Check out the animated show Bat out of Hell on YouTube!

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.

And…we’re out.

(Apologies for language in video.)

Well, it looks like someone went and made Alphonse into a movie.

Today in Catholic Artists: Ben Hatke

Ben Hatke: Artist & Adventurer from Mirandum Pictures on Vimeo.

The man is talented and prolific and weirdly happy-seeming. He’s probably also disciplined and sober and able to face his demons with a confident smile. I’m baffled.

Today in Catholic Artists: Gene Yang

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Gene Yang, a MacArthur Genius whose work I once reviewed, continues to sound his great theme, the meeting of East and West, this time by putting Superman in China. Not Kal-El, Mr. Truth, Justice, and the American Way, but an analogue, Kenan Kong. (There’s a Chinese Batman and Wonder Woman, too!)

I like the idea behind Sleez, the villain here. He feeds off unhealthy desires. Like something out of The Great Divorce.

Because “Kulture Klash” is one of our categories…

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…and because a few of us tackled the kulturkampf-inspired Exiles lo these ten years ago, and because I’ve been spending a lot of time on the astonishing blog Monster Brains of late, I am sharing a link to The Kaiser’s Garland. As Gaga Confidential will eventually attest, I’m a sucker for illustrations featuring perversions of the Mass, and Garland is full of ’em. Here, the innocent angel Belgium has been slain on the altar and offered to Moloch. Love the simian acolytes.

“Natural order? You sound like one of those insane Neo-Catholics.”

Altered-Carbon-2

…is an actual line of dialogue from Altered Carbon, Netflix’s dense and gorgeous sci-fi series about life after death has been digitally defeated. Consciousness has been codified, so you can get “spun up” into a new bodily “sleeve” for all eternity — provided you have the means. But wouldn’t you know it, there’s this weird bunch of religious zealots who object — who make noises about soul and body having more to do with each other than ghost and machine, who think it devilish to deny death and what comes after. Who make noises about human dignity. Remarkable.

It’s chock full of sex and violence, and the dialogue isn’t always the strongest, and the acting isn’t always spot-on. But there’s a lot there, and I’m kinda fascinated. It’d be fun to see some smart Catholic critic dig into it. Heh.

Hello sophomore, my old slump…

So as I dig into Entry Two of Lives of Famous Catholics, I realize that I’m basically re-doing Entry One. A story about a film director (Guillermo Del Toro) pursuing a passion project (At the Mountains of Madness) that never gets made but nevertheless reveals something about his spiritual state, told from the perspective of a collaborator on the project (an illustrator). For that matter, Gaga Confidential also treats a failed artistic effort (The Secret Show), only it’s told from the perspective of an embittered fan who uncovers a link to a collaborator on the project (H.R. Giger).

I keep thinking back to the line from the opening to Donna Tartt’s The Secret History: “I suppose at one time in my life, I might have had any number of stories, but now there is no other. This is the only story I will ever be able to tell.” Heh.

Hell’s Mels!

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It looks like Mel’s not gonna make my movie after all. Nor the movie that my movie was about the not-making of. Nor the Revelations movie he was always meant to make. Instead, he’s taking on Christ’s post-Resurrection sojourn, which, frankly, seems more in Terrence Malick’s wheelhouse. But then, nobody asked me.

Happy Belated Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas!

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