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… there’s nothing like a dark Southern Gothic tale on a chilly autumn night; in fact I might curl up this evening with some of Eudora Welty’s writing. Flannery and Faulkner aside, who are some other Southern Gothic writer’s you admire and recommend?
Have you read Carson McCullers? The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. She’s from Georgia, too, like O’Connor.
I would be more inclined had Oprah not put her stamp on it.
Well first of all there are no other Southern gothic writers. Faulkner and O’Connor- what else do you want? Ingrate. I recommend “As I lay dying”.
I don’t know why… but sometimes Flannery just pisses me off.
Is West Virginia south enough? Because if so, “Night of the Hunter” is must-read Southern Gothic.
Agreed. A must read with one the creepiest characters in literature I’ve encountered.
I love Eudora Welty, but I don’t really think of her as gothic — n0t dark enough. There are certainly dark undercurrents in a novel like Delta Wedding, but the people aren’t nearly dysfunctional or grotesque enough to touch Hazel Motes or anybody in the Sartoris or Compson clans. Her novels remind me more of a Mississippi-based Barbara Pym, with the same ear for people’s voices and the same deft comic touch, than a relative of Faulkner and O’Connor.
Never heard of Pym. I will look into her. Thanks.
Why is Flannery so popular? It’s cultish.
Because you can flaunt your intellectual superiority if you do. If you don’t like her it must be because you’re some rube. See above.
O’Connor is so popular because she was formed and her writing was formed by her lifelong habit of reading from the Summa Theological every night. For people who don’t get O’Connor- I don’t know what to say. I’m sad for you.
Oh, puh-lease. Sad for me? As if I was some knit wit in need of pity because I am too stupid to “get” O’Connor. How condescending.
I get her fine enough. Yes, some of her stories infuriate me; a testament to her writing capabilities to illicit such a strong reader reaction to her grotesque characters. I should have been more clear… I have to be in a really bad mood to enjoy some of her work. That’s all.
Ugh, now I fell all bad and junk. I apologize, Mary. That was unnecessarily snippy.
How about Walker Percy?
No apology necessary. If you can’t get excorcised about O’Connor well who can you get excorcised about! LOL
I should have clarified- my Dad doesn’t get her and he is a brilliant physicist- I didn’t mean to sound intellectually superior at all. I just think you are either hard wired to get her or not. This is from the girl who wrote all stories killing off every character at the end (so they could not live on without me) and coloring skies black in grammar school art.
Which I think probably means there is something very wrong with me. And intellectualist- I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of that- but thanks for the compliment ;).
Read The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell. Southern gothic and zombies … in an incredibly thoughtful way.
I read this last year on your recommendation and haven’t stopped raving about it and buying copies for my friends!
Is Edgar Allen Poe considered Souther gothic? Probably not. He was southern and what’s more gothic than The Fall of the House of Usher? Perfect for Halloween.
Try reading The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor. Her letters provide a look at her faith, humor (she flunked her driving license test at age 31) & her love for her friends. There is much to love & admire about her even though her stories don’t appeal to everyone & can be difficult even for her fans.
Eudora Welty’s “Why I Live at the P.O.” is a hoot & available online.
Yeah, I enjoyed her letters a lot even though I cannot get into her fiction.
I absolutely do not get Flannery O’Connor’s stories. Can’t get into them. Except “The River.” That one has something… Otherwise, no. I must not be hard-wired right. And I’ve really tried, too. Now that I’m in my mid-forties, I get to sit back and say, “I tried; I don’t have to try anymore to like Flannery.”
Okay, but, at the risk of cheating: He was a Michigander and not southern, but these definitely count as gothic: Russell Kirk’s ghost stories. There’s a collection called _Ancestral Shadows_. Pretty macabre but many enjoyable if you like ghost stories. The ghosts are meant to be real, too. In the stories, that is.