Posts tagged "Flannery O’Connor"
Another Week Ends: Trophy Rage, Thriving, Cave Churches, Flannery’s Freedom, Cheap Trick, and Facebook Love

Another Week Ends: Trophy Rage, Thriving, Cave Churches, Flannery’s Freedom, Cheap Trick, and Facebook Love

1. We all love The Incredibles, right? It’s as good a movie as Pixar has made, which is saying a lot (rumors of a sequel are legit!). And we all remember the rant that Bob Parr goes on in the middle of the film, when he objects to attending his son’s “graduation” from the fifth grade. “He’s merely moving from the fifth grade to the sixth grade,” Parr notes. Director Brad Bird put his finger on something that many have noticed in our culture, the rise of the “participation trophy”, where kids get prizes and acclamations just for showing up…

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NYC Preview: Death and Resurrection in Flannery O’Connor

NYC Preview: Death and Resurrection in Flannery O’Connor

A proud man, one who anticipates everything and is never caught off-guard, takes his grandson into the city to introduce him to the strange, new world which is old news to the proud grandfather, named Mr. Head. The man gets himself and his grandson lost, leaves his napping grandson dozing so he’ll wake up alone and learn about the value of so worldly and wise a grandfather as Mr. Head. The grandson runs off, knocks an old woman down, and gets accosted by the police. Mr. Head denies he knows him, and the two wander around the city, separated by…

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Reflections on Auburn’s Amazing Last Couple of Weeks

Reflections on Auburn’s Amazing Last Couple of Weeks

Auburn University is playing in the National Championship game this year. That statement was highly improbable in the beginning of the college football season this year. It definitely would’ve been an inconceivable thought last year, as Auburn went winless in SEC. This year, however, has been quite a different story. The day after Thanksgiving, Auburn faced the University of Alabama in the “Iron Bowl” and the season took a turn.

Tie game. One second left. The Crimson Tide’s last drive comes to an end and must attempt a 57-yard field goal (which would have resulted in an unbelievably iconic ending to…

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Another Week Ends: Flannery Prays, Calvin Outsells Luther, More ‘Millenials’-ism, Next-Next-Gen Gaming Consoles (PSILOVU), Backfiring Discipline, Zombie Impressionism and Noah: The Movie

Another Week Ends: Flannery Prays, Calvin Outsells Luther, More ‘Millenials’-ism, Next-Next-Gen Gaming Consoles (PSILOVU), Backfiring Discipline, Zombie Impressionism and Noah: The Movie

1. Well, we knew about Mary Flannery’s early life of training chickens to walk backward (1932); it appears that God marked O’Connor out as different from pretty early on. We remember the short stories of violent grace and brilliant essays, and we even got to read some excerpts from her year-and-a-half-long prayer journal (written while still studying for her MFA at Iowa) in September. Well, three days ago the full work was released, edited by her friend William Sessions, and The New Yorker posted a great review/primer for anyone interested in fiction, O’Connor, prayer, the South, grad school, wooden legs, etc:

She reckoned that her success…

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Grotesque Rebellion: The Legacy of the American Muscle Car

Grotesque Rebellion: The Legacy of the American Muscle Car

And of course many of us invest our egos in our vehicle–whether driving ovate maxivans, equine pickups, or phallic coupes. Whether cars can continue to do that cultural work–can continue to serve as the ultimate symbol  of consumption and success–remains to be seen.

This comes from Daniel Albert’s “Finding the Robot Chauffeur,” a new post over at n+1 regarding the atmospheric change in the automotive industry, from brawn or beauty, to driver assistance and driver safety. In the short piece, Albert presages the new kingdom of the computerized car, and invites the shift, saying, “The robot cars are here. If only…

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Another Week Ends: Tribal Morality, Passports to Eden, Reflektor, Spufford in the Times, Social Wiring, Hemingway’s Granddaughter, Anxious Simpsons, and Heisenberg on Ice

Another Week Ends: Tribal Morality, Passports to Eden, Reflektor, Spufford in the Times, Social Wiring, Hemingway’s Granddaughter, Anxious Simpsons, and Heisenberg on Ice

1. Next week, Harvard psychologist Joshua Greene is slated to release a new book on behavioral morality, examining the everyday irrationalities and subconscious biases that Kahneman, Tversky and company have popularized over the last few decades (aside: are all titles/covers copying Malcolm Gladwell?). A common behavioral problem, the “trolley experiment”, asks people to make a hypothetical decision: if a train cannot brake and is about to run over five people, would you pull a lever that would divert it, but cause it to hit one other person? Many people answer ‘yes’. But take the same scenario, and now you have to…

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Flannery Prays for the Courage to Stand the Pain

Via The New Yorker, more profundity from Flannery O’Connor’s Prayer Journal, which hits shelves in early November. One even detects a whiff of Louis CK in there (or vice versa):

Robie_with_Flannery_1947Dear God, I am so discouraged about my work. I have the feeling of discouragement that is. I realize I don’t know what I realize. Please help me dear God to be a good writer and to get something else accepted. That is so far from what I deserve, of course, that I am naturally struck with the nerve of it. Contrition in me is largely imperfect. I don’t know if I’ve ever been sorry for a sin because it hurt You. That kind of contrition is better than none but it is selfish. To have the other kind, it is necessary to have knowledge, faith extraordinary. All boils down to grace, I suppose. Again asking God to help us be sorry for having hurt him. I am afraid of pain and I suppose that is what we have to have to get grace. Give me the courage to stand the pain to get the grace, Oh Lord. Help me with this life that seems so treacherous, so disappointing.

