Flannery O'Connor's Dark Comedies - Cover
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Flannery O'Connor's Dark Comedies

The Limits of Inference

by Carol Shloss

176 pages / 5.50 x 8.50 inches / no illustrations

ebook available

Literature - American

  Paperback / 9780807142455 / January 2012

In Flannery O’Connor’s Dark Comedies, Carol Shloss moves from biographical, thematic, and theological approaches and instead focuses her criticism on the successes and failures of O’Connor as a rhetorician. 

This valuable study of O’Connor’s style uses reader-response theory to dissect the author’s use of hyperbole, distortion, allusion, analogy, the dramatization of extreme religious experience, the manipulation of judgment through narrative voice, and direct address to the reader. 
 
Shloss aims to return Flannery O’Connor to her readers on fathomable terms, to offer a rhetorical, rather than theological, perspective from which to understand the country preachers, square-jawed farm wives, wise rubes, foolish intellectuals, huckster Bible salesmen, killers, and other “good country people” who populate O’Connor’s fiction.
Carol Shloss is a consulting professor in English at Stanford University.

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