Tuesday, February 07, 2006

one harsh miss.

There's this live Mountain Goats song where he introduces it by saying that he sometimes wonders if he's a bad person for doing such things to the characters he creates. With this in mind, I'm left to wonder what personal struggles Ms. Flannery O'Connor may have gone through.
I've always wanted to read Flannery O'Connor, but have somehow managed to never actually do so until now. About all I knew about her was that she wrote the short story "A Good Man is Hard To Find," which is just a good title, not to mention a damn fine Bessy Smith song. I also had heard that she was Christian, but hadn't remembered that until now. So, with my limited knowledge, I picked up A Good Man is Hard To Find and Other Stories. Now, I guess I didn't realize how, well, hardcore, Ms. O'Connor is. The title story made my stomach turn and from there it is an amoral playground of perfectly unlikable characters. The book is fantastic. She creates some pretty amazingly awful situations where, if the characters aren't inherently bad people, they are either obnoxious or ignorant to the point of being unlikable or violent. I will admit this I might be generalizing/exagerating, probably not every character in this book fits this description, but, for the most part, the world of Flannery O'Connor is dark and ugly and completely entrancing. Very hard to shake off.


Blogger cole said...

at the snohomish library book sale a few months ago i picked up a copy of 'wise blood' by flannery o'conner. id only read 'a good man...' years back and have been curious about the novels for some time.
its about a very bitter fellow who comes to the city after the war and, rattled by a street preacher, starts his own church, preaching from the hood of his car the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ Without Jesus (or something like that). another guy joins in thinking to make a dollar and ends up starting his own church, the Church Without Jesus (or...). also answers questions like 'are street preachers really blind?'
i would vote for more flannery o'conner.

11:22 PM  

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