A reader of Flannery’s fiction doesn’t have to concern themselves too frequently with love stories, except for those who enjoy the travails of Manley Pointer and Hulga Hopewell. A tour of high-school students this past week was particularly well-read, and they took special enjoyment of the cow barn, having previously looked at “Good Country People” in class. They also inquired, as one would, of Erik Lankjaer, Flannery’s occasional visitor and correspondent. So much “young adult” literature is rife with thin characters and completely impossible and sickeningly sweet love stories, and it is refreshing to see those kids read and get something out of a “date” that goes so badly awry.
For all its literary significance, local and repeat visitors of Andalusia most often bring their pets and the family and focus on the scenic beauty of the place. In years past, I personally have brought a picnic and a story to share with my company; those with little or only a passing interest in O’Connor invariably came away a fan. (Or either I just read it well.) A certain set of peafowl are also a wonderful attraction; Manley Pointer I once proffered a companion of mine a fanning of his feathers and a dance, and I'll be forever grateful.
Thus, while your Tuesday may be filled with flowers and chocolates and gourmet dinners, I hope the days leading up to your February 14th can have at least one long walk and a good story. After all, flowers wilt and chocolates melt, but the company they’re enjoyed with will make them last. Cheers!
Thanks again, MP!
Daniel Wilkinson edits Andalusia's blog when not entertaining the farm's guests and teaches English at Georgia College.