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kenmorefield

Flannery (2020)

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I found the new Flannery O'Connor documentary to be a move in the right direction, though I still find the overall arc of O'Connor studies to be a tad too hagiographic (is that a word)...a tad too protective of the author and her reputation to the point that it may not be possible to really wrestle with any problematic aspects of her fiction or biography. 

My review: http://1morefilmblog.com/2020/07/16/flannery-bosco-coffman-2020/

Quote

Similarly, her rebuff of Baldwin is portrayed as anything but racism — as an invalid she couldn’t afford to rock the boat less she had to move; as an artist she couldn’t afford to become a pariah in the culture from whence she drew her artistic inspiration. When one interviewee said that O’Connor understood that if she met Baldwin in the South it would be a “civil rights” statement and not just a friendly meeting of artists, I rolled my eyes. Wasn’t that the point? At best civil rights statements were less important than protecting her own social comfort. “I observe the traditions of the society I feed on…” is the O’Connor quote used to explain her refusal to meet Baldwin. It’s hard (though maybe not yet impossible) to parse that sentence any other way than, “Well, it’s not personal; it’s just that one has to engage in racist traditions if one lives in the South…”

 

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