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Enjoying Flannery O'Connor's works

 
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Linna Heartlistener
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:20 pm    Post subject: Enjoying Flannery O'Connor's works Reply with quote

If I hadn't gotten my hands on quotes of hers where she says plainly what she thinks...
If I only had the the first short story of hers I read to go on...
I would probably not have trusted her enough to pick up another thing she wrote again.

But I kept reading, and I love the way she thinks.

Her work is full of ironies:
If there's a prim and proper character who's committed to seeing herself as upright, that person is probably in grave moral danger?
If there's someone who is clearly insane in the story, maybe that person sees something more clearly than the rest of us?

Anyone else read her stuff?
Or curious?
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deer of the dawn's anti-recommendation of "Gilead"
My anti-recommendation of the same. (hers is shorter!)
Both are on the Watch's excellent "Anti-Recommendations of your Favorite Books" thread.

'"He will wipe the tears from all faces." It takes nothing from the loveliness of the verse to say that is exactly what will be required.' -Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Way back as an undergrad, I read the "Everything That Rises..." collection
for a class [alongside Carson McCullers "Ballad..Cafe"]
I kinda liked it, definitely worth reading...but didn't quite get hold of me.
Preferred McCullers.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I looked up stuff about Carson McCullers, and I can totally see why they would have been discussed in the same context. (Place, time and a lot of overtly similar things showing up.)

I think there are a lot of things in O'Connor that I just wouldn't have seen as being there until recently.
I'd just be like, "Wow, so there's this violent disturbing person, and something terrible happens."

Of course, actual lit classes would definitely do better than that.
OTOH, O'Connor frequently lamented perfectly well-educated peoples' inability to "get" her writing. (There are some funny comments in her letters.)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flannery O'Connor on Ayn Rand
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Syl] wrote:
Flannery O'Connor on Ayn Rand


<<----Heh...ya gotta love good snark. [maybe I ain't got it yet...but I aspire.]
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2015 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Syl] wrote:
Flannery O'Connor on Ayn Rand
Thank you, for bringing up Flannery O'Connor's snark, Syl!
(Only saw yer post weeks after you wrote it.. oops.)

I enjoy her comments dissin' notable movers-and-shakers and their works.
O'Connor also had a classy way of "showing up" parts of The Spirit of The Age as ridiculous. (With Ayn Rand's ideas, you have both, since Rand was a pretty influential Zeitgeist-shaper..)

But O'Connor also delighted in "showing up" inane ideas that conflict with the spirit of the present age.
Even if the only domain those inane ideas had was one dull, ordinary person's privately-held assumptions.
(Just re-read a dialog she wrote that makes a perfect example of that one.)

But there is a lot of stuff O'Connor says that you (or at least I... I speak for myself) don't get at first...
Then the irony sinks in later.
As she says herself...
Flannery O'Connor, again to her friend Maryat wrote:
The thing for you to do is write something with a delayed reaction like those capsules that take an hour to melt in your stomach. In this way, it could be performed in Milledgeville on Monday and not make them vomit until Wednesday, by which time they would not be sure who was to blame. This is the principle I operate under and I find it works very well.


Even of the few things I said earlier on this thread, I may have been "not really getting her."
For example, my claim that "If there's a prim and proper character who's committed to seeing herself as upright, that person is probably in grave moral danger"...
Seems that's not often the main point of what she's doing with the "prim and proper characters" in her stories.
(thank you, Miss O'Connor, for baiting me into projecting my prejudices on to you.)

Vraith wrote:
<<----Heh...ya gotta love good snark. [maybe I ain't got it yet...but I aspire.]
Some of your snark around here is pretty good, and appreciated. Again, I speak for myself. Admittedly, there is a large corpus of vraith-snark - possibly some of your favorite stuff to generate - that I just don't see.
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linna Heartlistener wrote:

Flannery O'Connor, again to her friend Maryat wrote:
The thing for you to do is write something with a delayed reaction like those capsules that take an hour to melt in your stomach. In this way, it could be performed in Milledgeville on Monday and not make them vomit until Wednesday, by which time they would not be sure who was to blame. This is the principle I operate under and I find it works very well.


Even of the few things I said earlier on this thread, I may have been "not really getting her."


That's a great quote, and though I did/do prefer McC still, O'C did do that well...and I'd probably never have noticed things like that going on...for O'C or any decent writer...if I didn't have the habit of writing a draft of a paper then re-reading the work before revising. [which often meant "revising" was synonymic with "tearing it up and starting over."]

I probably SHOULD do that for everything I read before opining.

But that could lead to a wordish hell-hole...cuz I took up the habit cuz a teacher said "you don't really understand what you read till you re-read" and then a Prof. said "you don't really understand something till you try to teach it..."
and then I discovered no, it is the second time you teach it...then I came here and found that damn, things can change any time anyone who is not yourself says something you didn't [and perhaps COULDN't] think of.

But, criminy, you might have made it necessary for me to go read some again [or maybe some I haven't] once I'm done with Gormenghast and Malazan.

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Linna Heartlistener
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PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2015 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
That's a great quote, and though I did/do prefer McC still, O'C did do that well...and I'd probably never have noticed things like that going on...for O'C or any decent writer...if I didn't have the habit of writing a draft of a paper then re-reading the work before revising. [which often meant "revising" was synonymic with "tearing it up and starting over."]

That's cool. I think I find this oddly encouraging.

Also, in the realm of fiction, O'Connor herself wrote... I don't remember how many pages that she did not use, but I think the amount she wrote and re-wrote for at least one of her novels... was something like 10x what she ended up using.

Quote:
But that could lead to a wordish hell-hole...cuz I took up the habit cuz a teacher said "you don't really understand what you read till you re-read" and then a Prof. said "you don't really understand something till you try to teach it..."
and then I discovered no, it is the second time you teach it...then I came here and found that damn, things can change any time anyone who is not yourself says something you didn't (and perhaps COULDN't) think of.

Thumbs Up Well-said.
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