Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Description and the Grotesque

I've been so surprised constantly while reading O'Connor.  It has changed the way I read, for rather than be an observer, I have been forced to see, to feel, to experience with the characters.  It's puzzling to me how she does this.  I've read so many books that focused on description, and these sections have rarely held my attention.  However, I don't really know how she does it, but O'Connor uses description like other authors use suspense: to enthrall and capture her readers, to propel the storyline, and to capture a thought or phrase.

The characters within O'Connor have not been anything that I expected.  Having never read anything by her, when told to expect the grotesque, I didn't know what to expect.  I didn't realize that the majority of what seems grotesque to me wouldn't be primarily in the shocking and at times ridiculous way that people act in her stories, but rather in the way they think about each other and relate to each other.  It's so distorted and wrong, yet points a finger towards an issue so clearly.  I still don't understand how she does what she does, but I've gotten to the point where I can look at the strangeness of it all and not only appreciate it, but envy the skilled presentation of her work.

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