Large and Startling Figures
Flannery O’Connor’s Postmodern Apologetic
with Dr. Frederick C. Bauerschmidt
Writing to a friend in the mid-1950s, the American fiction writer Flannery O’Connor noted that we live in an age in which “the moral sense has been bred out of certain sections of the population, like the wings have been bred off certain chickens to produce more white meat on them….This is a Generation of wingless chickens, which I suppose is what Nietzsche meant when he said God was dead.” In such a situation, she felt, subtlety could not work: “you have to make your vision apparent by shock—to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you draw large and startling figures.” Dr. Bauerschmidt explores how, through her fiction, O’Conner presented her Catholic vision by means of grotesque and often shockingly violent tales in which the absolute demands of belief clash with postmodern indifference, attempting to open jaded modern readers to the possibility of transcendent truth.
Part Three–“The Drama of Grace: Sigrid Undset and the Narrative of Conversion” with Fr. Raymund Snyder, OP
Dr. Frederick C. Bauerschmidt is Professor of Theology at Loyola University Maryland and a deacon of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He has published book on the theology of Thomas Aquinas and the Christian mystical tradition, as well as numerous articles on Catholic life and thought.