By Anthony Di Renzo

Focusing the following at the comedian genius of Flannery O’Connor’s fiction, Anthony Di Renzo unearths a size of the author’s paintings that has been missed by means of either her supporters and her detractors, so much of whom have heretofore targeted solely on her use of theology and parable.Noting an especial kinship among her characters and the grotesqueries that beautify the margins of illuminated manuscripts and the facades of ecu cathedrals, he argues that O’Connor’s Gothicism brings her stories nearer in spirit to the English secret cycles and the leering gargoyles of medieval structure than to the Gothic fiction of Poe and Hawthorne to which critics have so usually associated her work.Relying partially on Mikhail Bakhtin’s research of Rabelais, Di Renzo examines the several types of the gruesome in O’Connor’s fiction and the parallels in medieval artwork, literature, and folklore. He starts off through demonstrating that the determine of Christ is the appropriate in the back of her satire—an excellent, despite the fact that, that has to be degraded in addition to exalted whether it is ever to be a dwelling presence within the actual global. Di Renzo is going directly to speak about O’Connor’s strange remedy of the human physique and its courting to medieval fabliaux. He depicts the interaction among the saintly and the demonic in her paintings, illustrating how for her solid is simply as gruesome as evil since it continues to be "something below construction."

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Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), I have never succeeded. No matter how much I may hate my faults, a habit I picked up in my confirmation classes, my faults insist on loving me. Of course, they express that love in obnoxious waysplaying pranks, wearing fright masks, embarrassing me in publicbut nonetheless, they are passionately, devotedly, attached to me, the devils, and refuse to leave. The same was true of that other Anthony. In Grünewald's Temptation of St. Anthony, a reproduction of which hangs in my study, the harried saint endures the assault of his demons with the same laughable composure with which Margaret Dumont endured the pranks of the Marx Brothers.

The sprawling canvas depicts a lopsided parade winding its way up Calvary. It is a glorious spring day, and the scenery is about to burst into green. Gossips and farmers, drunkards and peddlers, beggars and thieves cavort in the sunlight. The curious crane their necks, straining to see the condemened, but most of the spectators are intent on having fun. Boys steal chestnuts, lovers flirt, brawlers quarrel. The crowd is a swarm of faces and gestures, and the mounted soldiers do little to control it.

Like Bernard of Clairvaux's maddening, mischievous gargoyles, they are hideously beautiful, beautifully hideous. Page 18 Chapter 2 Fun House Calvaries: The Grotesque as Divine Degradation Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in the very form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very form of a servant, being made in human likeness. St. Paul, Philippians WITH HER eye for the absurd, Flannery O'Connor would have enjoyed Pieter Bruegel's Procession to Calvary.

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