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The Complete Works ALL THE LONELY PEOPLE WHERE DO THEY ALL COME FROM?ALL THE LONELY PEOPLE WHERE DO THEY ALL BELONG? Lennon McCartneyGARLIC AND SAPPHIRE IN THE MUDCLOT THE BEDDED AXLE TREE TS EliotFlannery O’Connor is a Wall And she’s each Brick in that Wall hard edged; uncompromising; and made out of unyielding obdurate FaithShe’s not a “Nice” WriterNor is she trying to be Cause she’s trying to give us the Straight GoodsNo she’s not living the Dream She’s living the REALITYAnd yes we all have plenty of goods in our lives nice things to eat and drink in the fridge nice gadgets to carry around with us everywhere nice books nice friends and plenty of nice diversionsBut life’s not nice she says And after life comes Death And many many people are Living their Deaths right here and nowShe just gives us the factsEspecially about the countless moaning mourning men and women who have fallen beneath the Iron Wheel of Karma RIGHT HERE AMONG US And of the Countless Many who will followThey fill our own inner cities They fill our Third World And their desperate emptiness also haunts the souls of our kidsWhy?She never tells you up front but if you know her background you’ll know why Her stories scream the answer silentlyWe’ve forgotten GodAnd the Spirit has packed up and left our citiesAnd our SoulsNow these are major major personal allegations but in her writing it’s all silently sous entendu So it won’t hurt you if you don’t want it toFor all she gives you are the facts about US Cause no it’s NOT about poor sharecroppers and inner city dwellers in the faraway Fifties but you can form your own impressionsBut even without such ‘antiuated’ views about perdition as she held to me it’s about US Us without all our diversionsSo now you don’t have to suirm under the intense pressure of all these perfect horrors tightly packed and sealed into each miniature masterpiece of a messy mundane tale depicting our grossly flawed livesIf you don’t want to hazard the risk For the warning stands primarily for the sensitive even though modern interpreters now call the viewpoint archaic and draconian anyway Since it may confuse you I leave that to your discretionAnd as well she always mitigates it all with her clear eyed objective lens So you can judge her objectively according to your own worldview And you’ll be safeOr if your POV is stoutly agnostic and empathy is not a part of your personality you’re in the clear tooBut if you’re like me and you go with the flow of your books empathetically cave librisFor new age Jeremiah that she is she has served us noticeWake up to Life or fall Beneath the Wheel In February 1948 Flannery O'Connor a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Iowa was twenty three years old and eager to please the publishing industry with the beginning chapters of a novel in progress titled Wise Blood A letter O'Connor received from one such publisher was not receptive He commended her for being a straight shooter and added that she was gifted but with a loneliness in her work as if she were writing simply out of her own experience O'Connor responded to a friend Please tell me what is behind this Sears Roebuck Straight Shooter approach I presume either that the publisher will not take the novel as it will be left to my fiendish care it will essentially be as it is or that the publisher would like to rescue it at this point and train it into a conventional novel The letter is addressed to a slightly dim witted Campfire Girl and I cannot look forward with composure to a lifetime of others like themUnconventional in dazzling ways I felt that O'Connor struggled a bit to sustain Wise Blood around one character Her morbid wit fascination with God's lonely man and fearless search for truth in a society coming apart with change are perfectly suited for the short story format The Complete Stories published posthumously in 1971 contains thirty one tales each powerful and haunting than the last As a sum of its parts it's one of my favorite booksFour of the stories The Train The Peeler The Heart of the Park and Enoch and the Gorilla were revised by O'Connor and became chapters of Wise Blood They're prelude to at least six stories that grabbed me and threw me across the room A Good Man Is Hard To Find in which a grandmother's insistence on visiting a plantation from her youth while on a road trip with her son daughter in law and three grandchildren puts them on a collision course with an escaped fugitive dubbed The Misfit A Circle in the Fire in which a nervous farm widow is visited by a teenaged boy who once lived on her land and returns with two friends from the city The dangerous boys love the country so much