|"A Rose for Emily"-Short Story study||Waterstones Piccadilly||Two hours||30 Aug||6:30-8:30 PM|
WILLIAM FAULKNER Short Stories
William Faulkner, Nobel Prize in Literature Winner, is best known for his novels set in a rural Mississippi community which he named Yoknapatawpha. Faulkner’s extraordinarily rich and deep narrative covers a society both rich and poor, white and black, old and young, good and bad and almost everything in between, raising issues such as racism, injustice, ignorance, bigotry, sex, death, trauma, violence and madness to mention just a few.
He is also celebrated for his innovative form and style of writing, his breaking down of chronological time, his unique way of expressing the consciousness and emotions of his characters. He is a writer who can endlessly be re-read and always reveal some new detail or subtle observation. Sometimes difficult but never boring.
Faulkner is also the author of over 40 short stories that capture the complex psychological and emotional world of his characters. If you are new to Faulkner this is a good way into his world and if you are familiar with the great novels his stories are jewels to be discovered.
I have chosen Faulkner’s first published story in 1930 from a series called “The Village”, set in the Yoknapatawpha community, which introduces all his major themes and illustrates his superb skill as a short story writer.
“A Rose for Emily” opens with the funeral of Emily Grierson, an old maid and a recluse who was to be respected despite her odd behaviour. Her story unfolds back and forth in time. Two men have been central to her life, her father and her lover Homer. Yet she ends her life as an isolated and lonely spinster. The community are curious. There are unexplained mysteries about her with a Gothic twist.
“That was when the people had begun to feel really sorry for her. People in our town, remembering how old lady Wyatt, her great aunt, had gone completely crazy at last, believed that the Griersons held themselves a little too high for what they really were. None of the young men were quite good enough for Miss Emily and such. We had long thought of them as something of a tableau, Miss Emily a slender figure in white in the background, her father a straddled silhouette in the foreground, his back to her and clutching a horsewhip, the two of them framed by the back-flung front door.”
Here is another chance to study this seminal story on Wednesday 30 Augustfrom 6.30 to 8.30 at Waterstones Mezzanine Piccadilly.
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