Download American Gargoyles: Flannery O'Connor and the Medieval by Anthony Di Renzo PDF

By Anthony Di Renzo

Focusing right here at the comedian genius of Flannery O’Connor’s fiction, Anthony Di Renzo finds a size of the author’s paintings that has been ignored by means of either her supporters and her detractors, such a lot of whom have heretofore focused completely on her use of theology and parable.Noting an especial kinship among her characters and the grotesqueries that decorate the margins of illuminated manuscripts and the facades of eu cathedrals, he argues that O’Connor’s Gothicism brings her stories nearer in spirit to the English secret cycles and the leering gargoyles of medieval structure than to the Gothic fiction of Poe and Hawthorne to which critics have so frequently associated her work.Relying in part on Mikhail Bakhtin’s research of Rabelais, Di Renzo examines the several sorts of the ugly in O’Connor’s fiction and the parallels in medieval artwork, literature, and folklore. He starts off through demonstrating that the determine of Christ is the right in the back of her satire—an excellent, besides the fact that, that needs to be degraded in addition to exalted whether it is ever to be a residing presence within the actual global. Di Renzo is going directly to talk about O’Connor’s strange remedy of the human physique and its courting to medieval fabliaux. He depicts the interaction among the saintly and the demonic in her paintings, illustrating how for her strong is simply as ugly as evil since it remains to be "something below construction."

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Additional resources for American Gargoyles: Flannery O'Connor and the Medieval Grotesque

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Still, what is even more incongruous in Bruegel's treatment of the scene is its setting. We are not in first-century Palestine but in sixteenth-century Flanders. There is a windmill in the background. Patches of snow are melting on Calvary. Christ, John, and Mary are in biblical costume, but everyone else in the procession wears the dress of Bruegel's day. There are bagpipers and fifers. The wife of Simon of Cyreneshrewishly defending her husband from the soldiers who wish to conscript himsports a gaudy crucifix.

Head has a religous experiencehe has "never known before what mercy felt like because he had been too good to deserve any"but he expresses his feelings about it in a racist joke: "They ain't got enough real ones here. " O'Connor adds outrageous paradox to outrageous paradox until the passage culminates in a grotesque proposition: We are asked to seriously consider the possibility that a plaster lawn jockey is also a crucifix, but this solemn proposition is couched in mostly comic terms. The grotesque presents opposites without trying to reconcile them.

That was the day I tried returning a gargoyle to a novelty shop near Syracuse University. The gargoyle had been a prop for a comedy special on campus television, a parody of The Exorcist set in a network news studio. Bedeviled by inexplicable technical problems, however, the live broadcast on Halloween had been a disaster. The teleprompter had malfunctioned, the mikes had produced feedback, the scenery had cracked, and the control board had short-circuited. Not surprisingly, the superstitious television crew blamed the gargoyle; and since using the statue had been my idea, the producer ordered me to get rid of it.

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