The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor
The Complete Stories of Flannery O'Connor Author:Flannery O'Connor A complete collection of Flannery O'Connor's stories. They explore the social and personal tensions of the American South - between youth and age, gentility and poverty, enlightment and bigotry. — Contents: — The Geranium -- The Barber -- Wildcat -- The Crop -- The Turkey -- The Train -- The Peeler -- The Heart of the Park -- A Stroke of Good Fort... more »une -- Enoch and the Gorilla -- A Good Man is Hard to Find -- A Late Encounter with the Enemy -- The Life You Save May Be Your Own -- The River -- A Circle in the Fire -- The Displaced Person -- A Temple of the Holy Ghost -- The Artificial Nigger -- Good Country People -- You Can't Be Any Poorer Than Dead -- Greenleaf -- A View of the Woods -- The Enduring Chill -- The Comforts of Home -- Everything That Rises Must Converge -- The Partridge Festival -- The Lame Shall Enter FIrst -- Why Do the Heathen Rage? -- Revelation -- Parker's Back -- Judgement Day.« less
After reading The Complete Stories, I am now thoroughly convinced that Flannery O'Connor is indeed one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. I loved every single story I read mostly for the hypocrisy, ridiculousness, and self-delusion of the characters. It gives me a sort of guilty pleasure to hear the characters say something that we know is completely untrue.
O'Connor uses the impressive technique of what I like to call "distant narration": the narrator holds the characters at a distance through syntax, resulting in a schism between what the character knows and what the reader knows, and the reader ends up knowing more about the characters and their situations than the characters do themselves. It's because of this technique that I believe we are able to so easily read about such blatant situations of racial and class prejudice: we know the characters are insipid and thus don't take them and their backwards beliefs too seriously.