that they refuse to leave without taking some of it with them The Displaced Person in which a Polish refugee and his family are given the chance to start a new life in America working on a farm but uietly plague the good country people with their work ethic disuiet and alien ways Greenleaf in which a proud farm widow with two grown sons averse to manual labor is bedeviled by the appearance of a stray bull on her property a beast she determines belongs to the sons of her belligerent farm hand Mr Greenleaf Everything That Rises Must Converge in which a progressive minded man disgusted by bigoted ways of his mother agrees to accompany her on an errand using a desegregated night bus in an attempt to prove a point to the old bat The lesson ends up becoming his The Lame Shall Enter First in which a widowed recreational director who's given up hope his son will contribute anything positive to society offers room and board and a second chance to a juvenile delinuent with a 140 I and club foot so full of potential the man can't resist saving himO'Connor's characters have holes they're struggling to fill with education progressive ideals charity Jesus Christ but they end up digging themselves even deeper holes These are haunted people and several of these tales were eerie enough to keep me awake at night O'Connor doesn't go for ghosts or goblins but her characters are visited by their share of demons The tension in O'Connor's storytelling is softened by her dark wit and powerful observation Her character descriptions often set the table in a household Charles Addams would feel at home in The doctors had told Mrs Hopewell that with the best of care Joy might see forty five She had a weak heart Joy had made it plain that if it had not been for this condition she would be far from these red hills and good country people She would be in a university lecturing to people who knew what she was talking about And Mrs Hopewell could very well picture her there looking like a scarecrow and lecturing to of the same Here she went about all day in a six year old skirt and a yellow sweat shirt with a faded cowboy on a horse embossed on it She thought this was funny; Mrs Hopewell thought it was idiotic and simply showed that she was still a child She was brilliant but she didn't have a grain of sense It seemed to Mrs Hopewell that every year she grew less like other people and like herself bloated rude and suint eyedA common element in O'Connor's fiction is the progressive grown child the Meathead whom Archie Bunker was heckling on All In the Family the year this collection was published attempting to separate himself or herself from the hypocrisy of the mother loving but clueless as to what she represents to her children Part of the genius of these stories apart from how taut they are with tension is how O'Connor refuses to pass judgment on either side of the culture war Liberals can believe O'Connor is attacking the good ole boy network while the Archie Bunkers could actually view these stories as a rebuke of the Meatheads coming from one of their own a writer reared in Savannah GA I think the truth is a lot complicated than either position and is explored beautifully in this book I feel like I've just been to school That's a good thing I read each of these 31 stories a compilation of both A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories and Everything That Rises Must Converge Stories as well as 12 other stories 6 of which made up her master's thesis at the University of Iowa slowly only a few a day I took notes as I was going and read as much analysis as I could on each story What an experience to immerse myself in this author's life workIt's a dark place to be though I've always liked dark Flannery O'Connor's literary world is beyond bleak to the point where if one of her characters smiles you notice with a breath of relief ahhhh a tiny respite from the hard lives and harder hearts on display here The sky and the sun and of course peacocks get all sorts of glorious description in these stories But the PEOPLE the people are hopeless and selfish grappling for control of their meagre lives on a slippery surface that affords no purchaseFlannery O'Connor's name goes hand in hand with Southern gothic though she used Christian realism to describe the toughness of her stories In my opinion both apply to her work Most of her stories take place in bedraggled farms in the American South with tough characters who often possess ironic names Mrs Cope can't cope Sheppard can't lead anyone Shiftlet is definitely shifty Crater is a void Pointer is a cruel phallus etc The lessons are told using allegory dotted with symbolism After you've read a few of her stories you will notice a