Today, I was in an office where every scholarly volume dealing with Flannery seems to be housed.
(or seems to be housed)
Shelf after shelf after shelf.
This is just a minuscule example snapped by my little camera in my BlackBerry. It doesn't do the collection any sort of justice.
Included in this amazing collection are several shelves of other great Southern Writers. Eudora Welty. Katherine Anne Porter. Alice Walker...
I'm reminded of one of my favorite episodes of the Golden Girls in which Blanche has decided to become a writer, more specifically a great Southern novelist:
"I'm too tired to sleep, I may never sleep again. My body is limp with exhaustion, all the greats know what this feels like." (Blanche)
Dorothy asks her to expand on the other great Southern writers, but Blanche can't--it sends me into giggles, of course.
I regress. THIS is what it all looks like...books on two novels, 32 short stories, personal letters, and some prose. They are obsessed with Flannery O'Connor.
THEY being THEM. Scholars. Students. Academia.
Which is what WE do. We write. We study. We take apart and analyze every facet of not only the author's work, but the author's life.
The intimidation comes two fold (or three, or four).
These books represent what I do NOT know nor what I own. They represent all the work that is always being done. Universities (research) is a place of flux.
And they could also represent what a library representing studies on any one of the writers in this MFA program (students and faculty alike) may look like at some point in the future.