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Faulkner, William

A Rose for Emily

So, my “identity” was stolen recently. And not for the sake of sordid members-only internet sites or international travel or a weekend of Spitzering other scandalous activities that, if you’re going to have your identity stolen, would constitute Theft in Style. No, my identity was used to buy clip art and stock photography and website services, which is about as exciting as cutting school to go and get a root canal, sneaking out of the house late at night to mow the lawn next door. You get the picture.

So a personal note to identity thieves in training: when you’re done with me, at least return me with a few heavy anecdotes and a thrilling punked-up haircut. OK?

So, my “identity” was stolen recently. And not for the sake of sordid members-only internet sites or international travel or a weekend of Spitzering other scandalous activities that, if you’re going to have your identity stolen, would constitute Theft in Style. No, my identity was used to buy clip art and stock photography and website services, which is about as exciting as cutting school to go and get a root canal, sneaking out of the house late at night to mow the lawn next door. You get the picture.

So a personal note to identity thieves in training: when you’re done with me, at least return me with a few heavy anecdotes and a thrilling punked-up haircut. OK?

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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.

42 replies on “A Rose for Emily”

Thank you so much for putting this on-line. I teach high school English and had the story on CD to use in class to demonstrate the necessity of close reading, but the CD has disappeared. It was so nice to be able to share the burden of both reading and analysis.

Ignore the pace comments. I think that a story such as this, that does not follow a traditional method that Faulkner shows in this story, needs to be read slowly. I taught this to my class where I read it to them, and they said I read too quickly and they missed a lot of facts and key information without me spoon-feeding it to them. However, I played your podcast (my kids think I’m so cool) for another class of the same ability and said, the pace really helped clarify and keep track of what’s going on. So, overall, on this story miss, you are the master teacher!

This reading is one of the best I’ve heard of this great story. Perfect speed. You also capture the mood of the story very well.

Hi there! The reading of this story was great! My only suggestion is that when an author from the early 1900’s drops an “N-bomb” it is ok if you do as well in the reading of his work.

Sounds like she’s fellating each word as it comes out, kinda’ like that whispering scene on Poltergeist. It’s hard to get past.

Warren: not an image most men have a problem with, but I’ll take your word for it.

Manda: I read to the text! I don’t censor that way (hence the approval of Warren’s comment).

I also teach this story to high school English students and I finally had to abandon this reading of the story because the kids were dying. I appreciate your efforts, but pregnant pauses between every paragraph of texts doesn’t really add much to the experience of the text. As soon as I paused your reading and announced that I would read the rest of the story to them, each of my three English sections expressed enormous relief. I hate to be blunt about this, but your tone while reading sounds mostly self-important, as if your enunciation of Faulkner’s diction is what matters more than the story itself. Miss.

Hi Zig: I might suggest familiarising yourself with your teaching material before exposing it to your students? Assumptions of self-importance aren’t “blunt” so much as “rude” and a little “assholic,” and I’d hope a shaper of young minds to be equipped with better critical tools.

I read this piece slowly because I wanted to wring meaning from it, and that took some time. As you can see from the previous comments, the pacing here is a topic of contention. I welcome you to submit your own reading.

Best,
— Miette

I have to agree with Zig. I have been desperately looking for an audio reading of “A Rose for Emily” with lots of dramatic quality and theatrics. I plan to have my students analyze the tone of the piece, so it helps if the text is read with a little more feeling. I think this would be a great audio text for a bedtime story, as I believe it is intended, but it isn’t quite right for a classroom. I appreciate the effort though!

thank you very much indeed for your nice , steady, smooth, attracting, and attending voice for reading “A Rose for Emily”. I tried to play the audio program in my class as well, but as one the comments went it was a liitle bit , but not too, slow for high school and colledge students. i myself recommend that you record the story as a narration and radio play type so that it works more deeply on the listeners. however, i hope these don’t understimate your great job.
sincerely yours
H. Golebostan

I appreciate your efforts in bringing this story to audio, although I must say your technical adjustments have not yet reached perfection. The recording was much too enhanced and as I have thus tried to excuse the audio distractions, I was only capable of tolerating them for the first 3 min into the story. I must tell you ma’am the burdening task of following with your tone was inaccessible due mainly to the constant pauses and continuous sticky swallowing and lip-smacking, all amplified and enhanced with your in-house technical team. It was much too gross for lack of a better term, it just needed to be addressed. Thank you in any case for your participation in spreading many fine readings. I look forward to having the pleasure in experiencing what changes you have made since receiving this input. Until then Godspeed.

