Ever since blind Homer sang about the man of twists and turns who only wanted to make his way home again, audiences have sat in wonder as authors read their own work. It’s sobering to think that for all our books on CD and MP3s, most readings from civilization’s best authors have gone down into dust and silence. Most, but not all. The folks at The Morning Oil have dug up a recording of Flannery O’Connor reading her famous short “A Good Man is Hard to Find” at Notre Dame a year before her death. Almost better than hearing O’Connor drawl about theologically minded serial killers is listening to her mini-lecture “Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction.” In a scant nine minutes, she relates “grotesque” (or whould we say “weird” or “horrific” nowadays?) fiction to the social sciences’ impact on critical theory, prophetic vision in writing, how an author’s sense of place flavors his work and The Freak as an anchor to reality. Strong, heady stuff.
To download “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction” from The Morning Oil, click here. Links are at the bottom of the page.
(Picture: CC 2008 by happykatie; Hat Tip: Between Two Worlds)