Well, now I understand why I’ll never be rich. Enlightened, possibly — hopefully, with more work — but never, ever rich.
I started out blogging about how I craved, have craved, the illustrated, shi-shi book of Van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo. The six-volume, lavishly illustrated book is going for over $500 on Amazon. I’ve been saving up some random gift certificates to make the purchase, so my wallet would never be directly affected.
But that book reminded me of another book I wanted, the Folio’s color-coded, shi-shi version of William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. That’s being sold at the Folio site for nearly $400.
There were a bunch of articles written about the book when it first came out. This is an excerpt from the New York Daily News:
This greatest of Faulkner’s novels takes stream-of-consciousness and time shifts to unprecedented levels, having challenged generations of readers. Its ever-shifting time signatures make difficult the task of discerning a linear chronicle to the history of the Compson family.
Acutely aware of what he had done, Faulkner initially wanted the different time-levels in the first section (which focuses on the man-child Benjy) to be color-coded. But given the publishing industry’s limits, he had to settle for italics.
No more. Now you can read the novel exactly as Faulkner intended.
Commissioning Editor of The Folio Society, Neil Titman, explained that the idea for the innovative edition came from a Folio Society member, Leopold Green.
“He told us of Faulkner’s exchange with his agents and his wish for the opening section of ‘The Sound and the Fury’ to be published in different colors,” Titman told Page Views in a phone conversation.
The different colors are representative of the various chronological layers in Faulkner’s narrative, which tells of the Compson family’s decline from antebellum prominence.
So what happens? I was on my way to writing a thoughtful post about both these things, with commentary on what made them not-middlebrow, these things which I can’t afford but nevertheless coveted…and then I read that Folio was only printing 1,400 copies of the Faulkner, and that more than 1,000 had already been sold, and I impulsively grabbed my credit card and bought the Faulkner.
So, rich, no. Enlightened, perhaps another day. After I’ve paid off my credit card and have read the Faulkner. Certainly not now, as this post contains none of the insight I was hoping to suss out today.