“Life is a story told by a cretin, full of noise and fury, but devoid of meaning.” To retell this story differently from what it was originally told means to try to tell a very different story, except that the people in it will have the same names, they will be bound by the same blood ties, they will become participants in events similar to those in the life of those who, first; events are not the same, but only in something similar, for what makes an event an event, not a story about it? Can not any trifle manifest so many events, how many times has it been told about him in different ways? And what is this, in the end, for an event about which no one has been told and of whom no one is known, respectively?
The family of Komsons belonged to the number of the oldest and at one time the most influential in Jefferson and its district. Jason Compson and his wife Caroline, nee Basque, had four children: Quentin, Candace (all but her mother, her name was Caddy), Jason and Mori. The youngest was born a fool, and when – he was about five years – it was finally clear that for life he would remain a senseless baby, in a desperate attempt to deceive his fate, he changed his name to Benjamin, Benji.
The earliest vivid memory in the life of the children was how, on the day of the death of their grandmother (they did not know that she was dead, and generally had little idea of what death was), they were sent to play away from home, on a stream. There, Quentin and Caddy began to splash, Caddy patted the dress and smeared her panties, and Jason threatened to tell his parents, and Benji, then Mori, cried because he thought that Caddy – the only person close to him – would be ill. When they came home, they were turned to the children’s half, so they decided that the parents had guests, and Caddy climbed up the tree to look into the living room, and the brothers and the Negro children looked down on her and her messy panties.
Benji was in the care of the Little Indians, the children, and then the grandchildren of Dilsi, the undisputed servant of the Komsons, but she was really loved and cared only by Caddy. As Caddy grew up, gradually becoming a woman from a little girl, Benji was crying more and more often. He did not like, for example, when Caddy began to use perfume and from her began to smell in a new way. At the top of his voice, he went wild and stumbled upon the Caddy once when she was hugging with a guy in a hammock.
The early maturation of her sister and her novels also disturbed Quentin. But when he tried to warn, to reason with her, it turned out very unconvincingly. Caddy responded with a calm, solid consciousness of her own right. A little time passed, and Caddy seriously agreed with a certain Dolton Ames. Realizing that she was pregnant, she began urgently to look for her husband, and then Herbert Hed turned up. A young banker and handsome man who could not have been better at Mrs. Compson’s court, Quentin caused a deep disgust, especially since Quentin, studying at Harvard, learned the story of the exclusion of Herbert from the student club for cheating. He begged Caddy not to marry this scoundrel, but she answered that she must certainly marry someone.
After the wedding, after learning the whole truth, Herbert refused Caddy; she escaped from the house. Mrs. Compson considered herself and the family irrevocably disgraced. Jason Jr. was only angry at Caddy, confident that she had deprived him of the place that Herbert had promised him in his bank. Mr. Compson, who was inclined to deep thought and paradoxical reasoning, as well as to whiskey, treated everything philosophically – in conversations with Quentin he repeated that virginity is not something that is like death – a change that is felt only for others, and, thus, nothing more than the invention of men. But Quentin did not console him: he thought that it would be better for him to commit incest, he was almost sure that he had committed it. In his mind, obsessed with thoughts of his sister and Dulton Ames (whom he had the opportunity to kill when,
At that time, Quentin’s first year at Harvard University was just coming to an end, where he was sent for the money earned from selling the pasture to the golf club of the Comsons adjacent to the home. On the morning of June 2, 1910 (this day is dated one of the four “stories” of the novel), he woke up with the firm intention to make a long-thought-out plan, shaved, put on the best suit and went to the tram stop, buying two irons along the way. An eccentric Negro, nicknamed the Deacon Quentin, gave a letter to Sriv, his roommate (he had sent a letter to his father in advance), and then got on the tram going out of town to the river. There was a small adventure with Quentin because of the small Italian girl who had lured him to him, who he treated with a bun: her brother accused Quentin of kidnapping, he was arrested, but quickly released, and he joined the company of students – they gave testimony... in his favor – got out on the car for a picnic. With one of them – self-confident rich small, handsome womanizer – Quentin suddenly fought for himself, when he began to tell how he famously dealt with girls. To replace the bloodstained clothes, Quentin returned home, changed his clothes and went out again. Last time.
