Mood: Straightening things out...Today sucked butt. I hate it all. Someone save me please! Ugh, my mom is such a bitch... I quess I should perk up. I don't have it half as bas as some...
still dead sexy, and forever yours,
becca...Created 2005-07-17 19:53:43
Journal: And today is? -------------------------------------------
Mood: Moo! 0.oYeah... today is gonna rock. I wonder how many people actually read these things? I just realized that it had been almost a month and a half since I updadted, so... I updadted... yeah...
I'm going with a friend today to a fish fry by the river. I must be crazy. I don't eat meat, I've never been to the river, and I'm deathly afraid of boats. Wow... I AM crazy... But hey that's okay. I'll still have fun!
Mood: Dead SexySUMMER ROCKS AND YOU KNOW YOU LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!...Created 2005-06-18 15:40:03
Journal: nothing much -------------------------------------------
Mood: ParanoidI'm so bored. I'm here at Upward Bound, but stupid me forgot to bring her books. So I was actually bored enough to write a REAL journal entry, and not use it as a replacement e-mail. Wonderous spring break. :)
*I've got no tears for f'ed up years....Created 2005-04-02 12:34:14
Journal: had to do this -------------------------------------------
Mood: The UsualFlannery O'Connor did not even live to see her 40th birthday; she died, in 1964, of lupus, the same inflammatory disease which had killed her father when she was a mere teenager and which all too soon began to cripple her as well. A graduate of the Iowa State University's journalism and writing program, she had started to write her first stories, poems and other pieces when she was still in high school, and had submitted a collection of six short stories entitled "The Geranium" as her master's thesis in university. (Most of the stories contained in that collection were published individually in various magazines and anthologies around the time of their inclusion in the thesis; the collection as a whole, however, was first published only posthumously in the National Book Award winning "Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor.") Only a few years after having obtained her master's degree, and after a prolonged residence at Yaddo artists' colony in upstate New York, O'Connor began to spend time in hospitals and, in due course, was diagnosed with lupus. From that moment on, she focused on her writing even more than she had before – and the result were two novels, two short story collections, several stand-alone short stories, essays and other pieces of occasional prose, as well as a barrage of letters. The majority of that work product, including twenty-one previously unpublished letters, is reproduced in this collection published in the Library of America series; notably, the fiction part also includes, as one piece, O'Connor's master's thesis, "The Geranium: A Collection of Short Stories."
A native of Georgia, Flannery O'Connor defined herself as much as a Catholic writer as a Southerner; and she commented on the impact that regional influences on the one hand and her religion on the other hand had had on her writing in the 1963 essays "The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South" and "The Regional Writer." Yet, while religion (and more specifically, Catholicism) certainly plays a big part in her writing, from the "Christian malgré lui," as she herself characterized the hero of her first novel "Wise Blood" in the Author's Note to book's 1962 second edition, to the "odd folks out" and searching souls populating her short stories, and to her frequent biblical references, it would not do her writing justice to limit her to that realm, nor to that of "Southern" fiction. (No matter for which specific dramatic purpose a writer employed a Southern setting, he would still be considered to be writing about the South in general, and was thus left to get rid off the label of a "Southern writer ... and all the misconceptions that go with it" as best he could, she quipped in her 1960 essay "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction." Rather, she added three years later in "The Regional Writer," location matters to an author insofar as any author "operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet," and it is up to him to find that precise spot and apply it to his writing.) Similarly, while her heroes are certainly not the kind of people you expect to meet on your daily errands (or do you?), it would shortchange them were we to succumb to the temptation of merely defining them as some particularly colorful examples of grotesque fiction. For one thing, "[t]o be able to recognize a freak, you have to have some conception of the whole man," as O'Connor noted in "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction." More fundamentally, however, she saw her calling – and that of any Southern author treading the same ground as William Faulkner and trying not to have their "mule and wagon stalled on the same track the Dixie Limited is roaring down" – as an attempt to reach below the surface of the human existence to that realm "which is the concern of prophets and poets," and to strike a balance between realism on the one hand and vision, poetry and compassion on the other; to recognize the expectations of her readers without making herself their slave.
Thus, the famously unexpected endings of Flannery O'Connor's narratives are more than merely weird plot twists, the encounter between the grandmother and The Misfit in the title story of her first published short story collection "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" (1955) is the result of a wrong turn in the road as much as that of a series of wrong choices, coincidences and essential miscommunications, and the title story of her second, posthumously published collection of short stories "Everything That Rises Must Converge" (1965) truly does indicate more than a physical proposition and indeed, a situation applicable to the entire world, as O'Connor wrote in a 1961 letter regarding the initial publication of the collection's title story in New World Writing.