pattern Despite the dank darkness of the lives she adorns her characters with there is always an opportunity for grace the chance to choose right If they do not choose correctly woe betide them for all sorts of terrible punishments are ahead in the form of death and loss and isolationEven though I recognised this pattern like a beacon I couldn't help but sympathise and identify with the characters who were on their road to ruin I mean who wouldn't be annoyed if someone else's bull was loose in your farm wrecking everything? That I believe is where much of O'Connor's power lies The 'villains' in her stories are us everyday people who are snared in our humanity our time our weaknesses It is we who struggle every day at achieving grace And that is what pierces the heart of anyone who reads these storiesShe addresses racism many many times over which sadly still remains a timely issue And she has a hard eye for 'intellectuals' none of them know nearly as much as they think they knowThe collection was a little uneven for me The Train The Peeler and any others featuring Hazel and Enoch did not interest me much That probably means I should stay clear of Wise Blood because these stories eventually became part of this novel Also You Can't Be Any Poorer than Dead which eventually became part of The Violent Bear It Away and Why Do the Heathen Rage? which was meant to be part of a future novel neither worked for me as short storiesHowever there is so much gold here it is easy to let go of what doesn't impress and stay with the sparkling jewels such as The Geranium an old Southern man's inability to adjust to life in NYC later re written as Judgment Day her last story The Barber a fascinating image of casting pearls to swine showing the insecure need to change people's minds to match one's own and the ineffectuality of intellectual arguments A Good Man is Hard to Find her most famous story when a family trip is savaged while making a stop to visit an old plantation property Punishment for glorifying an imperfect past is doled out for thinking in terms of them and us Begs the uestion what makes a person good? A Circle in the Fire a woman who runs a farm is visited by some boys who torment her instil fear and menace and demonstrate that she is NOT in charge The Displaced Person a story of tremendous power about a woman who takes in a Polish DP to work on her farm His efficiency does not sit well with the rest of the farm and what ensues in a sick slow build up made me gasp Greenleaf another woman on a farm pretty much everyone in O'Connor's stories are widows or widowers and there's almost always a red headed person in each story has to deal with an errant bull on her property with deathly conseuences Everything that Rises Must Converge brilliant tale of moral ambiguity taking place on an integrated bus rideHer disturbing damning stories will linger in my mind These stories continue to exert their power a pointing finger a morally all seeing eye that cuts and exposes without mercy Wow The Complete Works The complete stories Flannery O'ConnorThe Complete Stories is a collection of short stories by Flannery O'Connor It was published in 1971 It comprises all the stories in A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Everything That Rises Must Converge plus several previously unavailable storiesContentsThe GeraniumThe BarberWildcatThe CropThe TurkeyThe TrainThe PeelerThe Heart of the ParkA Stroke of Good FortuneEnoch and the GorillaA Good Man Is Hard to FindA Late Encounter with the EnemyThe Life You Save May Be Your OwnThe RiverA Circle in the FireThe Displaced PersonA Temple of the Holy GhostThe Artificial NiggerGood Country PeopleYou Can't Be Any Poorer Than DeadGreenleafA View of the WoodsThe Enduring ChillThe Comforts of HomeEverything That Rises Must ConvergeThe Partridge FestivalThe Lame Shall Enter FirstWhy Do the Heathen Rage?RevelationParker's BackJudgment Dayتاریخ نخستین خوانش روز دهم ماه جولای سال 2018 میلادیعنوان مجموعه داستان‌های کوتاه فلانری اوکانر؛ نویسنده فلانری اوکانر؛ مترجم آدر عالیپور؛ تهران، آموت، 1392؛ در 696 ص؛ شابک 9786006605265؛ چاپ دوم 1393؛ چاپ سوم 1394؛ عنوان دیگر مجموعه کامل داستان‌های کوتاه فلانری اوکانر؛ چاپ چهارم 1396؛ در 895 ص؛ شبک 9786003840140؛ موضوع داستانهای کوتاه از نویسندگان امریکایی سده 20مهر جا که شر حضور دارد، خیر هم ظاهر می‌شود؛ در داستان‌های بانو «اوکانر» خیر و شر، با یکدیگر و در تکمیل هم، حضور دارند، و در بسیاری از این داستان‌ها توفیق را با خیر نمی‌بینیم، بلکه این شر است، که استیلا پیدا می‌کند؛ برخی از داستان‌ها، و شرح آن‌ها، پایان غافل‌گیر کننده، و‌ خشونت‌ آمیز دارند؛ در داستان‌های «اوکانر»، بچه‌ ها، سمبول معصومیت نیستند، بلکه همانند یک بختک، روی زندگی افتاده‌ اند؛ همچنین بچه‌ ها در داستان‌ها، با شخصیت‌های اصلی، ارتباط برقرار نمی‌کنند؛ دیگر آن‌که «اوکانر» با این‌که زن بودند، در داستان با نگرشی زنانه به طرح ویژگی‌های زن‌ها نمی‌پردازند؛ «اوکانر» دو مضمون تنش را، در آثارش دنبال می‌کنند؛ نخست «تنش بین شمال و جنوب»، و دوم «تنش بین سنت و مدرنیته»، که به تبع آن «تنش میان شهر و روستا»، و همچنین «خیر و شر» نیز، دیده می‌شوند؛ ایشان تنش‌های موجود در جامعه آمریکایی را، با بهره‌ گیری از شیوه‌ های پارادوکسی، به خوانشگر خویش نشان می‌دهند، تا این دوران گذار با پیش کشیدن تنش‌ها تعین پیدا کنند، و در فرایند همین گذار است، که شخصیت‌های داستان در موقعیت‌های پارادوکسی قرار می‌گیرندتاریخ بهنگام رسانی 15041399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا شربیانی Listen here he hissed I don't care if he's good or not He ain't right A Stroke of Good Fortune The Life You Save May Be Your Own The River The Displaced Person A View of the Woods The Lame Shall Enter First Two of these are contained within Everything That Rises Must Converge A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories has the other four Neither one would have done as much good in my estimation as the works in toto Key word myFlannery O'Connor was an author whose name seeped into my bones until there was nothing left but to read her One class assigned me the solo 'A Good Man is Hard to Find' and left me baffled A television show favored for its artistic atrocity and psychological vivisection featured the former and as a psychology professor turned FBI consultant read to a comatose girl potential serial killer Godwin's Law turned O'Connor's Law whenever short stories were the uestion a probability instantaneously one if favorites were asked for The final blow was the every so often descriptor of Catholic zealot a religion whose childhood indoctrination may have fed my enthusiasm for theology but did nothing faith wise You won't be the same again the preacher said You'll count I acuired this book with the personal penchant of Go Big or Go Home in mind eyed it back whenever I felt it eyeing me and began Now at the end older and wiser and a few Wiki articles smarter I say that if O'Connor's character are grotesue I know an awful lot of grotesue people I say that the archaic definition of awe of dread terror is not nearly as archaic as some would believe and far hope I say that if I wanted to understand O'Connor I would have to understand the South and to do that I would have to understand Catholicism and to do that I would have to devote my life to literature in a much concentrated manner than I am want to seriously consider The world was made for the dead Think of all the dead there are Fortunately for O'Connor morality is an uncomfortable nitpick for and will be so for the rest of days Unfortunately for O'Connor I read her long after my phase of existential grasping had faded to musing embers and the chance of conversion was ripe for the rotting Fortunately I am all too well acuainted with the tightwire between I am a good person and I see me when I'm sleeping I know when I'm awake to the point of nauseated pain enough to see what she seeks to show in other things beyond the scope of religion and belief Unfortunately I am neither in love enough with her particular disturbation to seek her out before the very far future has come my way nor am I certain that my positive judgment of her work hinges but a little on the whiteness of my skin Conflict conflict Whether good or ill for her she will long be kept as a subject of contemplation She was sorry that the poor man had been chased out of Poland and run across Europe and had had to take up in a tenant shack in a strange country but she had not been responsible for any of ithe had probably not had to struggle enough There's something ugly but true in all of her works a vein that would do well to acuire a name deeper than the common 'hypocrisy' when realization of such often demands the death of the realizer if not All for the reader's benefit of course the implication of 'woe to those who refuse to heed' thrown in free with sardonic glee Not horror but Old Testament Not raison d'être but your godforsaken soul Oh I see the stranger said It ain't the Day of Judgment for him you're worried about it's the Day of Judgment for you I may not be Catholic but that is not an anything but she might experience a painful realization and this would be the only thing of value he had to leave her In The Geranium Old Dudley is the proverbial fish out of water overwhelmed by his environment regretting his choice to trade familiar small town for a chance to see the Big Apple To escape the constant onslaught on his senses he’s fixated on the daily regimen of a neighbor’s geranium the closest thing to nature ie ‘back home’ he’s found But in a twist comparable to the best of O’Henry