Friday, September 24, 2010


I've been drinking some sort of Ukrainian beer tonight.
Here is a picture of it. I don't know the name of this beer because it is written in hieroglyphics…. or, more likely…. Ukrainian.
And here's the kicker -- I AM Ukrainian! 100% so.
My blog-alias, Cipriano, would be much more accurate if it was, say, Cipriansky. Or Ciprianovich!
But this is all preamble.
What I really want to say is something that I was thinking back when I was still sober, a few hours ago. During that time-frame [which shall from now on be referred to as My Former Sobriety]… I finished reading an excellent book.
Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor,
by Brad Gooch. 

 I love a well-written literary biography, and rarely have I read a better one, than this. [Keep in mind, everything I am saying here was originally thought out in full, when I was way sober, which I currently am less than…thanks to the dedicated Ukrainian brewmasters exemplified in the above image of a beer can….]
I have read all of Flannery O'Connor's short stories.
And I must admit, they are most often not easy to apprehend. They are dark, mysterious, troubling. If you have read her, you will know what I mean. Flannery O'Connor, herself a deeply religious Christian, chose to emphasize in her stories the capacity for evil in mankind -- rather than what might have been as easily written about -- the capacity for goodness.
Flannery O'Connor. If that name means nothing to you, you will not be interested in this book. But if you have read her, and wondered [as I have, in My Former Sobriety] "Hmmm… what's going on here?"…. this is the book that will come closest to letting you know that an answer to that question is impossible. Because it will give you the sense that you would have to BE Flannery, to know that much.
This is the closest we can get.

I cried.


D.B. said...

I've got to read this! The "to be read" pile is getting quite high. She was an amazing writer. It does seem to take me a while to recover after reading her stuff. Hey! I've had Ukrainian beer! I knew a Ukrainian couple who shared many of the "delights" of their culture.

Melwyk said...

I believe your deep thoughts on Flannery O'Connor have been disrupted by a wonderful Slavutich. Mmm, Ukrainian beer. Cheaper than water.