Monday, March 29, 2010

Despite everything...

Current book: A Good Man is Hard to Find
Pages read: 127 - 252 (end)

I was thinking that the Flannery O'Connor stories in the second half of the book wouldn't be any worse than the ones in the first half, but I was wrong about that. It's like she goes out of her way to illustrate the absolute worst tendencies of humankind in as despicable a way as she can think of. What is the point of that, I ask you? I understand and recognize the fact that bad things happen in the world, but they don't happen all the time with no respite. Not every person you meet is calculating how to take advantage of you. It's absurd to write a collection of short stories that is focused so single-mindedly and depressingly on the idea that we should assume the worst of our fellow humans, because they will, invariably, fulfill the assumption. I hate to bring the Nazis into this, seeing as it's the default example, but Christ, O'Connor, if Anne Frank can think that there's good in the world, maybe you ought to give it a shot.

I'm not going to summarize any of these other than to say that the worst one of them all features a traveling Bible salesman who seduces an extremely intelligent girl with a prosthetic leg. He gets her to take it off to show it to him and then steals it from her, leaving her stranded in a hayloft. Are you freaking kidding me with this, Flannery? (That's right. You've earned enough of my wrath that we're on a first name basis. Of hatred.) Honestly, what a waste of paper. Yes, yes, literary merit, I guess, since we've decided that deep and unnecessary pessimism and clear misanthropy are literary, but I'll never touch O'Connor again, if I can possibly help it. Not worthy of the list.

2 comments:

  1. So, how DOES a one-legged girl get out of a hayloft?

    ReplyDelete
  2. And keep the use of her good leg?

    ReplyDelete

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