Another Week Ends: Zach Morris, Misfit Priests and Wild Geese, 50 Shades Turnover, Finding Flannery, Inbox Zero, and More Capon

Another Week Ends: Zach Morris, Misfit Priests and Wild Geese, 50 Shades Turnover, Finding Flannery, Inbox Zero, and More Capon

1) To add to the Facebook files, this one came from the New Yorker. A study was given to see what emotional effects are aggravated by social media site, and, surprise surprise, the rise in the “market of social capital” equals a correlated relationship with envy and loneliness. Still, studies snake-eye with Facebook: many researchers say it is a good thing, that it offers virtual connection possibilities, something we are “wired” for. People on this side of the research say that “active” Facebook users, versus “passive” users, are more likely to have healthy relationships because of it. On the contrary,…

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Flannery O’Connor Writes About Freaks For the Good of Us All

Flannery O’Connor Writes About Freaks For the Good of Us All

A few choice passages from Flannery O’Connor’s brilliant manifesto (she’d hate that word) – “The Grotesque in Southern Fiction” – for the bizarre ways that larger-than-life characters of experiences somehow communicate sin, grace, and, subsequently, the possibilities of redemption. It also doubles as an oblique commentary on her biblical influences as a writer:

Since the eighteenth century, the popular spirit of each succeeding age has tended more and more to the view that the ills and mysteries of life will eventually fall before the scientific advances of man, a belief that is still going strong even though this is the first…

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Another Week Ends: Geistless Zeit, Tony Soprano vs. Walter White, Coach Taylor as Gentleman, Netflix’s PRISM, Marriage Apps, Hemingway, and Christianity as Marketing Label

Another Week Ends: Geistless Zeit, Tony Soprano vs. Walter White, Coach Taylor as Gentleman, Netflix’s PRISM, Marriage Apps, Hemingway, and Christianity as Marketing Label

1. To start off, Henry Allen over at The Wall Street Journal describes a contemporary cultural inertia he’s felt. An ironically self-described ex-”Ziggy Zeitgeist”, he’s now in limbo, the cultural doldrums, ht VH:

Now I am disquieted. It’s not that I see things changing for better or worse, for richer or poorer, or even not changing at all. It’s something else: The most important thing in our culture-sphere isn’t change but the fact that reality itself is dwindling, fading like sunstruck wallpaper, turning into a silence of the dinner-party sort that leads to a default discussion of movies.

Is some sort of cultural entropy…

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Flannery O’Connor on Honesty

A quick one from a letter she wrote in 1958 to friend and playwright Maryat Lee, which can be found on pg 283 of The Habit of Being:

“This thing of demanding honesty of people is in the upper reaches of extreme Innocence. The only people of whom you can demand honesty are those you pay to get it from. When you ask [someone] to be honest with you, you are asking him to act like God, whom he is not, but whom he makes some attempt to be like in giving you what you want, and it doesn’t make him show up too well, of course. Never, above all things, ask your family to be honest with you. This is putting a strain on the human frame it can’t bear. [A person's] honesty is only honesty, not truth, and it can’t be of much value to you intellectually or otherwise. To love people you have to ignore a good deal of what they say while they are being honest, because you are not living in the Garden of Eden any longer. The last thing I find I want of my kinfolks is their honesty. Oeeewarrrrhggghhh.”

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Hopelessly Devoted: Matthew Chapter Four Verses Five through Seven

Hopelessly Devoted: Matthew Chapter Four Verses Five through Seven

If you’ve got a new copy of The Mockingbird Devotional, good! Turn to today, June 10, and you’ll find this meditation from our very own Will McDavid. If you don’t have a copy of The Mockingbird Devotional, well, just read below, and then purchase one for yourself, here. You won’t regret it–at least if you’ve got a little Ruby Turbin in you…

Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels…

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Freedom in the Rat Race: An Excerpt from Grace upon Grace

Freedom in the Rat Race: An Excerpt from Grace upon Grace

Grace Upon Grace is the new book of sermons from David Johnson, a great friend of Mockingbird’s here in Charlottesville, VA. You may have heard some of his sermons on our Resources page, or had the pleasure of listening to his talk on parenting at our conference this past Fall. This particular collection spans topics from all the “personal matters” of life: parents and kids, wives and husbands, money matters and big decisions, corporate ladders and childhood mistakes. In doing so, Dr. Johnson brings the heart of the gospel into the common corners of our daily lives–but not without first…

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Short Story Wednesdays: “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor

Short Story Wednesdays: “A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor

Welcome back! This week for our new short story series, we turn to Flannery O’Connor’s popular and much-anthologized “A Good Man is Hard to Find” – the story of a family vacation gone awry. You can read along by clicking here.

Have you heard the one about the family driving to Florida? Grandmother’s vanity leads to a car accident in South Georgia, they run into an outlaw called the Misfit, and he kills them all. Flannery O’Connor found stories like this deeply comical, and at the same time as serious as anything in the world.

It’s safe to say she was the…

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The Gospel According to Hoosiers, Part 1: The Brutality of Judgment and the End of Chasing

The Gospel According to Hoosiers, Part 1: The Brutality of Judgment and the End of Chasing

There’s no question that Hoosiers is the best sports movie ever made ever, period. While I’m slightly biased, the film actually appears on most sports movie “top 10” or “greatest” lists. The incredible soundtrack and Gene Hackman’s sweet leather jacket are not the only reasons I adore the film. The ways in which the inevitable themes of judgment and grace are made manifest are what really make me love it.

The film’s protagonist, Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) is the newly hired varsity basketball coach at Hickory High school in Hickory, Indiana. Coach Dale is hired (seemingly as a merciful favor) by Hickory High’s…

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