Dudley’s prejudice is revealed by unwelcome kindness from an ‘enemy’ and animosity comes to him from an eually improbable source AWhat is the saying? ‘A fool convinced against his will is of the same opinion still’ The Barber is the early 20th Century version of why you shouldn’t bother entering into arguments on the Internet Back then everything you ever needed or wanted to know could be learned at the Barber Shop A frustrating but wise read BIn The Crop 44 year old Miss Willerton spinster story writer escapes the humdrum reality of her life—as many unhappy women do—by fantasizing herself femme fatale leading lady of her own imaginary romances In this case we’re given a glimpse of her co stars Charming A Who is The Turkey? Is it Ruller or what Ruller finds? On the cusp of emerging manhood Ruller experiments with rebelling against his parent’s especially his mother’s rules concerning the name of the LORD and how to address the Almighty What difference does it make if there is no one else to hear or see? A tale of two shot courage; one shot you see and one you don’t AIn The Train 19 year old Hazel Wickers ne MotesWeaver journeys by train to Taulkinham We are taken along with him wandering insecure and confused—with flashes of extreme certainty—finding what? We watch the world go by as if we were the ones on a train A runaway ride of confusing thoughts This is the first of the four stories which O’Connor later revised into her novel Wise Blood BIn The Peeler Hazel Motes is walking the streets of Taulkinham where he meets Enoch Emery Asa Shrike who is blind and a girl Sabbath traveling with him Although physically blind Asa sees than anyone else discerns the truth and speaks to effect than the other three main characters “You can’t run from Jesus Jesus is a fact If who you are a looking for is Jesus the sound of it will be in your voice” AThe Heart of the Park continues The Peeler and is the third in the series involving at least some of the same characters Enoch Emery had tried to latch on to Hazel Weaver this time in the last story and when Hazel goes looking for him hoping to find out where the blind man lives—so he can hear about Jesus—Enoch capitalizes on the opportunity to ‘share with someone special’ The two young men are abominable to each other yet in their near total ignorance they are as much pitiable as they are abhorrent A Enoch and the Gorilla is the perfect conclusion to the stories about the misfit Enoch who is so out of step in the world he doesn’t even know how much he is despised by everyone It seems like every once in a while Enoch ought to accidentally meet a nice person or someone who likes him They can’t be all beastly or can they? BIn A Stroke of Good Fortune Ruby is disgusted with her brother Rufus because after two years military service he hasn’t learned to be ‘somebody from somewhere’ She’s the only one from her family to have escaped their now defunct town of Pitman by marrying Bill Hill from Florida who sells Miracle Products And yet after all that climbing why can’t she even go up her own stairs? BA Good Man is Hard to Find is probably the most perfect short story ever written and certainly O’Connor’s best and best known Dysfunctional family on a road trip ends up stranded in the middle of nowhere; they encounter their worst nightmare The goodness in the men and the women—in all of us—is hard to find Superb dialogue at the end between The Misfit and the Grandmother AIn A Late Encounter with the Enemy 62 year old Sally Poker Sash’s nightly prayer is that her 104 year old grandfather ‘General’ Sash will live long enough to see her graduate from college never mind that he doesn’t know what is what any A battle on many fronts this must be read up ‘til the last sentence Another one where O’Connor gives us an inside view A One armed Mr Shiftlet appears one day—full of compliments and trivia at Lucynell Crater’s place The two share much banter but little real conversation and no trust In The Life You Save May Be Your Own the two main characters are so focused on protecting their own interests they don’t see how they are being scammed and taken in by each other BIn The River Childhood is personified as little HarryBevel He is the plaything of thoughtless and foolish adults who use him for their own selfish ends In this ‘day in the life’ of Harry he learns that he ‘counts’ – although the precise meaning of this is never explained and he doesn’t know what to do with the information A heart wrenching exposé AMrs Cope in A Circle in the Fire had no sympathy for anyone else’s troubles There was always plenty to be thankful for no matter what bad happens because “it doesn’t all come at once” and of course it didn’t happen to her But