Katherie anne porter


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Katherie anne porter

  1. 1. Katherine Anne Porter born , May 15, 1890, Indian Creek, Texas, U.S. died Sept. 18, 1980, Silver Spring, Md.
  2. 2. <ul><li>American novelist and short-story writer, a master stylist whose long short stories have a richness of texture and complexity of character delineation usually achieved only in the novel. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Porter was educated at private and convent schools in the South. </li></ul><ul><li>She worked as a newspaperwoman in Chicago and in Denver, Colorado, before leaving in 1920 for Mexico, the scene of several of her stories. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Maria Concepcion,” her first published story (1922), was included in her first book of stories, Flowering Judas (1930), which was enlarged in 1935 with other stories. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>The title story of her next collection, Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939), is a poignant tale of youthful romance brutally thwarted by the young man's death in the influenza epidemic of 1919. </li></ul><ul><li>In it and the two other stories of the volume, “Noon Wine” and “Old Mortality,” appears for the first time her semiautobiographical heroine, Miranda, a spirited and independent woman. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Porter's reputation was firmly established, but none of her books sold widely, and she supported herself primarily through fellowships, by working occasionally as an uncredited screenwriter in Hollywood, and by serving as writer-in-residence at a succession of colleges and universities. </li></ul><ul><li>She published The Leaning Tower (1944), a collection of stories, and won an O. Henry Award for her 1962 story, “Holiday.” </li></ul><ul><li>The literary world awaited with great anticipation the appearance of Porter's only full-length novel, on which she had been working since 1941. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>With the publication of Ship of Fools in 1962, Porter won a large readership for the first time. </li></ul><ul><li>A best-seller that became a major film in 1965, it tells of the ocean voyage of a group of Germans back to their homeland from Mexico in 1931, on the eve of Hitler's ascendency . </li></ul><ul><li>Porter's carefully crafted, ironic style is perfectly suited to the allegorical exploration of the collusion of good and evil that is her theme, and the penetrating psychological insight that had always marked her work is evident in the book . </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Porter's Collected Short Stories (1965) won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. </li></ul><ul><li>Her essays, articles, and book reviews were collected in The Days Before (1952; augmented 1970). </li></ul><ul><li>Her last work, published in 1977, when she suffered a disabling stroke, was The Never-Ending Wrong, dealing with the Sacco-Vanzetti case of the 1920s. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Katherine Anne Porter's “ Flowering Judas ,” for example, echoes and ironically inverts the traditional Christian legend. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?action=openPageViewer&docId=78267053 </li></ul>
  9. 9. Flowering Judas <ul><li>Katherine Anne Porter, whose works took the form of novelettes and stories, wrote more in the style of the Metaphysical poets. </li></ul><ul><li>Her use of the stream-of-consciousness method in Flowering Judas (1930) as well as in Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939) had the complexity, the irony, and the symbolic sophistication characteristic of these poets, whose work the modernists had brought into fashion. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Setting <ul><li>&quot;. . .everything I ever wrote in the way of fiction is based very securely on something real in life.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>This story is modeled on an incident which happened to a friend of hers, Mary Doherty, during the Obregon revolution in Mexico .  </li></ul><ul><li>In a 1965 interview, Porter gave this information: </li></ul>
  11. 11. Setting <ul><li>&quot;There was a man. . .who was showing Mary a little attention. . . .Goodness knows, nothing could be more innocent.  But you know, she wasn't sure of him; so one day she asked me to come over and sit with her because so-and-so was going to come in the evening and sing a little bit and talk.  She lived alone in a small apartment.  The way I described the place was exactly as it was.  There was a little round fountain, and what we call a flowering Judas tree in full bloom over it.   As I passed the open window, I saw this girl sitting like this, you see, and a man over there singing.  Well, all of a sudden, I thought, 'That girl doesn't know how to take care of herself.'&quot; </li></ul>
  12. 12. Plot <ul><li>The beginning of this story--in fact, the first paragraph --establishes the tension that is developed in the remainder of the story. </li></ul><ul><li>A close examination of it reveals Laura's apparent dedication and self-sacrifice in contrast to Braggioni's insolent exploitation.  </li></ul><ul><li>Notice the off-putting description of Braggioni, but also the way that Laura avoids the situation, staying away from home as late as she can and then stoically enduring his presence.  </li></ul>
  13. 13. Plot <ul><li>This palpable tension between two ways of life is developed throughout &quot;Flowering Judas.“ </li></ul><ul><li>Gradually, the reader recognizes Laura as a character whose spiritual betrayal is far more profound than the revolutionary leader's corruption . </li></ul><ul><li>The ending of this story does not provide a simple resolution. </li></ul><ul><li>It is only in Laura's dream at the end of the story, a dream brought on by her recognition that by betraying Eugenio she has betrayed herself, that she comes to a horrifying understanding of her condition: her fear of love, of life.   </li></ul>
