Professor presents on life of Flannery O’Connor

first_imgSouthern, Catholic and bird lover are some of the words used most frequently to describe author Flannery O’Connor, the subject of a lecture delivered Tuesday afternoon by Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, professor at Fordham University and associate director of the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies.O’Donnell touched on these three facets of O’Connor’s life in her talk, entitled “Between the House and the Chicken Yard: The Life and Legacy of Mary Flannery O’Connor.” O’Connor was born in Savannah, and her family moved to Andalusia, a rural Georgia farm, Alaimo O’Donnell said, where the author took a great delight in raising chickens.“O’Connor’s first brush with fame occurred courtesy of her bird collection — when a Pathé newsman caught word of a Georgia girl who taught a bird to walk backwards, he made his way south and filmed Mary Flannery and her trick chicken,” she said. “She had a hunger for fame after this, and from that day forward she began to collect chickens, though of course her fame would come from other things.”The author received an MFA from the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop and moved to New York, actively participating in literary and intellectual circles, Alaimo O’Donnell said. However, O’Connor was forced to return permanently to Andalusia, after she was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease.“O’Connor would endure this exile gracefully and with good humor until her death on Aug. 3, 1964,” she said. “Flannery no longer belonged to Georgia, to the small-town world of Milledgeville, and her mother’s friends. Her childhood sense of herself as a freak returned, a preoccupying idea that appears in the stories she wrote. … O’Connor’s stories often feature characters who clearly do not belong, sometimes by virtue of some physical affliction or deformity, or by virtue of a radically different way of seeing the world from those around her.”O’Connor’s fiction became her lifeline, and she drew inspiration from the people and events in her Southern community, Alaimo O’Donnell said.“She wrote every morning – two hours was all she could manage, despite the painful and debilitating effects of both the disease and the medication prescribed to remedy it,” she said. “Against all odds, O’Connor would produce two novels, 32 short stories, and many essays, reviews and commentaries and hundreds of letters in her thirteen years at Andalusia.”O’Connor may not occur to many readers as a Christian writer, Alaimo O’Donnell said, for she does not appear to write from a particular religious viewpoint. However, although O’Connor’s characters are rarely Catholic, they require an experience of grace.“O’Connor’s characters, like the freak chickens she raised as a child, are grotesques of every imaginable kind. They include mass murderers, social misfits, religious zealots, moral cretins, fake bible salesmen, one-legged women with Ph.D.s,” she said. “The one thing that binds all of O’Connor’s characters together is the fact that they are all in need of conversion or radical change.”Implicit in her creation of characters in need of conversion, her use of violence as a means of grace and her mingling of the comic and tragic, is a deeply religious vision, Alaimo O’Donnell said.“Flannery sees the possibility of redemption available to humanity in all places, at all times and through the most unexpected of means,” she said.While O’Connor saw her life as utterly ordinary, Alaimo O’Donnell said O’Connor was an author who integrated her faith and art so thoroughly that they became one practice.“Her own art becomes sign and symbol of the creative force that generates and governs the world, and so her own writing becomes, both in practice and in fact, a form of sacrament,” she said.Tags: Catholic writers, Flannery O’Connnor, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Artslast_img read more

Waters fires Shamrock through

first_img Following a goalless first leg in Luxembourg at the end of June, David Webster put the League of Ireland side ahead midway through the first half at the Tallaght Stadium. Waters added his side’s second just before the break and made sure of the victory after 57 minutes as Pat Fenlon’s Hoops progressed into the second round which gets under way later this month. Press Association Kieran Waters netted a brace to propel Shamrock Rovers into the Europa League second qualifying round thanks to a 3-0 aggregate victory over Progres on Tuesday.last_img read more

Single-use plastics consultation in urban areas wraps up

first_imgCountrywide consultations for the ban of single-use plastics in Guyana have been completed, and the Department of Environment has noted that recommendations are to be made from these findings.This is according to the Stakeholder Management Coordinator of the Department of Environment, Aretha Forde, who told this publication on Monday that citizens from several populated areas across the country were engaged in discussions that will determine whether or not the plastics are banned.Some of these areas include Anna Regina, New Amsterdam, Rose Hall, and Linden.“We’ve done the consultations in a few urban areas. What the team would have done is to go out to these areas — like Anna Regina. They went to New Amsterdam, Rose Hall and Linden, because that’s where most of the centers of commerce are in any case,” said Forde.She also mentioned that the Solid Waste Department of the Georgetown Municipality had forwarded their opinions on the impact which single-use plastics pose on the environment.“We would have done the Georgetown consultations as well. City Hall would’ve offered from their perspective the impact of the ban on single use plastics,” she said.Single-use plastics are everyday items which are made of plastic and are disposed of after being used once, with the common ones being bags, straws and bottles.Solid Waste Director Walter Narine had stated last August that after the consultations are completed, Cabinet would be engaged to determine if the bill would be passed for the ban to be imposed.“After the consultations, they’ll take the $15 million, which is the estimation to go back to Cabinet; and if it’s all favourable, then they would roll out the legislation and regulations and put them in place,” Narine said during that time.Many persons are pushing for the ban to be implemented so that the surroundings can be rid of these plastics. It is believed that a large quantity of waste being disposed on a daily basis is made up of single-use plastics.On the other hand, others are concerned about the alternatives if these items are no longer used. A replacement of these would cost more, but it is assured that they will last for a longer period of time, and this also means that there will be less garbage pollution.With the large sums of money being spent to collect garbage in the city, City Hall is contemplating charging a fee for every barrel of waste that is collected. This service is currently free in the Georgetown area.last_img read more