Tuesday, October 28, 2008

From Eugene Genovese, 1994

“Whatever slim hopes the Agrarians may have had of arresting the industrialization of the South sixty years ago, their successors have none. John Shelton Reed has said it all in two sentences: ‘It is no longer a matter of defending a Southern way of life against industrialism. Increasingly, that way of life is industrialism.’ Hopes for the maintenance or restoration of cherished values now rest with the possibilities for the growth of new types of communities in cities and suburbs. Bradford even suggested, regrettably without elaboration, that the technological revolution in communications might be turned to advantage by those who value privacy and a responsible individualism that resists state intervention in community, family, and personal life.”

The Southern Tradition: The Achievement and Limitations of an American Conservatism by Eugene D. Genovese, Harvard University Press, 1994, page 19.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Birthday present

Another addition to my arsenal: Flannery O'Connor: Unmasking the Devil by Regis Martin. Anyone whose obsession with Flannery borders on idolatry will enjoy this brief and readable ode to her greatness. A few gems from Martin:

"In short, to read Flannery O'Connor with an adequacy of attention is, as someone once suggested, on the order of Horatio seeing the ghost of Hamlet's father: 'It harrows me with fear and wonder.' How well, in other words, she could separate out the sentimental syrup, the cloying treacle of so much contemporary literature, seeing right to the bone and marrow of real meaning. Not to have understood this, of course, and thus to be pulverized and never quite know why, is the fate of all sentimentalists" (45).

"Her preferred way to persuade the godless that God had better not be dead . . was to spin tales which truthfully rendered the consequences of their belief that He was. Here she would unfailingly flesh out for her readers what surely must remain the most ludicrous aspect of our fall from grace, to wit, our persisting and sentimental refusal to acknowledge that we had and have" (42).

"Even at its antiseptic best, ours is an age wrapped in cellophane. Can it not be a good thing, now and again, to pierce the cellophane?" (34)

Pierce away.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New batch of chickens

Four hens--hopefully they will start laying in the spring . . .

MiMi likes the chickens . . .

Friday, October 3, 2008

Film Adaptation of McCarthy's "The Road"

The movie version of Cormac McCarthy's "post-apocalyptic" novel The Road is scheduled for release on November 26. It stars Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron. Can this film in any way do justice to McCarthy's stunning, heart-shattering story? We shall see. If you haven't read the book, please do. Especially if you are a parent. This book will club you over the head with the brunt of its truth and dazzle you with its beautifully wretched descriptions of a scorched earth. The last few paragraphs are among the finest I've encountered.

Thursday, October 2, 2008