Well, folks, after a thirteen-hour driving marathon yesterday through East Texas; all of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama; and half of Georgia, I am in the mecca of Flannery O’Connor fanatics the world over: Milledgeville, Georgia.
For me, I’m here because the main O’Connor collection of letters is housed in the Special Collections of Georgia College and State University’s library. GC&SU itself is red-brick and granite federalist columns — it reminds me of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, but bigger and more authentic. The campus, in other words, is mighty pretty, but I forgot to bring my digicam, so no pictures. 😦 The library is *huge* and uber-techno-modern, with PCs everywhere, wireless connection, a coffee bar downstairs. If I were a student here, the library would be a very nice place to research and hang out in — kind of like a built-in cybercafe/bookstore, except you don’t have to buy the books.
As for O’Connor, I’ve just finished my research, and I think I have enough to write a Preface. I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for, but I think I can point the way for future scholars to do the legwork that I’m just not willing to do. My girl Flannery still remains coy on exactly what she’s read in regards to medieval literature *other* than Dante and Aquinas, and I suspect, what with her letters scattered in unpublished, not subject-indexed, form all over the United States, it’ll be a long time running before we get a definitive answer. But, at least, I can say *that* statement definitively — I’ve gone to Milledgeville, and that’s what I’ve found.
So — what next? TOURIST TIME! 🙂 I’m gonna walk off this humungous fried catfish and fixin’s platter that I ate for lunch (I know — shouldn’t eat that much fried, lard-ladened food but — c’mon! I’m in the Deep South!). I’ll be doing a walking tour of historic Milledgeville (including the O’Connor sites). Tonight is grading my students’ papers (since the grades will be due Monday morning). Saturday is when Andalusia, the O’Connor farm that got turned into a museum, is open, so I’ll hit that. I’ll do more site-seeing, and then head home ungodly early Sunday.
Okay, time for me to hit the town!