What terrible tragedies realism inflicts on people
All that day she had the strange feeling that she was taking part in a theatrical performance with better actors than herself and that her own bad performance was spoiling the whole show.
The Window of the Poet
Amazing how the heart clutches at anything familiar, whimpering, Mine! Mine!
Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood.
Atwood: We’re all slightly furtive, we writers; especially we Canadian writers, and even more especially we Canadian female writers of an earlier generation. “Art is what you can get away with,” said Canadian Marshall McLuhan, and I invite the reader to count how many of the murderers in Munro’s stories are ever caught. (Answer: none.) Munro understands the undercover heist that is fiction writing, as well as its pleasures and fears: how delicious to have done it, but what if you get found out?
“I thought the author was a guy. I thought it was a guy for three years until someone clued me in very quietly at Arkansas. ‘It’s a woman, Barry.’ Her work is so mean. The women are treated so harshly. The misogyny and religion. It was so foreign and Southern to me. She certainly was amazing.”
Barry Hannah on Flannery O’Connor, who was born on this day in 1925.
When trouble strikes, head to the library. You will either be able to solve the problem, or simply have something to read as the world crashes down around you.