literature meme [1/3 genres]

“While the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted.” - Flannery O'Connor

‘Common themes in Southern Gothic literature include deeply flawed, disturbing or eccentric characters who may or may not dabble in hoodoo, ambivalent gender roles and decayed or derelict settings, grotesque situations, and other sinister events relating to or coming from poverty, alienation, crime and violence.’

‘Lady,’ he said, and turned and gave her his full attention, ‘lemme tell you something. There’s one of these doctors in Atlanta that’s taken a knife and cut the human heart – the human heart,’ he repeated, leaning forward, ‘out of a man’s chest and held it in his hand,’ and he held his hand out, palm up, as if it were slightly weighted with the human heart, 'and studied it like it was a day-old chicken, and lady,’ he said, allowing a long significant pause in which his head slid forward and his clay-colored eyes brightened, 'he don’t know no more about it than you or me.’
—  Flannery O'Connor, “The Life You Save May be Your Own”
At moments with little or no warning he would feel himself overwhelmed by horrifying love. Anything he looked at too long could bring it on.. It could be a stick or a stone, the line of a shadow, the absurd old man’s walk of a starling crossing the sidewalk. If, without thinking, he lent himself to it, he would feel suddenly a morbid surge of the love that terrified him- powerful enough to throw him to the ground in an act of idiot praise. It was completely irrational and abnormal.. It was love without reason, love for something futureless, love that appeared to exist only to be itself, imperious and all demanding, the kind that would cause him to make a fool of himself in an instant..
—  The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor