Listening to Flannery O’Connor

I was chatting with an acquaintance recently about Flannery O’Connor (1925 – 1964) when he told me about a recent find and that it is available on the Internet.

In January 2012 “Deep South” online magazine  editor Erin Z. Bass wrote: “Professor of English with a focus on Southern lit and women’s studies at UL Lafayette, Dr. Mary Ann Wilson was cleaning out her office and came across an old audio reel labeled ‘Flannery O’Connor.’ It turned out to be a recording of the author’s 1962 lecture at the university and is one of the few of her voice that exists.”

To access Flannery O’Connor reading her essay “Some aspects of the grotesque in southern fiction” click here and follow the links.  There are also links to a lecture she gave at Notre Dame University in 1957 as well as her reading her short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”

Flannery O’Connor is a beacon of light and sanity in the contested world of art and theology. “Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable,” O’Connor said. “To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.” (“The fiction writer and his country” in Mystery & Manners: Occasional Prose, 1970)

According to Bass’ blog the University of Louisiana Lafayette is planning a symposium on Flannery O’Connor in November to commemorate the 50th anniversary of her visit there.

BRAVE and nine more reviews at “Sister Rose Goes to the Movies”

For reviews of BRAVE, Madagascar 3, MEN IN BLACK 3, The Avengers, CHIMPANZEE, Dark Shadows, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, Battleship, and THE LUCKY ONE click on Sister Rose Goes to the Movies.

Along the Way & The Golden Voice book reviews – on time for Fathers Day

By Sr. Rose Pacatte

A Golden Voice: How Faith, Hard Work, and Humility Brought Me from the Streets to Salvation
By Ted Williams (with Brett Witter)
Penguin, New York
$26 hard cover

Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and a Son
By Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez (with Hope Edelman)
Free Press, New York
$27 hard cover

Two books were released in May about what it means to be a man: a father, a son and a grandfather, too. Both are apologias more than memoirs and both have a strong faith dimension and links to Catholicism and Ohio — and addiction. The men in both books became fathers at a very young age. Their stories are extremely honest and reveal details that will surprise and inspire you, and some that may shock you as well. Both books have dual voices and are easy, swift reads that ask us to admit our humanity. They invite us to walk with these fellow travelers to discover humility and the action of grace in people’s lives that will astonish you

I read Ted William’s story first, the “theater of the mind” man with a voice born for radio. Ted was born in New York in 1957 and adopted by a woman, Julia, who always wanted a child, and her husband, Al, who worked his entire career in the same job for an airline at JFK International Airport. His parents were steady, but Ted was a “pleaser” who wanted to be liked and accepted. He was raised Protestant but began going to the Jehovah Witness Kingdom hall in his teens. He went to Catholic school in Brooklyn for a while, too. From the age of 14, he wanted to become a radio announcer. He and his father never saw eye to eye.

 Continue reading at the National Catholic Reporter  

We Have a Pope – REEL TALK with Stephen Farber special screening and panel April 2 Landmark, Westwood (Los Angeles)


Monday, April 2 at 7pm: WE HAVE A POPE. This wry comic drama from Italian director Nanni Moretti takes us inside the Vatican as the College of Cardinals struggle to elect a new Pope. Unfortunately, the man selected for the post—played by veteran French actor Michel Piccoli—is not at all certain that he wants the job. Guest speakers: Aine O’Healy, professor of Italian and director of the Humanities Program at Loyola Marymount University; Maria Elena de las Carreras, professor of film at UCLA, Cal State Northridge, and the New York Film Academy; Sister Rose Pacatte, Pauline Center for Media Studies; and Scott Young, executive director, University Religious Conference at UCLA.

http://www.landmarktheatres.com/ReelTalk/ReelTalk_Spring2012.htm

“Game Change” focuses plenty on Palin but lacks punch

(c) HBO

HBO film ‘Game Change’ focuses plenty on Palin, but lacks punch

by Sr. Rose Pacatte on Mar. 08, 2012

“Game Change”
9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CST Saturday, March 10, HBO

In August 2007, the media pundits were after Republican presidential candidate John McCain (Ed Harris), and he hated being their target. He brought in experienced strategist Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson) to take over the senior staff position on his campaign, shaking up the team then headed by campaign manager Rick Davis (Peter McNicol) and including Mark Salter (Jamie Sheridan) and Mark Wallace (Ron Livingston), with Fred Davis (Bruce Altman) as image consultant.

When the primaries were over and McCain was the de facto Republican nominee, he had yet to choose a vice presidential running mate before the Democratic convention in August 2008. The team floated Sen. Joe Lieberman (a miscast, goofy-looking Austin Pendleton), but choosing him, according to Schmidt, was “the right thing to do but the wrong thing to win.” Schmidt tells McCain and staff that they needed a “game changer,” which meant they had to do four things: win back the independents, excite the base, create distance from the Bush administration and close the gender gap with women. Unless they could regain at least 15 percent of the 20 percent disapproval rate for McCain with women, they had no chance at winning the White House.

Rick Davis does an Internet search for female Republicans holding office, because they didn’t really have anyone in mind. He discovers Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (Julianne Moore), and is riveted by her charisma. She’s pro-life, a devout Christian, mother of five and likes to moose hunt. “A woman with a gun,” Davis says. “The base will love her.”

 
                                          Julianne Moore as a thoughtful Sarah Palin above and at the Republican convention in HBO’s “Game Change”
                                                                                     premiering Saturday, March 10, 9pm (photo: HBO)
Continue reading Sr. Rose’s review here
 Photo: HBO

Stay Awake! Advent readings inspire Occupy LA arrest

Last Sunday night at the launch for Jeff Dietrich’s book “Broken and Shared” he ended the readings with an Advent reflection he had just written a few days before. It is very moving and gives a whole different view of the “occupy” movement.

COMMENTARY

They came just before dawn; they came with fire trucks and ambulances and sirens blaring; they came in helicopters with rotary blades flapping; they came marching in lock step with helmets and visors and steel batons at “port arms.” They came and came and came. They came to disperse, to clean up, and to clear out Occupy LA. The morning air was cold and I was shivering not from the cold but from fear. Small drops of sweat trickled down my armpits. This was the last place I wanted to be. At age 65 I was in the distinct minority of this ragtag assembly of youthful rabble-rousers, an alien in this collection of seemingly disorganized children.

For the rest of the reflection, click here: http://ncronline.org/news/faith-parish/advent-readings-inspire-occupy-la-arrest

Broken and Shared: Food, Dignity, and the Poor on Los Angeles’ Skid Row Book Review

Broken and Shared: Food, Dignity, and the Poor on Los Angeles’ Skid Row
By Jeff Dietrich
418 pages, Marymount Institute Press, $29.95

If you are wandering in the 50-block area known as Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles and you ask directions to Hospitality Kitchen or where the Catholic Workers serve meals to the homeless, no one will know what you are talking about.

“This place,” explains Catherine Morris, the gentle Catholic worker, “is and always has been known among the people as ‘The Hippie Kitchen.’ Since the beginning.”

Catherine is author Jeff Dietrich’s wife, who, together with various community members, has run the Catholic Worker Movement in Los Angeles since 1970. When NCR asked me to review Jeff Dietrich’s book and attend the launch at Loyola Marymount University this past Sunday, I knew I needed to visit the kitchen to have an idea of their work in Los Angeles, a visit long overdue.

Click here for the complete  review: http://ncronline.org/news/people/wheat-war-life-poor

Prof. Theresia de Vroom, Cathy Minhoto, RSHM, Jeff Dietrich, and Martin Sheen at the launch of "Broken and Shared" just after a reading.

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