that philosophy and her worst fear get put to the test when three juvenile delinuents show up at her farm one day and refuse to leave BThe Displaced Person should be the displaced person s and yet it also works in the singular It is about an entire family of Polish immigrants exiled from their homeland due to ‘what was happening every day in Europe where they had not advanced as in this country’ The Guizacs arrival at Mrs McIntyre’s farm upsets the delicate balance and pacing of work Mr Guizac’s enthusiasm and work ethic aren’t appreciated by all How place and pace are finally found and resolved is the stuff of this one of the longest and best of O’Connor’s short stories Superb AA Temple of the Holy Ghost refers to the definition of the person given in 1 Corinthians 619 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who is in you whom you have received from God?” The unnamed child in O’Connor’s story relishes this understanding of herself and experiences an opportunity to apply it to one of the least in the Kingdom AThe Artificial Nigger is an unfortunate title How so? Well for starters it refers to a plaster lawn statue the characters happened upon in a wealthy neighborhood So O’Connor is not using the pejorative ‘N’ word in any way critical of African Americans Rather she is ridiculing the snobbish insensitive pride of wealthy whites who have too much money and no compassion or taste So much for the title The story itself concerns a grandfather and grandson coming to the big city setting an old misconception straight—well actually than one—and in the process re encountering the oldest sin in the world that of our first parents Powerful tale of forgiveness and redemption A In Good Country People Joy doesn’t want to be either “Joy” or “Good Country People” Since she blames her mother for an accident which has left her with a handicap she uses this as justification to adopt a sour attitude to life Even she had her name legally changed to Hulga because it was the ugliest name she could think of One day in a moment of poetic justice JoyHulga gets a little of her own unpleasantness BYou Can’t Be Any Poorer Than Dead means—of course—that you can There is economic poverty and spiritual poverty and not what Jesus meant when He was talking about being poor in spirit Rather being poor of spirit Fourteen year old Francis Tarwater had one task to perform for his uncle who raised him and wanted to leave everything to him If Francis couldn’t even do that one simple assignment who was actually the poorer man? A O’Connor likes to explore the themes of blind envy and a taut battle of the wills She does this in a number of her stories including The Life You Save May Be Your Own A View of the Woods and Good Country People but she is at her best here in Greenleaf The deluded Mrs May sees herself as the victim of her own employee Mr Greenleaf his family her own sons and even a bull which keeps wandering where it shouldn’t Her determination to prove her point does in fact bring it home for her AOld Man Fortune lives with his daughter son in law Pitts and their children but his real joys are his one granddaughter Mary Fortune and using her to get back at her parents especially her father Mary is the only one in the family he respects because he sees himself in her—physically as well as temperamentally In A View of the Woods Mr Fortune decides on a business transaction with a view to irritate his son in law but doesn’t figure on its wider impact AAsbury went to New York to ‘escape the slave’s atmosphere of home’ and returned broken sick dying Whatever his doting mother offers to do for him or suggests he do is met with his usual cold unreceptive reaction Indeed The Enduring Chill as title is also the temperature the main character Asbury carries with him wherever he goes So now the uestion becomes how long can this ‘enduring’ last? AThe Comforts of Home is neither comfortable nor homey Thirty five year old Thomas’s home has been invaded by someone his mother feels sorry for obliged to ‘help’ Sarah Ham AKA “Star Drake” a self proclaimed nymphomaniac multi failed suicide congenital liar and parolee has taken up residence Things go from bad to worse until AEverything that Rises Must Converge recounts an evening involving the painstaking departure and bus ride of an adult son Julian and mother Julian is accompanying his mother to her Wednesday night “reducing class” It’s a lifetime’s worth of small talk compressed into a few tense and unforgettable hours AIt’s the annual Azalea Festival in the small town of Partridge and everyone’s caught up in the spirit of the occasion In The Partridge Festival Calhoun and Mary Elizabeth are two young people bucking popular opinion ‘the