By Flannery O'Connor
The gathering that confirmed O’Connor’s popularity as one of many American masters of the fast tale. the quantity includes the prestigious name tale, a story of the murderous fugitive The Misfit, in addition to “The Displaced Person” and 8 different tales.
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Extra resources for A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories
Sidney’s Stella was a married woman. All the same, Berryman was just as conscious as Davie of the lack of “fit” between his consummated affair and the unrequited loves of most of his poetic ancestors. Also in Berryman’s defense is the fact that this “metrical straightjacket” encouraged him to contort syntax and foster an affected, hybrid language that would become surprisingly felicitous for him. 16 The same observation might be made of Berryman in his sonnets, which veer between lyrical 13 The Oxford Book of Sonnets, ed.
16 Selected Essays of William Carlos Williams, New York: Random House, 1954, 324. 34 Alex Runchman passages and gnarled obscurities, elegant enjambments and emphatic ellipses. Berryman often addresses Chris as “Lady”, but slangy modern lines also abound: “The damned sky clears / Into a decent sun (this week’s the worst / Ever I see-saw” he writes, for example, in Sonnet 74 (CP 107). Tensions between literary and contemporary diction are pronounced, more so than in Frost’s poetry. Berryman seesaws between extremes, and Sonnet 47 suggests that he was quite conscious of what he was doing: Double I sing, I must, your utraquist, Crumpling a syntax at a sudden need, Stridor of English softening to plead O to you plainly lest you more resist.
A central feature of both the sequence as a whole, and of individual poems – most notably “from The Black Book (ii)” – is that as their subject matter becomes more horrific, Berryman’s style grows increasingly perspicuous. The volume was thus underpinned by a strong impulse towards clarity; but at the same time poems such as “from The Black Book (iii)” do, of necessity, confront the limits of Holocaust representation, and the difficulty – even the undesirability – of transgressing these limits.
A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor