Absalom, Absalom! Memory and the Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
[…] while the wan haggard face watched him above the faint triangle of lace at wrists and throat from the too tall chair in which she remembered a crucified child; and the voice not ceasing but vanishing into and then out of the long intervals like a stream, a trickle running from patch to patch of dried sand, and the ghost mused with shadowy docility as if it were a voice which he haunted where a more fortunate one would have had a house (1.1)
Despite her old age, Miss Rosa still appears child-like. She still lives in the home in which she grew, a lonely, isolated woman haunted by the past and her bitter feelings about Sutpen. Not the happy kind of nostalgia for which we might hope.
And she chose you because your grandfather was the nearest thing to a friend which Sutpen ever had in this country, and she probably believes that Sutpen told your grandfather something about himself and her, about that engagement that did not engage, that troth which failed to plight. (1.8).
Mr. Compson explains to Quentin why Miss Rosa has asked him to come visit her: it turns out Sutpen and Quentin's grandfather, General Compson, were confidants, and that Miss Rosa is still trying to piece together Sutpen's story after all these years. Why is everyone so obsessed with this guy?
[…] the invoked ghost of the man whom she could neither forgive nor revenge herself upon began to assume a quality almost of solidity, permanence. (1.9)
Miss Rosa is so obsessed with Sutpen that, even though he is dead, he still retains a very real presence for her. You know what we call that? Haunting.