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Jessica Hooten Wilson tackles Flannery O’Connor

Dr. Hooten Wilson, leading a rousing reading of The Screwtape Letters

The University of Dallas’ Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson, who once dined with the Korrektiv Kollektiv on a particularly memorable night in New Orleans, and who has since become something of a shining star in the firmament of American Catholic letters, is THIS VERY EVENING giving a little talk on her latest project: preparing Flannery O’Connor’s unfinished novel Why Do the Heathen Rage? for publication. Holy crow, as they say.

Korrektiv in the New York Times

I once heard a rumor that suffering gives authority.

Go ahead and call it an attempted comeback. Here’s where we’ve got to get back to if we’re going to get back at all: Friend of Korrektiv Bishop Daniel Flores (pictured above) telling the Times that he follows “The Korrektiv blog, which is by a number of different writers who look up to Walker Percy, whom I also like.” The good bishop used to be a blogger himself, though it seems he’s deeper into Twitter these days. Led there, no doubt, by the sensus fidelium. I liked this line: “Know what you must in conscience vigorously oppose in the agendas of whomever it is you decide to vote for; know these things at least as well, if not better, than you know what you can support.”

One for Potter

All through your life, you’ll hear holy folk say,
“He is the Potter, we are the clay.”
From Isaiah down through the present day,
“He is the Potter, we are the clay.”
But forty years in, you start to feel
That the Potter has fallen asleep at the wheel
The shape that God so finely carved
Will not return unless we’re starved
And thoughts that once arose on high
Go underground: “When will I die?”
The consolation that almost makes up:
The gobsmacked cry when the Old Man wakes up
The yawning chasm twixt is and ought
What God had planned, what God hath wrought

RIP Albert Finney

If I had a quarter for every time I’ve watched Miller’s Crossing, I’d probably have enough money to buy a bottle of decent bourbon so that I could play the only drinking game I’ve ever played, which is, every time someone takes a drink in Miller’s Crossing, take a drink. So many great lines from Mr. Finney in this one, but the first that comes to mind is, “We’re all friends here!” spoken in barely controlled anger. Thank you, sir.

Synergy?

I pass this every morning on my way to work. Times are tough.

Status report

So much for Alphonse. First time as tragedy, second time as farce.

So. What’s everybody working on?

What I did on my summer vacation

Le sigh.

“By the mid-’80s, at a meeting of the New York Society of Film Critics, [Pauline] Kael leaned over to Richard Schickel and whispered, sadly, ‘It isn’t any fun anymore.’

‘Why do you say that?’

‘Remember how it was in the ’60s and ’70s, when movies were hot, when we were hot? Movies seemed to matter.'”

— Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock ‘n’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood, by Peter Biskind

Rally, Korrektiv, rally!

Dear Korrektiv: I never thought it would happen to me…

Lo, these many moons ago, the Korrektiv Kollektiv gathered not once, not twice, but thrice in old New Orleans, there to bolster the nascent Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing. But o alas, academia proved, like Ed’s interior in Raising Arizona, a rocky place where our seed could find no purchase. The third Percy conference never happened, and the Center is a 404.

But the Walker Percy Weekend, with its corporate sponsors and its openly tourist bent? That has flourished, and is now entering its sixth year. And perhaps old man Percy would have willed it so, preferring no-bullshit commerce to high-flown intellectualism (“Metaphysical is a word, Bob.”) and riverside good-time gatherings to malaise-ridden milling in a library setting.

Tickets for this year’s Weekend go on sale tomorrow. David Brooks will be there, along with J.D. Vance, plus famous Friend of Korrektiv Jessica Hooten Wilson. And of course, co-founder and Mr. Benedict Option himself, Rod Dreher. I dunno; I swore off academic literary conferences after the Notre Dame gathering, but I see this sort of thing and remember that we were gonna be writers once upon a time.

The persistence of Percy

Is there a more enduring minor American author than the guy whose breakthrough novel won the National Book Award thanks to an embittered sportswriter? Anyway, Friend of Korrektiv Paul Elie is back on the Percy plowhorse in The New Yorker. Maybe he really is our cool Dostoevsky. Happy New Year, everybody.