By Bianca Ozeri
I’m at the point in my now autonomous education as a writer where I’m trying to get all the “Greats” out of the way. The Hemingway, the Kafka, the Woolf, the Melville, the Wharton: the works against which I read all contemporary literature. And this means, by the way, that my literary trajectory going forward will have a depressive, stifling, classist, and often painfully psychoanalytic base that somehow manages to read as beautifully as it feels to fall in love.
In recent weeks, I’ve felt a fierce aversion to novels—an affliction I attribute to laziness and an onslaught of ADD. Because of it, I’ve taken to reading short stories. (I prefer to write short stories myself even though it seems, these days, that the medium has been diagnosed with a rare terminal illness, and will be dying for as long as it has lived.)
Today, I read “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” by Flannery O’Connor, who reminds me of a hot Kristen Schall (minus the snaggletooth).
The interpretation of the story, which chronicles the murders of a Southern family on a road trip to Florida, is, like all great stories, dependent on the faith with which you read it—and if you’re faithless, I’m pretty sure your interpretation of it will be something like: A Southern family is murdered on their way to Florida. O’Connor though, who was raised a Roman Catholic, intends a great deal more.
Now, unlike Brie, my Catholic upbringing was not so strict: it had less to do with the bible and more to do with my mother’s obligation to her dead father, and retaliation against my own Jewish father, whom she divorced when I was nine. In other words, church, which we only attended on major holidays, was a day for glowering at my mom and, considering that I never completed communion, impiously eating a cookie that made me feel special despite it being stale and disgusting and fed to me by a smelly old man in women’s clothing.