"Thanks and thanks again to Him who offers to the man whom the sorrows of life have assaulted and left naked–offers to him the fig leaf of the Word with which he can cover his wretchedness." -Søren Kierkegaard

A Crush On Flannery

Posted in Day-To-Day, Stuff I'm Reading by matt on Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A few days ago I dropped the books I should be reading and picked up a copy of “The Complete Stories” by Flannery O’Connor. Dr. Sadler (check out those specs!) graciously imparted this little volume to me after I’d asked him a whole bunch of annoying questions regarding Ms. O’Connor. I guess he thought giving me the book would shut me up, or maybe he just doesn’t have any need for it. Either way he’s an extremely generous soul and I’m grateful for his offices’ limited shelf-space; I always reap the benefits =).

I’ll admit that this semester I’ve been privileged to read some cool stuff, but lately I’ve been craving me some story; characters, a subtle plot, imagery…I want the whole shebang. At least for now I’m tired of Bible commentary and all the mundane stuff in college textbooks. So I’ve been reading a few different short stories by O’Connor and I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for something with a little jolt.

She wrote for a lot of reasons, but one that I find appealing is her desire to shock the atrophied southern church to life. She accomplishes this by pointing out the subtle prejudices of the deep south which, ironically, tend to go hand-in-hand with self-righteousness. There is also a paradox in how she depicts characters. The person expected to be righteous is often self-absorbed, while the lowly slaves or children are seen to be the humble heroes. As Ben put it, “It’s like a modernized version of the Pharisee and the Publican.”

So far I’ve only read “The River”, “The Train”, and “The Artificial Nigger” but they’re all really interesting – especially “The River”. Her stuff’s slightly unsettling, but definitely worth your read.

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  1. Melissa said, on Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Hey Matt, how are you? I wanted to let you know that I will be praying for you in the coming weeks as you get ready to graduate from Baylor and then go to Thailand. I know you will do great there. Please keep me updated and I will read your blog. Check out mine and share my last write up with your family. It’s about the girls getting baptized and there are pics. We love you!

  2. matt said, on Sunday, May 11, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Thanks Mel! Grats to your girls…they’ve gotten so big since I last saw them – I remember when you babysat me…

    I feel old.

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