12.03.2008

School of Southern Degeneracy

New Post on Back Porch: Happy Talk




"If ya' write about people who doan always wear shoes, people will think you consider shoes impohrtant."



"When I'm asked, 'Why do Southern writers have a penchant for writin' about freaks' , I say its because we're still able to recognize one...in the South the general conception of the whole man is still theological...that is a big statement. The South is hardly Christ centered, but it most certainly is Christ haunted.

In the South, our sense of place is unadjustable."

"The freak is a figure for our essential displacement..Southern literature abounds in examples of the grotesque...it is much more serious and complicated...others have decided if you write about freaks you do so because of your great compassion.

"Compassion is a word that sounds good in anybody's mouth.... it's a quality no one can put his finger on in any exact sense, so the word is always safe and anybody can use it...the hazy compassion demanded of a writer today makes it difficult for him to be anti-anything. Certainly when the grotesque has a legitimate reason for being, it will be used in a way that gives the intellectual and moral judgments implicit in it ascendancy over feeling."

"This writing is almost sure to be poetic, not sociological."

Aunty is a student of this great writer, Flannery O'Connor. She had a grasp of reality like few others. Known for her "grotesque" stories, "violent and comic," O'Connor understood where we were headed--and that the South was the last place where people understood the difference between Utopian feelin's an' realistic judgments based on experience with human nature.

Amen, Flannery. RIP

...........

5 comments:

iamnot said...

You inspire me to read.

Boxer said...

would you include Truman Capote in this group?

ThursdayNext said...

I love Flannery...Falkner...Miss Lee. All writers that have shaped the literature in this country for the better...its thought provoking, challenging, and revolutionary in content and context.

moi said...

She is one of my favorite writers. Wise Blood is a highly under read Great American Novel.

fishy said...

Aunty Belle,
I doesn't disagree wif yore logic, and I accept Flannery was a master at her craft. But, for a Fishy like me who sees books in her haid ( jus like watchin a movie) some of the Flannery characters are terrifying images. Same with Eudora Welty. I isn't prejudiced against Southerners, I can't read Poe or o'Henry neither.