Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Conan Christopher O'Brien's senior Harvard thesis: not a barrel of laughs

Buffy Holt requested a copy of “The ‘Old Child’ in Faulkner and O’Connor” by Conan Christopher O’Brien from the Harvard Depository and got the following. Suffice it to say that if O'Brien's show is keeping you awake at night, his thesis won't
     This from the Magna Cum Laude grad who went on to once model millinery fashioned from urinal deodorant discs on the National Broadcasting Corporation television network:
“Flannery O’Connor’s fiction also explores this distinctly Southern paradox through the symbol of the “old child”. Like Faulkner, she creates child characters who are disillusioned by the inactivity and lack of belief in their parent’s generation and subsequently construct their identity on the model of an elderly figure, only to suffer a tug of loyalties between the past and the present which embitters the child. The difference with O’Connor is that the discrepancy she seeks to capture is not between the Old South and the New South but between the Christian promise of Redemption and a modern nihilism and as a result her “old children” suffer both a spiritual and physical progeria. Her “old children” are more freakish and grotesque than Faulkner’s but they still emanate from the Southern question of how to incorporate past myths in articulating an identity in the present…”

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