Flannery O'Connor and Cold War Culture

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Januar 2005



Flannery O'Connor and Cold War Culture offers a radically new reading of O'Connor, who is known primarily as the creator of "universal" religious dramas. By recovering the historical context in which O'Connor wrote her fiction, Jon Lance Bacon reveals an artist deeply concerned with the issues that engaged other producers of American culture from the 1940s to the 1960s: a national identity, political anxiety, and intellectual freedom. Bacon takes an interdisciplinary approach, relating the stories and novels to political texts and sociological studies, as well as films, television programs, paintings, advertisements, editorial cartoons, and comic books. At a time when national paranoia ran high, O'Connor joined in the public discussion regarding a way of life that seemed threatened from outside - the American way of life. The discussion tended toward celebration, but O'Connor raised doubts about the quality of life within the United States. Specifically, she attacked the consumerism that cold warriors cited as evidence of American cultural superiority. The role of dissenter appealed greatly to O'Connor, and her identity as a Southern, Catholic writer - the very identity that has discouraged critics from considering her as an American writer - furnished a position from which to criticize the Cold War consensus.


Acknowledgments; Abbreviations; Introduction; 1. The invaded pastoral; 2. The domesticated intellectual; 3. Jesus fanatics and communist foreigners; 4. The segregated pastoral; 5. The invisible country; Epilogue; Notes; Index.


"[Bacon] convincingly demonstrates that the Cold War ethos of the 1950s was the milieu amidst which and against which Flannery O'Connor defined herself and her work...[A] suggestive and valuable book..." Ralph C. Wood, Religion & Literature "From time to time, in fact, one hears that there has been too much criticism written about O'Connor. Reading Jon Lance Bacon's new study of O'Connor, however, makes one feel that O'Connor's mysteries are inexhaustible...Bacon deserves substantial credit for making us aware how thoroughly O'Connor's works can be read as responses to the social issues of her day. Bacon provides a wealth of background material on Cold War culture (including reprints of numerous illustrations from popular media) and explains the ways in which we may begin to reread O'Connor in this fresh context...[A]ny teacher or student of O'Connor's works should be enlightened and inspired by Bacon's approach. Through Bacon's lenses, O'Connor maintains her magical power while also coming to seem a less marginal figure than before." Marshall Bruce Gentry, Studies in Short Fiction "...a fascinating and provocative reading...Flannery O'Connor and Cold War Culture stands as one of the most exciting and original books on O'Connor in recent years." Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr., Journal of American Studies "Jon Lance Bacon's 'Flannery O'Connor and Cold War Culture' is no disappointment, for it indeed provides a new and revealing approach to O'Connor, one that focuses predominantly on the social contexts out of which her work evolved, particularly the discourses of the cold war." Will Brantley, Contemporary Literature
EAN: 9780521619806
ISBN: 0521619807
Untertitel: 'Cambridge Studies in American'. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Januar 2005
Seitenanzahl: 192 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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