The Daily Rambling Artist: The Five Words That Shook My Artist Psyche - Faulkner’s Influence on My Art

The Daily Rambling Artist: The Five Words That Shook My Artist Psyche - Faulkner’s Influence on My Art

William Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying" is my favorite novel. The brevity of Chapter 19, encapsulated in the five words "My mother is a fish," left an indelible mark on me during my college years. It was a moment of literary disruption where Faulkner skillfully manipulated language to challenge my understanding of narrative structure, as well as the brute force of art.

Prior to delving into Faulkner's writing, my literary experiences had been relatively straightforward, with clear narratives to follow. But Faulkner shattered those conventions and transported me to another world; I yearned to reside there immediately. His words played with my mind, altering my perspective and leaving me in a state of pleasant confusion. I found myself enthralled by his ability to weave stories that defied traditional boundaries.

Subsequently, I explored other Faulkner novels, such as "A Light in August" and "Absalom, Absalom!" Each encounter with his work felt like an emotional onslaught, as if I had been dragged through an array of experiences and punched in the face by his powerful prose. While intellectually challenging, this assault on my senses thrilled me. Through Faulkner, I discovered a whole new dimension of literature and art in general.

That experience on my younger soul is something that has stayed with me even today. I draw upon his fragmented narratives, the disjointedness, and the existential unraveling of the human self. In my more personal work, I tend to navigate these concepts more abstractly. I find joy in the realm of pop art, taking pleasure in the act of manipulating and reimagining existing elements. It is almost akin to exploring the outtakes of what something could have been, or what it could become, or if it even was to begin with.

Faulkner's impact on my artistic journey has been profound. His ability to challenge conventions, and break boundaries shaped the way I approach my own artistic endeavors. Through his writing, I have learned to embrace the unexpected, finding beauty in the fragmented, the unconventional, and the unexpected.

- Sergio Santos