system’ if you will They don’t believe in all this nonsense especially not the consensus that a recent murder was committed by a madman Surely he must have been fed up as they are with all this flower foolishness He must have had enough and just couldn’t take it any So they set out to find and visit Singleton in prison BIn The Lame Shall Enter First fourteen year old Rufus Johnson was being raised by an abusive grandfather in a shack without water or electricity His father was dead and his mother was in the state penitentiary He was mean had a club foot ate out of the garbage and believed passionately in Jesus the devil and everything in the Bible Sheppard atheist widower and father of ten year old Norton volunteered at the reformatory as a counselor on week ends Sheppard had ‘taken on’ Rufus because he believed he was the boy’s savior Rufus saw right through Sheppard but it took the man longer to realize this and much important things A Mrs Turpin’s self satisfaction meets an angry girl Mary Grace in Revelation Both are among the colorful characters inhabiting a doctor’s waiting room which seems to grow smaller as the personalities emerge larger While we grow alert to Mary Grace’s disgust with Mrs Turpin she is oblivious to it until it manifests itself Mary’s Grace or ‘gift’ if you prefer is an eye opening opportunity for Mrs Turpin A Parker’s Back is a play on the ambiguity created by the dual meaning of the word ‘back’ Initially it seems that it refers to some return of the central character O E Parker But very uickly we realize Parker has tattooed almost every inch of his body except his back His inability to break free from or admit to his first real love for a woman who also happens to be his indifferent wife combined with a profound experience set up a catharsis for Parker which bring both meanings of the word together in a poignant ending A Judgement Day is a reworking or refinement of O’Connor’s first piece in this collection The Geranium The names are different but again an elderly father has come to live with his adult daughter in New York Although he bitterly regrets his decision he is resigned to it until he discovers his daughter is planning to renege on her promise to have him buried back down in Georgia We take up the story as he is planning his ‘escape’ learning past details through flashbacks Excellent on its own uite apart from The Geranium taken together the stories form perfect book ends to this splendid collection AAlthough her stories were inspired and immortal from the beginning there is no doubt O’Connor improved as she got olderUpdated for grammatical errors October 26 2017 Strange may it seem but I’ve never read anything about Flannery O'Connor and I didn’t know what I should expect so the book was like a lightning strike“She saw the streak as a vast swinging bridge extending upward from the earth through a field of living fire Upon it a vast horde of souls were rumbling toward heaven There were whole companies of whitetrash clean for the first time in their lives and bands of black niggers in white robes and battalions of freaks and lunatics shouting and clapping and leaping like frogs And bringing up the end of the procession was a tribe of people whom she recognized at once as those who like herself and Claud had always had a little of everything and the God given wit to use it right”The world is split in two partsThere are those who try to use the others and there are those who are just being used “A body and a spirit” he repeated “The body lady is like a house it don’t go anywhere; but the spirit lady is like a automobile always on the move always”The majority is swarming and conforming – they are the people of the crowd the cattle of the herd Meanness is their weapon and ignorance is their creed“‘Why listen lady’ he said with a grin of delight ‘the monks of old slept in their coffins’‘They wasn’t as advanced as we are’ the old woman said”The minority consists of dreamers – they want to change the world they want to fight the system they pretend that meanness is elsewhere But they are clueless they cut a ludicrous figure and whatever they do they fail“He didn’t like anything He drove twenty miles every day to the university where he taught and twenty miles back every night but he said he hated the twenty mile drive and he hated the second rate university and he hated the morons who attended it He hated the country and he hated the life he lived; he hated living with his mother and his idiot brother and he hated hearing about the damn dairy and the damn help and the damn broken machinery But in spite of all he said he never made any move to leave”Majority is never right but majority ever wins En este volumen se reúnen