Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Good Man Is Hard To Find


Once in the backyard
She was once like me
She was once like me
Twice when I killed them
They were once at peace
They were once like me

Hold to your gun, man
And put off all your peace
Put off all the beast
Paid a full of these, I wait for it
But someone's once like me
She was once like me

I once was better
I put off all my grief
I put off all my grief
So I go to hell, I wait for it
But someone's left me creased
Someone's left me creased

One of the best short stories I've ever read is Flannery O' Connor's A Good Man Is Hard To find. I think this story informs the creation of Judge Holden in Blood Meridian. Gente folksinger Sufjan wrote a song coming from the perspective of "The Misfit". If you know the O'Connor might be like me and find the juxtaposition of this songs fragile melody and vocals bizarre and pleasing.

I've been in two bookclub discussions, and my sister studied the O'Connor story in class back in 1999 and I followed her class discussion and her and I had many discussions about this story...and there has never been a "consensus" I've witnessed on the role of The Grandmother and the role of The Misfit. It really is a brilliant piece of work and you can read it online here:

A Good Man Is Hard To Find

Spoiler: I take the position that it is one thing to pay lip service to being a "good person" or a good Christian...but that outside devotion is not enough. It is a posture. For those people and possible all people, ethical, kind loving behaviour surfaces when we are faced with death or live in the moment. the only true compassion is by living in the moment feeling it may be your last moment. The bad guy in the short story by O'connor has something in common with Judge Holden in the McCarthy novel...the people surrounding them, the people in the world are false and we sort of can try to take sides with the bad guys because everyone is so weak and selfish. Hell...the bad guys are made to sufffer fools and's not so bad they are killing people left and right, the victims are hypocritical. Kind of like Dexter too.


thehealingroom said...

mmmmmm, Suf-jan.
Everytime I hear his "Chicago" I think of you.

Candy Minx said...

Aw, I know you love him!!! Did you read that short story? I would LOVE to know what you thought of it...

Furtheron said...

My daughter was on a rant about religion the other day (she isn't a fan :-)) I then pointed to a friend of mine who does a huge amount with homeless people, prisons etc. - a true Christian and one that I'm humbled to know. Whether I believe or not I have great respect for what she does in the name of her beliefs.

Candy Minx said...

Oh, I am not against for for religion Furtheron, that seems like too polarizing a position, for me. I am with you...if we lost the work of nuns, monks, priests...that give to our communities for free...and we lost that service...our communities would probably fall apart (or fall apart even more than we already are...seeing as civilization sure seems to be broken)

I do really recommend this short story though...for your daughter and for you! It's awesome!