Joseph:

Thanks for your note– as you may read in the FAQ (hopefully; it’s actually been a while since I’ve updated them), my earlier technology setup was desiring in endless ways. I’m a reader and writer first, and only stumbled onto more comprehensive knowledge of recording and editing as my recordings developed an audience. I hacked my way through it, but you’re right about those earlier recordings. Caveat emptor.

So, the story on which you’re commenting was recorded in 2008. There have been quite a few upgrades since, and if you listen particularly to recordings from 2009 onward, you may be more satisfied.

If you find older stories of particular interest, let me know. Maybe I’ll re-record some day.

All best, and hopefully you’ve met your weekly quota of Gross.
— Miette

Nick: Fucking Right?! — Mtte.

Teachers shouldn’t be looking for audio for their students to listen to, the students should be reading the book. If they want to listen to an audio of it ( because they wish to get smarter) they should look on their own time. Don’t encourage the young people to be lazy fucks just because you hate teaching. Assholes. You have a lot of nerve to complain about something that is FREE.

Teach fail is teach fail. Leern to teech stoodents.

Well, well, well, without knowing in what context the audio is being taught, we have no way of knowing whether teachers are being lazy with their teaching. Comprehension of material recited orally and presented as written text are two different skillsets, both of which can help young readers and writers understand narrative and structure.

That said, of course, playing a recording blindly — especially my recordings– and registering complaints afterward about my pacing, microphone technique, or recording technology is lacking in things like tact and foresight, and I’d be inclined to agree that it does assume a certain amount of laziness on the teachers’ part.

I love when I see this site linked up on teachers’ pages– very few things melt my heart in the same way. I just hope that teachers know what, and why, they’re teaching audio stories.

I know that you posted this several years ago, but I would like to say that I greatly appreciate you doing so. I am analyzing this piece for my Critical Analysis class and I have been looking for an audio book reading of it for quite a while (I’m doing this because I like to hear how other people interrupt the story and compare it to my own interruption). I found this very useful in formulating several opinions I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. While you did drag on a bit in places, and the enhanced audio made your lip smacking quite noticeable (though as I understand it, you have corrected this since this posting), I am so grateful you posted this reading.

This was a great story! I enjoyed it! Your voice is amazing! I am currently in college reading upon this author, and I have never tried to read any story- or book even- while listening to the audio! It was a great experience. Although, it took half an hour to complete the story, I enjoyed nevertheless, thank you!

Loved ur voice and thanks for reading the story, i don’t care if u read it at a slow pace because i enjoyed every second of it. good job!

I’m taking an English 101 class and we had to read this and write an essay on it. I read the story myself at first and it didn’t really sink in, but, thanks to you, I have a much clearer view of the story now. Thank you so much. (By the way, the speed and everything was perfect to me. It all went along very well with the mood of the story.) 🙂

It’s OK to have audio reading of a book the class has already read. My HS teachers used it to reinforced what we read and had a the test. I do the same with my children. I have a HS and MS students and after they finished this short story and took my mommie test we will listen to this together.

Thanks for posting.

Good story. Well read. Since you consider this as a bedtime story, I figured that your slower pace was well suited for falling asleep with the story. I wouldn’t want a fast pace that would tend to keep me awake in that case. In actuality, I benefited from your slower pace because it allowed me to consider the various elements of fiction as the story went on, that my professor wants us to consider as we read the story. I am actually considering listening to your recording again with a print-out of the story with pen in hand as your slower pace will make it easy for me to jot notes and not have to continuously pause the recording. Jeff

Honestly this is read WAY to slow. There is no need for all of the pauses. Also, there is no reason we should be able to hear how many times you swallow or even when you open your mouth.. Maybe you should try and talk louder and back away from the recording device you are using. I only made it past the 1st page because of this. Its awkward (from the pausing and how delicate your voice is).

I think this reading is fantastic. I love how slow you read it, honestly. It relaxes me while I listen to a great story! What’s so bad about that? Also, regarding the lip-smacking everyone hates so much, maybe it’s because I have ASMR and it triggers me, but I enjoy the sounds. I find nothing wrong with this recording and am so grateful I found it. So, thank you!

Saludos a Jaime Jimenez de la preparatoria Hanna en Brownsville Texas , un abrazo muy fuerte desde Mexico DF, hasta luego y que anden bien los alumnos y la maestra!

Thank you for this wonderful free podcast. My students and I really enjoyed it. The pace was perfect for my class because I was able to pause the reading for discussion/note-taking purposes and it did not take away from the experience (sometimes pausing will interfere with understanding if the reading is too quick). Also, when I didn’t need to pause between paragraphs it was a good moment for me or my students to interject a question or comment. They appreciated your reading of the word “nigger.” Thank you, again, for everything 😉

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