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“A Rose for Emily”: A Roundtable Thomas Robert Argiro Richard Godden John T. Matthews Donald M. Kartiganer Scott Romine Thomas Bonner, Jr. Editor’s Note My first reaction to Thomas Argiro’s essay on “A Rose for Emily” when it came in over my computer’s transom was to moan a bit; after all, Faulkner studies had pretty much given up on it, conceding that its a-typicality in the Faulkner canon and its popularity had exhausted its meanings long ago and that there was little more to say about it. Some of us had even declared an unofficial moratorium on discussing it at the annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference at the University of Mississippi. Argiro’s essay convinced me that that moratorium’s time had run out, that we had not at all exhausted it, and that indeed the story asked questions that twenty years ago we were not ready to ask. It also seemed clear that though the essay’s publication might occasion some controversy, controversy might actually kickstart some new discussion of Faulkner’s warhorse. To that end, I circulated the essay to several Faulknerians and Sudists, who read and commented on that early version; with their permission, I sent their comments to Professor Argiro for his consideration, then sent his revisions back to the commentators. Five of the original commentators returned further considerations on the questions Professor Argiro has raised; these are printed here following Argiro’s essay. To be sure, not all of the commentators agree with Professor Argiro’s readings; but believing the nature of the critical enterprise is to spark discussion, I am confident this roundtable will do so. NP ...


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