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Hurst, James

The Scarlet Ibis

A Listener (you know who you are) wrote to me recently requesting that I laugh hysterically for fifteen minutes into my microphone and post this as a short story for you. Now, while I agree that this would be a particularly amusing johncagey experiment, I have not, unfortunately, seen hyenaic laughter transcribed this way, and have no idea what it might look like on the page.As always, if you can send the story, though, I’ll see what I can do. Thankfully, Denise (you also know who you are) offered an alternate recommendation, which I happily oblige.

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By miette

Miette has been podcasting the best of world literature's short fiction since March 2005, when she was just a pup.

16 replies on “The Scarlet Ibis”

Thank you for posting this story, Miette! I hate to break it to you, but as soon as I started listening I realized that this is a very condensed version of this story. It is quite butchered actually. Here is a link to the story in full:

http://classrooms.tacoma.k12.wa.us/wilson/kvanry/documents/ibis.pdf#search=%22%22clove%20of%20seasons%22%22

I cannot believe someone would edit this beautiful story. It’s wonderful as it is…one of my favorites. I hope you’ll take the time to read it again even if only for yourself.

Thank you.

You know when you look at something for hours, eyes all kinds of crossed, knowing that something’s just not right? That was my afternoon and this story– a mighty THANK YOU for locating a version in toto and check back.

Have always considered Kenneth Goldsmith (No. 111.etc) an ideal way to fuel a poetry or opera training podcast, but Roar maybe even better.

Re: the ongoing quest for the unexpurgated, I’m finding that no two online copies are identical, and that startlingly, none of the four thousand (or so) anthologies of short fiction from which I often read to you include the Hurst in its pre-digigarbled form. But fortunately, Your Miette is nothing if not assiduous, and eyes should remain peeled.

This Brüllt is humbling perfection (all should click link above and listen) and if I ever become capable of delivering so well, it’ll be time to retire. As for Name, (WELL).

My husband (and cat) and I listen to you each night before bed. Thank you so much for the excellent choices and evocative readings. (Tonight you made me sad; I expected something along the lines of hilarity given your John Cage allusion and listener’s request, but this story was not so cagey. Sorry for the pun–it was just too easy.)

Have you considered reading us any Elizabeth Bowen? Perhaps a story from the 1930s or 1940s? I noticed that you read her friend and occasional lover Sean O’Faolain. Bowen gets some bad press for her conservatism, but she did write some wonderful fiction.

I read this fantastic story with my 9th grade liturature class. This story is now one of my favorites. As we read it in class i thought i was the only one crying, but when i looked around a couple of boys were as well. This story is amazing and will make you think diffrent on how you treat someone.

Not about this story, just in general.
What a great site. Thanks. Makes commuting much more pleasurable after the 12hr night shift. You should put a donate a dollar button. I, being a cheapskate probably wouldn’t click it if I can get it free, but there are many many people nicer than I who would.
Thank you so much.

I want to thank who ever posted the web site for the full story of “The Scarlet Ibis” on September 30, 2006. I could not find this in the library or Barnes & Noble. My daughter is studying this in her 8th grade English class, and she only had a very short, butchered version of the story. The teacher was asking questions about the complete story. You and the web site are answered prayers.

this story is one of my favorites, I love the full versoin of it! I am studieing it in my 9th grade class, and I love how the more you read it (or listen to it), the more you begin to recognize all of the motifs and hidden meanings in the story. I love it no matter how sad, I cried the first time I read it too… thank you for reading it! It is such a great story! I’ve learned a lot! 🙂

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