America magazine’s October issue has an excellent review of Mad Men through the lens of Flannery O’Connor: Mad Men and the Shock of Recognition by Terrance W. Klein;
The article begins:
Flannery O’Connor explained the grotesquery of her characters and plot twists by saying that the subject of her fiction was “the action of grace in territory held largely by the devil.” She felt her characters and plots needed to be distorted to the point of the surreal to produce in the reader a “shock” of recognition. O’Connor’s stories each contain “an action that is totally unexpected, yet totally believable,” often an act of violence, like the murder of the cantankerous and haughty grandmother in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” or the self-blinding of Hazel Motes in Wise Blood. Violence, she said, is “the extreme situation that best reveals what we are essentially.” We are meant to see in her stories our need for grace.
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