Rev. Mark Bosco, S.J., will deliver Fairfield University’s 2018 Bellarmine Lecture entitled "The Mystery in the Manners: Documenting the Life of Flannery O’Connor" at the Barone Campus Center Dogwood Room on Wednesday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Flannery O’Connor, an award-winning American writer and essayist, is considered to be one of the greatest short story writers and the premiere American Catholic writer of the 20th century. Her works include the novels Wise Blood and The Violent Bear It Away, short story collections including A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories and Everything That Rises Must Converge.
“Readers are drawn to the authenticity of O’Connor’s life story as much as to the authenticity of her stories,” states Rev. Bosco. “One would think that O’Connor would be better known within the cultural canon of America—that we would know her name like we know Mark Twain or Ernest Hemingway, like we know Springsteen or Dylan—but she is still a mysterious figure to many.”
Though there have been biographies, critical essays, and full-length books about the importance of her work, there has never been a film documentary of her life. Rev. Bosco and his collaborators through the support from the National Endowment of the Humanities, produced a 90-minute documentary focusing on O’Connors life and work. His lecture will offer some extended excerpts of the documentary intermixed with Bosco’s findings about O’Connor’s life and the way the film brings to light her singularly Catholic literary vision.
Rev. Bosco is the vice president for Mission and Ministry at Georgetown University where he also teaches in the English department. His research focuses on theological aesthetics and the intersection of religion and art with a focus on the 20th century Catholic literary tradition. He is the author of Graham Greene’s Catholic Imagination (Oxford, 2005), Academic Novels as Satire: Critical Studies of an Emerging Genre (Edwin Mellen, 2007), and co-editor of Revelation and Convergence: Flannery O’Connor and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition (Catholic University of America, 2017). Other publications include essays on Gerard Manley Hopkins, Margaret Atwood, and Shusaku Endo.
The annual Bellarmine Lecture, which features a distinguished Jesuit scholar, is sponsored by the Center for Catholic Studies. Past speakers include Rev. James Martin, S.J., Rev. Paul Crowley, S.J., and Rev. John W. Padberg, S.J.