Sunday, March 14, 2010

Flannery O'Connor writes in her book Mystery and Manners about an occasion when a local Oxford lady is supposed to have rushed up to Mr. William Faulkner, gushing that she has just bought his book. "Before I read it, I want you to tell me something: do you think I'll like it?" She says, and Faulkner is supposed to have said, "Yes, I think you'll like that book. It's trash."
Well, it wasn't trash and she probably hated it but there were some (many) who did. And if he was fortunate enough to find that some of those who did like his work were locals, they were an audience more desirable to him than all the critics in the world. Because they are reliable. They know the life he describes. And they are perhaps the only ones fit to evaluate his authenticity.

This is what I am reminding myself of today. I have to be honest with you, my readers, because you'll know if I'm full of shit. There will be those who will say I'm crazy or self-absorbed. I'll agree. Then I'll go on about my work.

Ms. O'Connor writes: "The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. HIs problem is to find that location."

So, where to?

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