It is no coincidence that O’Connor and Updike are both Christian writers, because the literature of self-recrimination follows in the footsteps of St. Paul: “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15 NRSV). This self-recrimination is neither a self-justification nor a boast that the author has conquered sin: it’s a recognition of good and evil and an admission that he is frequently on the wrong side of that line.Neither art nor life is formulaic. As Somerset Maugham says somewhere, human beings are not of a piece. Blackguards can at times be kind and generous, and saints sometimes mean and vicious. Art is about how people and life are, not how we think they ought to be.
Sunday, September 27, 2020
… Beyond Cancel Culture | The Russell Kirk Center. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)