Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Headed to Rome

I will be attending "Reason, Faith and Fiction: An International Flannery O'Connor Conference," hosted by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, in Rome, Italy, April 20-22. This is the fourth conference of Poetics & Christianity, an international forum for studying the intersection of artistic culture and expressions of religious faith, with a special emphasis on narrative and dramatic arts. I am presenting a paper titled "A View from the Woods: Preserving the Fortune of Andalusia." The paper will illustrate the similarities between the circumstances in O’Connor’s short story, “A View of the Woods”, and the developments that were taking place in the Milledgeville, Georgia area where O’Connor was living when she wrote the story. O’Connor presents Mr. Fortune as an ambitious landowner, driven by pride and domination, whose hunger for progress and personal acclaim blinds him to the pure beauty of the natural world. He believes his vision of the future is shared and validated by his granddaughter, Mary Fortune Pitts. Mr. Fortune’s canvas of the future is painted with deception, revenge, and even violence. I hope to demonstrate how the story pairs reckless commercial progress with greed and avarice, contrasting the irresponsible destruction of natural resources to the stewardship of preserving the rural landscape. Using this theme as an analogy, I will chart the rapid commercial and residential development surrounding Andalusia. Finally, the paper will briefly outline the steps that the Flannery O’Connor – Andalusia Foundation is taking to preserve the 524 acres in its stewardship and what effects, both good and bad, the encroaching development has and will have on Andalusia.


No comments: