Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Flannery, you're perplexing me

Enormous outrage in the Twitterverse that our book group didn't love Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood. "Nuts! It's a masterpiece of Southern Gothic Literature" Mark P. Venema (@Art_News) replied.

I struggle with Flannery. Flannery and me, mano i mano. I think, Flannery, that I prefer your short stories. I have trouble with your characters. But I like that you trained your chickens to walk backwards, and that you made clothes for them.

Wiki enlightens:

Regarding her emphasis of the grotesque, O'Connor said: "anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic."[4] Her texts usually take place in the South and revolve around morally flawed characters, while the issue of race often appears in the background. One of her trademarks is blunt foreshadowing, giving a reader an idea of what will happen far before it happens. Most of her works feature disturbing elements, though she did not like to be characterized as cynical. "I am tired of reading reviews that call A Good Man brutal and sarcastic," she writes. "The stories are hard but they are hard because there is nothing harder or less sentimental than Christian realism... when I see these stories described as horror stories I am always amused because the reviewer always has hold of the wrong horror."

No comments: