Another favourite story from my previous life where one cannot get out of a literary conversation without bringing up Faulkner at least three times . In the 90s, William Faulkner was so prevalent in China that about half of a whole generation of writers was coded with his literary genes – the other half, the literary descendants of Borges. Before going to college, I purchased the complete works of Faulkner to prove that I was serious about literature. And the one story that stayed with me until today was ‘A Rose for Emily’.
It was the first time I encountered First Person Plural and it was also the first time I saw a circular temporal structure. The storyline twisted like a moebius strip and ended where it began, a time-honoured trick that completely dazzled the eighteen-year-old me.
First published in The Forum, April 1930. Collected in the Collected Stories, Vintage, 2009