una sala da ballo, in attesa di "afflosciarsi in un angolo" quando la tensione viene meno. Il tempio (Temple), la sigaretta pendente, la pannocchia, la bocca, ogni cosa ha un significato multiplo.

Ma ciò che mi ha colpito di più è la capacità di esprimere emozioni anche senza descrivere espressamente e direttamente gli accadimenti, che sono quasi sempre sottintesi. La capacità di descrivere avvenimenti senza raccontarli.

Il libro è per me assolutamente straordinario fino al capitolo diciotto circa. Tensione pura. Poi questa cala bruscamente per riprendere, ma solo marginalmente, nel finale. La storia, spezzettata, sottintesa, suggerita, flebile, mescolata, metaforica, si ricompone magicamente solo alla fine, mostrando una scena che è ancora più dolorosa di quanto si pensava.

Significati? Una società dove nessuno paga per il male che ha fatto, ma tutti pagano per il male che non hanno saputo fare, un mondo dove il confine tra buono e cattivo si scioglie, dove c'è un po' di tenebra anche nella luce più accecante.
Qual è il santuario violato da cui prende il nome il romanzo? La protagonista, Temple? La sua purezza? La giustizia? Il perbenismo falso delle persone? Forse tutte queste cose insieme? Chissà quanti significati mi sono perso, data la complessità del libro; libro ricco, che merita certamente, per questo, una approfondita rilettura.

Magnifico libro, oserei dire quasi perfetto. Ma l’ultima stella, quella del piacere di lettura, del coinvolgimento del cuore, oltre che della testa, quella no, non riesco a dargliela.
Profile Image for Jim.
390 reviews283 followers
October 24, 2012
This is the book that put Faulkner on the map back in 1931, 27 years before Lolita was published in the US and put Nabokov in the same public spotlight. In both cases, these writers had produced several great novels prior, but it was their shocking portrayal of a young girl's rape that drew the public's attention.

Set in Faulkner's fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Sanctuary follows the story of Horace Benbow after he leaves his wife and step-daughter. He returns to his childhood hometown, and is quickly caught up in a violent underworld of moonshiners, madames, and murder. There is basically no relief in this "potboiler", as Faulkner called it. Everywhere you turn in this book, someone or something is menacing the characters and you do spend your time wondering when the whole thing is going to boil over and burn the town, the characters, and maybe you too.

This is a fairly easy-to-read Faulkner, in terms of the language used, but because of the subject matter and the restricted time that the book was published, Faulkner can only suggest sexual scenes/actions/crimes and at times I had to re-read a bit to locate where certain crimes had occurred.

If you love Faulkner, this is an important part of his oeuvre and worth reading.

Profile Image for Diane Barnes.
1,255 reviews451 followers
February 28, 2017
3 stars because it's Faulkner, and there may be a chance that I'm not intellectual enough to get what he's trying to say. I have even read Cleanth Brooks analysis of this novel in "Yoknapotawpha County", and while it helped a little, I'm still confused.
I know this review is unhelpful and I wish I could be clearer, but since I have no idea how to make it better, this will have to do. And the baby in the box was just weird.
Profile Image for Francesco.
145 reviews
July 8, 2020
Ah e così Faulkner si vergognò di questo romanzo dicendo che l'aveva scritto così tanto per... L'aveva scritto senza troppa cura.... Beh questo romanzo scritto così tanto per consumare carta e inchiostro è comunque migliore di tanti "capolavori" odierni
Profile Image for Bettie.
9,989 reviews14 followers
October 29, 2015


Description: Psychologically astute and wonderfully poetic, Sanctuary is a powerful novel examining the nature of true evil, through the prisms of mythology, local lore, and hard-boiled detective fiction. This is the dark, at times brutal, story of the kidnapping of Mississippi debutante Temple Drake, who introduces her own form of venality into the Memphis underworld where she is being held.

Profile Image for Still.
574 reviews82 followers
December 9, 2021
I’ll review this when I’m back home upstate.
Spending the week in NYC with my wife’s mother & father until Christmas Day when we return home to celebrate our own Christmas together.

This is another masterpiece by Faulkner, another dirt-road noir about unpleasant people and one or two self torturing saints.
Profile Image for Dimebag.
77 reviews43 followers
March 18, 2022
Sanctuary is the dirtiest and meanest sonovabitch in the Faulkner suite of sonovabitches!

A short conversation with this Sanctuary feller:

Me: “You bastard!”
Sanctuary: “Sho.”
Me: “You mean bastard!”
Sanctuary: “Sho.”

A must-read for Faulknerphiles!
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