The OF Blog: New poll on Flannery O'Connor up

Monday, June 08, 2009

New poll on Flannery O'Connor up

Just a few words for those who read this blog via RSS Readers (apparently there's quite a few hundred of you each day now) to let you know that I changed the poll to focus on Flannery O'Connor for the next week.

Bought her Library of America edition of her works and almost 400 pages in, I'm having a blast. I had read some of her short stories for my university English Comp courses, but I didn't read her A Good Man is Hard to Find collection until four years ago. Outstanding collection that I'd highly recommend to anyone. But until I bought the Library of America collection Saturday, for some reason I had never gotten around to buying her other works (Wise Blood, The Violent Bear It Away, Everything That Rises Must Converge). A shame, as the first book listed is excellent and the second is promising 60 pages in.

So if you have read her works before, would you mind commenting a little bit here sharing your opinions of her works? Thanks in advance.


K.C. Shaw said...

I love Flannery O'Connor. I don't reread her stories often because I find them almost painful (although often very darkly funny), but whenever I notice the collection on my shelf it makes me feel good.

Along with The Duchess of Malfi, I really think Flannery O'Connor was the main reward I got out of being an English major (although I enjoyed my classes; it's just that most of what I read I didn't fall in love with).

Eileen said...

I've been wanting to check O'Connor out. I'm interested in what you have to say about her works. Is she similar to Faulkner? I heard they're both considered "Southern Gothic" in genre.

(I'm really enjoying 2666, by the way. There's another guy who's reading it in the original Spanish. Here is his take on it - I thought you'd be interested.)

Lsrry said...

I find myself wishing these days that I had taken a minor in both English lit and in Spanish, in part because I only got the Comp 101 treatment for both O'Connor and Faulkner and I had to decide on my own in my late 20s and early 30s to read both.

As for similarities with Faulkner, their writing styles are very different, same for their basic themes. While each has a sense of decay in their works, O'Connor's work is much more apocalyptic in both senses of the word; the characters discover God or the falsity of their beliefs in almost every story she wrote, but in wildly varying ways. Faulkner's tales are a bit more about the social aspects rather than the religious, from what I recall.

Glad that you're enjoying 2666. I was thinking about making a post about your reading of it, but I decided to wait a little bit since I've become sidetracked and haven't really had the time/energy to devote to the project the way I'd like. Will read that link shortly - thanks!

D said...

Now that I think back to 'A Good Man Is Hard to Find', I remember the stories as a difficult read. To be so close to the minds and hearts of those wicked and lost and hopeless and poor, it is scary.

Very good writing and not something I'm going to reread anytime soon.

Lsrry said...

I remember you reading that a couple of years ago and being disturbed by it. Yeah, her stories do have that "awful" power to them, don't they?

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