Two years after Quentin’s suicide, Mr. Comson died – he did not die from whiskey, as Mrs. Compson and Jason mistakenly believed, for whiskey does not die – they die from life. Mrs. Compson swore that her granddaughter, Quentin, would not even know the name of her mother, forever disgraced. Benji, when he grew up – only with his body, because he remained a baby and soul – had to be scorned after attacking a schoolgirl passing by the Komson’s house. Jason talked about sending his brother to a lunatic asylum, but Mrs. Compson strongly objected to this, insisting on the necessity of carrying her cross, but at the same time trying to see and hear Benji as little as possible.
In Jason, Mrs. Compson saw her only support and comfort, saying that he was one of her children who was born not in the Komsons with their infected madness and bloodshed, but in Baskomov. As a child, Jason showed a healthy craving for money – glued to the sale of kites. He worked as a clerk in a city shop, but the main source of income for him was not the service, but the hotly hated – for a lost place in the bank of her mother’s fiancé – niece.
Despite the prohibition of Mrs. Compson, Caddy somehow appeared in Jefferson and offered Jason money for him to show her to Quentin. Jason agreed, but turned everything into a cruel mockery – the mother saw her daughter for only a moment in the window of the crew, in which Jason flew past her at furious speed. Later, Caddy began writing Quentin letters and sending money – two hundred dollars every month. Niece Jason sometimes gave some crumbs, the rest cashed and put in his pocket, and his mother brought fake checks, which she tore in pathetic indignation and therefore was confident that he and Jason do not take Caddy a penny.
And on April 6, 1928 – to this day, Friday of Holy Week, another “story” was timed – a letter came and a check from Caddy. The letter Jason destroyed, and Quentin gave the top ten. Then he took up his daily business-he helped out through the sleeves in the shop, ran to the telegraph office to consult on the stock prices for cotton, and instructed the brokers-and was completely absorbed in them, when suddenly Quentin raced past him in the “Ford” with the guy Jason recognized an artist from the circus who came to the city that day. He started off in pursuit, but again he saw a couple, only when she threw the car on the roadside and went into the forest. In the forest, Jason did not find them and returned home with nothing.
His day was not a success: the exchange game brought great losses, and this unsuccessful pursuit… Jason first broke the evil on Dilsi’s grandson, who was looking at Benjy, – he very much wanted to go to the circus, but there was no money for the ticket; In front of Laster, Jason burned two of his counterparts. Over dinner, it was the turn of Quentin and Mrs. Compson.
The next day, with a “story” about which the novel begins, Benjy was performed thirty-three. Like all children, he had a cake with candles on that day. Before that, they were walking with Luster at the golf course, arranged on the former Komsonovsky pasture – here Benjy was always irresistibly drawn, but every time such walks ended in tears, and all due to the fact that players every now and then beckoning the boy to run errands, shouted: “Caddy.” The howl of Benji Luster got bored, and he led him into the garden, where they frightened Quentin and Jack, her circus buddy.
With this very Jack Quentin, she ran away on Saturday night, taking three thousand dollars, which she rightfully considered her own, because she knew that Jason had saved them, stealing it for many years. The sheriff, in response to Jason’s statement about escaping and robbery, said that with their mother they had forced Quentin to flee, and as for the missing sum, the sheriff had certain suspicions as to what it was for the money. Jason had no choice but to go to nearby Mottson himself, where the circus was now performing, but there he received only a few slaps and a stern rebuke of the master of the troupe in the sense that the fugitives of adulterers Jason could look elsewhere, among his artists such more no.
While Jason was ineffectually wandering to Mottson and back, the black servant managed to return from the Easter service, and Laster asked permission on the drum to take Benji to the cemetery. They drove well, while in the central square Luster did not go round the monument to the Confederate soldier on the right, while with the others Benjy always drove him on the left side. Benji desperately cried, and the old nag almost did not bear, but then, from nowhere, Jason found himself on the square straightened the situation. Benji fell silent, for an idiot liking when everything is in its designated place.