Image by Courtney Nicholas
I Am Not from This Planet is a column where we give James Franco’s Florida-bred, gun-toting, big-bootie-loving pal Alien the floor to sound off on whatever he likes. For this inaugural edition, Alien breaks us off some knowledge with a review of William Faulkner’s literary classic, The Sound and the Fury.
William Faulkner one bad motherfucker when it come to putting them words on paper. Of all them books that boy put out, Sound and the Fury holds a special spot in my heart—kinda like my first piece of ass. I was just a little boy, like 16 or something when I first read it and it stuck with me to this day.
The Sound and the Fury was William’s fourth book, and it has a stream of consciousness flow that be like one of my fly-ass freestyles. It reads like the boy just wrote that shit straight off the top of the head. The vibe has a lot to do with the South, which I can relate to since I come straight outta country-ass motherfucking St. Petersburg, Florida. This book airs out the dirty drawers of the South by following the breakdown of the Compsons, a family of rich-ass crackers, after the Civil War. The Compsons do all types of shady shit and end up losing all their power and their paper.
The book is structured on some peculiar shit. It’s broken up into four sections, each narrated by three of the Compson children and one of their servants. Benjy’s wild-ass gets the shit popping first, then Quentin follows up on some emotional shit, Jason comes up third on some disturbed shit, and Dilsey—the big mamma of the servants—closes it out, breaking all the shit down real nice-like.
My favorite section is the first one narrated by Benjy, cause that dude is crazier than a Betsy bug. The section is like the sound and the fury of the Sound and the Fury. You know what I’m saying? Or at least it’s one type of sound and fury, the type where time is smashed into itself and scenes don’t have no beginning or no end cause it all takes place in his head. Benjy can’t keep shit straight when he telling his story. His mind be jumping all over the damn place—from 1928 to 1910 to 1902. His memories just piled on top of each other like pancakes at breakfast. What connects these ideas is all the shit he’s seen in his life, especially the things he loves like firelight, flowers, and his sister Caddy. But Benjy is on some real shit, even if he is dumb as two limp dicks. I be thinking just like that motherfucker sometimes, with my memories floating around my head all damn day. It’s just weird to read some shit in a book that is like how motherfuckers think in real life, cause you expect a book to be like organized and shit and not fucked up like how we really be.
Some mopey motherfuckers hate on Faulkner for letting Benjy bring all that fury in the first damn section of the book. But they’re on some weak shit. If their soft-asses can’t take the heat, they need to stay out the goddamn kitchen. It’s called the Sound and Fury for a fucking reason—and my dude Faulkner brings that shit to the fullest. Part of the reason people love this book is because it’s hard to read—just like other beautiful novels like Moby Dick or anything by that crazy fool James Joyce. To me, it’s just like talking a pretty lady out her little panties. Ain’t nothing like finally making love to a woman that’s been playing hard to get. You’ve got to get over the hump to get to the heart.
Speaking of pussy, Benjy’s sister Caddy spreads her stuff around all over town, breaking it off for them local boys—especially a dude named Dalton Ames. And her brother Quentin, who narrates the second section, is not feeling that shit at all. Quentin be on some sensitive shit. He catches feelings all day.
I loved reading Quentin’s section back in the day because I was about the same age as his character is in the book when I discovered Sound and the Fury. The difference between me and him was that I was driven by my love for big booties, while he was driven by his love for his sister, Caddy. To Quentin, she represents an old way of life that been lost in the South. In a way, his character is kinda like Holden in Catcher in the Rye—he don’t want Caddy to jump over them cliff’s edge from innocence into experience. But they daddy know that Quentin worrying for nothing. Caddy is gonna lose her innocence just like we all do. The shit’s just part of growing up, y’all. Quentin’s daddy also know that he is tripping for nothing because he a teenager and teenagers don’t have a bigger view of life.
Despite Quentin trying like hell to keep Caddy’s legs closed, the broad ends up getting knocked up and is married off to a bourgeoisie motherfucker named Herbert Head who wasn’t her baby daddy. Then stuck up-ass Herbert finds out that the baby isn’t his on some Jerry Springer-type shit and kicks that trick out of his crib. His sister’s situation has Quentin all stressed out and shit. He doesn’t have much else going on, so he just obsesses over his sister dropping her panties even more. The dude gets so bent out of shape over it, he merks himself. That shit had me shaking my damn head when I first read it, forreal.
Jason’s section, which comes third, is the easiest one to understand. The shit is all about how he be ripping off his niece, stealing the checks Caddy sends to care for her. Basically, he just a mean dude who has taken over the house and family name. He rips off everyone and be playing them stocks and losing mad fucking money. To keep it real with y’all, I’ve killed motherfuckers, robbed motherfuckers, done all types of crazy shit—but I ain’t never steal from no child. Jason ain’t got no honor and if I met his ass in the street I’d make him the winner of a wet T-shirt contest and light his ass up like a fucking G.
Disley’s section come up last. It got a little bit of everything, kinda like a gumbo, and sums up the whole shit. It takes place on Easter Sunday, so it’s kind of a resurrection, and Benjy is on some Jesus shit in it—he 33 by then, after all.
When you look at the whole thing altogether, it seem to me that theThe Sound and the Fury signifies nothing and everything. It’s the way life is, y’all. Just straight up real-ass shit. You know what I’m talking about?
I just finished filming this motherfucker with my boy James Franco. I think it will be less confuzing for them movie audiences to follow our version of this fine novel because they will see the action, and not just read the shit. When you’re reading the book and it changes time frames, you don’t know what year you’ve jumped into and you feel like you’re trapped in some Bill and Ted flic. But when the story be skipping around in our movie, you get them visual cues to let them know which period you in. You will see if the characters is being played by young or old actors, see the settings change, see the clothes change… all that type shit. Know what I’m talking about?
Check out James Franco's column, A Few Impressions, and keep a look out for more craziness from Alien on VICE.com.