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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Slapstick. By John von Daler

                With the exquisite and inevitable timing of a situation comedy, the characters in her stories betray each other often and fully. Her world is evil; it thirsts for salvation and that thirst is quenched in the blood of the lamb. A shard of glass has lodged itself in the heart of her mankind that only can be removed by the hand of God.

                My reading and viewing has turned for years toward authors or artists who can show a way out, an upward swing in the direction of a better, more beautiful world. I steer away from action films and tales of horror. I do not seek the chill and trembling of masked murderers to get my adrenolin going. Why, then, do I often turn back to her works?  
                In her well-told tales the simplicity and vulnerability of her sin-plagued persona forms an all-encompassing background for their banal crimes. Like the silence that is the prerequisite for every piece of music, or the blank page that makes each painting possible, her books rest solidly on the helpless, empty entrapment of her sinners. Bare, blatant innocence runs through their guilt, warranting mercy not only from God but from her readers. This is not the stuff of tragedies, but of a kind of sinister slapstick, a fall not from the heights but from moral banana peels discarded on the ground of ordinary life.
                So when I read a story by #Flannery #O'Connor, I laugh through my tears at the ruckus much in the same way that I giggle at Laurel and Hardy, forgetting their evil and racing with them headlong toward the final, inevitable forgiveness.

If we have similar tastes in literature, then you might like my fictional memoire, 
"Pieces: A Life in Eight Movements and a Prelude". 
You can buy it
in Copenhagen at
or in the U.S.A. at

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