todos los relatos de Flannery O'Connor tanto los ue publicó en vida como los ue dejó inéditos muchos de los cuales nunca se habían traducido al castellanoEl genio lúcido doloroso y atormentado de Flannery O'Connor alcanza sus más altas cimas en el cuento género ue cultivó ininterrumpidamente desde sus años de estudiante hasta su prematura y trágica muerteLas historias de este libro hiriente y sobrecogedor tienen como escenario los pueblos y las tierras del sur de Estados Unidos especialmente su Georgia natal un mundo decrépito y en ruinas cuyo secular abandono y pobreza ancestral aparecen marcados por la violencia y el odio Pero más allá de la sordidez los conflictos raciales el asfixiante peso de la religión y la frustrada lucha por la libertad hay siempre en los cuentos de Flannery O'Connor una extraña belleza una íntima exposición moral de la condición humana ue trasciende la anécdotaComparada a menudo con William Faulkner o Carson McCullers con uienes forjó lo ue se ha llamado el «gótico sureño» Flannery O'Connor es una de las narradoras imprescindibles de la literatura norteamericana del siglo XXContentsEl geranio El barbero El lince La cosecha El pavo El tren El pelapatatas El corazón del parue Un golpe de buena suerte Enoch y el gorila Un hombre bueno es difícil de encontrar Un encuentro tardío con el enemigo La vida ue salvéis puede ser la vuestra El río Un círculo en el fuego La persona desplazada El templo del Espíritu Santo El negro artificial La buena gente del campo Más pobre ue un muerto imposible Greenleaf Una visita del bosue El escalofrío interminable Las dulzuras del hogar Todo lo ue asciende tiene ue converger Partridge en fiestas Los lisiados serán los primeros Por ué se amotinan las gentes Revelación La espalda de Parker El día del juicio final Since I won't be reading this collection straight through I figured I'd rate the first 15 stories that I have read Except for one here or there in anthologies this is my first time reading her short stories and I can't believe it took me this long to get to her They are amazingly good April 29 2009April 3 2016Now I can't believe it took me seven years to get back to this volume except for recognizing that O'Connor's unflinching worldview isn't always a lure and of course the main excuse of other books clamoring for attention I find it appropriate even though it was unintentional that both times I read it around Easter This time I decided to read one per night of the last 16 stories until I finished That worked well giving me time to digest each but not too much time in between that I didn't recognize similar tropes for example colorful tree lines with colorless skies above them It's impossible to miss no matter how much time passes the recurring themes Pride as the ultimate Destroyer; Saving Grace arriving from frightening unexpected placesWhether you agree or disagree with O'Connor's worldview there's no denying the power of her writing Her craft is impeccable Her vision is inexorable I have just finished the book unfortunately with a lot of effort many years ago I had already read some of these stories and I liked them very muchI don’t remember them being so gloomy totally violent where men drown in their grief totally enveloped in their circumstances of daily tragediesI have read many articles on Flannery O'Connor and I understand and I see the uestion God is for the violent too but in a Catholic perspective here everything is hopeless confusedthe souls who speak in these stories remain until the end without the possibility of redemption of mercy as if the condemnation of men and the judgment were placed and given before the return to the CreatorI’m completely confused and I don’t think I’m prepared enough to understand what O'Connor wants to tell us with these characters Or did I overestimate her?Ho appena terminato il libro purtroppo con molta fatica secoli fa avevo già letto alcuni di uesti racconti e mi erano piaciuti moltoNon li ricordavo così cupi totalmente violenti dove gli uomini affogano nel loro dolore totalmente avviluppati dalle loro circostanze di tragedie uotidianeHo letto molti articoli su Flannery O'Connor e capisco e intravedo la uestioneDio è anche per i violenti ma in un ottica cattolica ui è tutto senza speranza confuso le anime che parlano in uesti racconti rimangono sino alla fine senza possibilità di redenzione di misericordiacome se la condanna sull' uomo e il suo giudizio venga posto e dato prima della risalita al CreatoreSono assolutamente confusa e non mi ritengo purtroppo abbastanza preparata per capire ciò che la O'Connor vuole testimoniarci con uesti personaggi o sono solo io che l'ho sovrastimata troppo?

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