A six-time winner of the O. Henry Award for Short Fiction and winner of the posthumously awarded 1972 National Book Award for her Collected Short Stories, in her short career as a writer Flannery O'Connor left an indelible mark on American literature, far transcending the borders of her native South. We can only speculate what she would have contributed had illness and death not intervened – and in a time when, as O'Connor wrote so prophetically in "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction," too many writers abandon vision and instead contend themselves with satisfying their readers' more pedestrian expectations, her contributions would doubtless be invaluable. Alas, we are left with a body of work that fits neatly into this marvelously edited single-volume entry in the "Library of America" series – but the content of this one book alone is worth manifold that of the much ampler output of many a writer of recent years.
Buy it from Amazon.com
A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories
Oddball prophets caught in a web they wove themselves.
They are misfits, wanderers, and souls searching for faith and absolution. Many of them are, to one extent or another, hypocrites; others are almost unbelievably naïve. All of them are Southerners – and yet, even the most outlandish among Flannery O'Connor's protagonists come across as entirely believable, complex characters whom, regardless of location, you might expect to come across in your own travels, too; and there is no telling how such an encounter would turn out.
Of course, you would hope it does not prove quite as disastrous as the title story's chance meeting of a family taking a wrong turn (on the road as much as figuratively) and the self-proclaimed Misfit haunting that particular area of Georgia; which culminates in a bizarre conversation, the failure of communication underneath which only adds to the reader's growing feeling of helplessness in view of impending doom. And such a sense of irreversible destiny pervades many a story in this collection; yet, while as in O'Connor's writing in general, her and her protagonists' Catholic faith plays a dominant role in the course of the events, that course is not so much brought about by the hand of God as by the characters' own acts, decisions, judgments and prejudices.
Freakish as they are, O'Connor's (anti-)heroes are meant to be prophets, messengers of a long forgotten responsibility, as she explained in her 1963 essay "The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South:" their prophecy is "a matter of seeing near things with their extensions of meaning and thus of seeing far things close up." Often, she uses names, titles and items of every day life and imbues them with a new meaning in the context of her stories; this collection's title story, for example, is named for a blues song popularized by Bessie Smith in the late 1920s, and a cautionary road sign commonly seen in the 1950s ("The Life You Save May Be Your Own") becomes the title and motto of a story about a wanderer's encounter with a mother and her handicapped daughter who take him in, only to use that purported charity to their own advantage – at the end of which, predictably, nobody is the better off. Indeed, the endings of O'Connor's stories are as far from your standard happy ending as you can imagine; and while you cannot help but develop, early on, a premonition of doom, most of the time the precise nature of that doom is anything but predictable.
"A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories" was Flannery O'Connor's first published collection of short stories; yet, by the time these stories appeared (nine of the ten were published in various magazines between 1953 and 1955 before their inclusion in this 1955 collection) she was already an accomplished writer, with not only a novel under her belt ("Wise Blood," 1952) but also, and significantly, a master's thesis likewise consisting of a collection of short stories, entitled "The Geranium and Other Stories" (1947; first published as a collection in 1971's National Book Award winning "The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor," although several of those stories had likewise been published individually before). Two of the stories included in "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" count among O'Connor's six winners of the O'Henry Award for Short Fiction ("The Life You Save May Be Your Own" and "The Circle in the Fire," again an exploration of insincerity, half-hearted charity and its exploitation); and the collection as a whole, even more than her first novel, quickly established her as a masterful storyteller, endowed with vision, an unfailing sense for language and a supreme feeling for the use of irony; all of which have long since placed her firmly in the first tier of 20th century American authors.
Flannery O'Connor died, at the age of 39, of lupus, an inflammatory disease which in less severe forms may not be more than an (albeit substantial) nuisance, but which proved fatal in her case as well as that of her father before her. Her literary career, almost the sole focus of her life from the moment that she was diagnosed onwards, was thus cut short way before her time. Yet, to this day her writing holds a unique position in contemporary literature; and "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" is an excellent place to start exploring her work.
...Created 2005-03-31 14:08:19
Journal: for journalism. -------------------------------------------
Mood: Crazycomputer wont let me e-mail it to the journalism class... so:
My own little news article....
The New England Patriots were too much for the Philadelphia Eagles as the they won their third Superbowl game in the past four years. They gave Philly what they've been asking for, and won with a final score of 24 to 21. The Patriots tied with the Eagles until second quater when they scored a few second-half touchdowns and fieldgoals. The Eagles made a last desperation try by scoring with 1:48 remaining with a pass from McNabb to Greg Lewis. Eagles then attempted an onside kick which failed giving the Patriots the ball near midfield. The Patriots, however, couldn't make a first down so they had to punt the ball with fifty-five seconds placing the ball on the four yard line of the Eagles with forty six seconds left to go in the game. The Eagles’s Mc Nabb, who was alll over for the entire game, tried a last minute desperation play with seconds left but the Eagle pass was intercepted by the Patriots. The victory meant that the Patriots have won nine straight post-conference games. As a result, Deion Branch was picked as the game´s MVP. Aww, too bad Eagles, better luck next year. Good news is, now every NFL team is undefeated. Thank goodness for clean slates!...Created 2005-02-07 12:57:19