March 28, 2011

Baseball In Fiction: William Faulkner

About a month ago, I quoted a brief baseball-related snip from Mark Helprin's novel Memoir From Antproof Case. I asked about other examples of baseball mentioned in non-sports novels, and a few books were mentioned in comments.

Here's one that was not mentioned. In William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, Jason Compson is discussing the American League pennant race with the owner of a cigar store:
"Well," Mac says, "I reckon you've got your money on the Yankees this year."

"What for?" I says.

"The Pennant," he says. "Not anything in the League can beat them."

"Like hell there's not," I says. "They're shot," I says. "You think a team can be that lucky forever?"

"I don't call it luck," Mac says.

"I wouldn't bet on any team that fellow Ruth played on," I says. "Even if I knew it was going to win."

"Yes?" Mac says.

"I can name you a dozen men in either League who're more valuable than he is," I says.

"What have you got against Ruth?" Mac says.

"Nothing," I says. "I haven't got any thing against him. I don't even like to look at his picture."
Faulker's advice to a young writer?
Read, read, read. Read everything - trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out the window.


laura k said...

I love that book, how cool to know there's a bit of baseball in it.

Great advice, too.

BZ said...

You could substitute Arod for Ruth today.

laura k said...

You could substitute Arod for Ruth today.

Sounds like someone needs to study his baseball history.

Ruth was loved - adored - worshipped - the world over.

Anonymous said...

I love how you just did a post on this book...when this was the book that "Ozzie Guillen" was sliding into at the end of He's a Good Book from a few posts ago.