  14. 14. Plot <ul><li>She awakes trembling at the sound of her own voice, &quot;No!,&quot; and is afraid to sleep again.   </li></ul><ul><li>Porter ends the story here; we do not know if Laura's realization will save her from what she has become.  </li></ul><ul><li>Her dream, which as Robert Penn Warren wrote, &quot;embodies but does not resolve the question,&quot; tantalizes us with its implications. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Characters Brag gioni <ul><li>(notice that his name suggests his nature)  appears to have betrayed the earnest ideals of the movement he leads through his love of luxury and his indifference to his fellow revolutionaries. </li></ul><ul><li>He so completely savaged by his portrayal that it is difficult to take sufficient note of his continuing importance in the movement, and his necessary emphasis on the movement as a whole over mere individual members of it. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Characters Brag gioni <ul><li>Notice that the very traits which have led to his lewdly obese insolence--vanity, arrogance, self-love, malice, cleverness, love of pleasure, &quot;hardness of heart&quot;--are precisely those which have made him a &quot;skilled revolutionist.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>He is, on the other hand, a man capable of certain sorts of love; he can sacrifice himself and accept sacrifice from others.  </li></ul><ul><li>He is capable of both revolutionary and amatory action.  </li></ul><ul><li>His ability to love begins with himself and oozes over those with whom he comes into contact.                       </li></ul>
  17. 17. Laura <ul><li>The repressed has betrayed Eugenio--first by refusing his offer of love, then by delivering to him the drugs he uses to commit suicide.  </li></ul><ul><li>She has betrayed the children she teaches; even though she tries to love and take pleasure in them, they &quot;remain stangers to her.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Most important, perhaps, she betrays herself by rejecting &quot;knowledge and kinship in one monotonous word.  No. No. No,&quot; and by disguising her sexual coldness as earnest revolutionary idealism. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Laura <ul><li>Laura is afraid; she cannot live; she is &quot;not at home in the world.&quot; It makes her, finally, a &quot;cannibal&quot; of others, a &quot;murderer&quot; of herself.  </li></ul><ul><li>When she eats the &quot;warm, bleeding flowers&quot; of the Judas tree in her nightmare vision, she symbolically participates in a sacrament of betrayal.  </li></ul><ul><li>Laura lives paralyzed.  </li></ul>
  19. 19. Laura <ul><li>Her ideals remain intact, though she must sometimes struggle to maintain them.  </li></ul><ul><li>Her own taste requires fine handmade lace, a revolutionary heresy.  </li></ul><ul><li>And she is still, significantly, engaged by the faith of her childhood.. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Laura <ul><li>Yet caught between her revolutionary sympathies and the sympathies of her own past, she finds the experience &quot;no good&quot; and ends by merely examining the tinseled altar and its presiding &quot;male saint, whose lace-trimmed drawers hang limply around his ankles.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>In addition, Laura's revolutionary activity is unfulfilling.   </li></ul>
  21. 21. Laura <ul><li>She takes messages to and from people living in dark alleys; attends fruitless union meetings; ferries food and cigarettes and narcotics to sad, imprisoned men; she &quot;borrows money from the Roumanian agitator to give to his bitter enemy the Polish agitator.&quot;  </li></ul><ul><li>She is found to be comforting and useful, but her revolutionary ardor is of little use when it comes to leading the revolution. </li></ul>soothing things, drugs
  22. 22. Point of View <ul><li>The reader must be aware of the extent to which Braggioni is portrayed in the story from Laura's perspective, and although her perspective undoubtedly reveals an important slice of the truth, it is nevertheless distorted by her own ascetic idealism.  </li></ul>
  23. 23. Point of View <ul><li>Critics of the story have often noted that the background facts concerning Laura are distinctly similar to those in Porter's own experience: the Catholic upbringing, Porter's having been a teacher in Mexico, her involvement in revolutionary causes there, a stubbornly aesthetic sensibility.  </li></ul><ul><li>It is by no means difficult, then to establish a biographical basis for &quot;Flowering Judas,&quot; but it would be a mistake to lose sight of the degree to which Porter has transformed the raw data of her experience into fiction. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Symbolism <ul><li>When Laura eats the &quot;warm, bleeding flowers&quot; of the Judas tree in her nightmare vision, she symbolically participates in a sacrament of betrayal . </li></ul><ul><li>Her love of fine handmade lace suggests her conflicts with her past versus her revolutionary sympathies. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>“ Sacrament” is in Christianity, a rite that is considered to have been established by Jesus Christ to bring grace to those participating in or receiving it. In the Protestant Church, the sacraments are baptism and Communion. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Churches also include penance, confirmation, holy orders, matrimony, and the anointing of the sick. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Symbolism <ul><li>In fact, throughout the story, there is evidence of this tension between two ways of life--Laura's avoidance, frigidity, and inability to love and Braggioni's corruption.   </li></ul><ul><li>Braggioni's name suggests his nature:   he &quot;bulges marvelously in his expensive garments,&quot; his mouth &quot;opens round and yearns sideways,&quot; he &quot;swells with ominous ripeness,&quot; his ammunition belt is buckled &quot;cruelly around his gasping middle&quot; ( pp. 1786-1787). </li></ul>
  27. 27. Irony <ul><li>Robert Penn Warren's essay, &quot;Irony with a Center,&quot; is a close reading of a passage from &quot;Flowering Judas&quot; --the paragraphs beginning with 'Braggioni was your friend'  and ending with 'you will know that Braggioni was your friend'--(pp. 1786-1787). </li></ul><ul><li>Early in the story, Laura seems the idealistic, perfect revolutionary and Braggioni the disgusting, off-putting character.   </li></ul>
  28. 28. Irony <ul><li>But as the story progresses, it becomes clear that Laura is most guilty of betrayal, for she, in her inability to give herself, to be intimate, to truly give, is guilty of  spiritual betrayal .  </li></ul><ul><li>Braggioni, disgusting as he is, is guilty of a much less crime. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Web Resources <ul><li>Katherine Anne Porter Read books on/by Katherine Porter at world's largest online library. www.questia.com </li></ul><ul><li>Katherine Anne Porter Society http://www.lib.umd.edu/Guests/KAP/ </li></ul><ul><li>Literary Manuscripts, UM Libraries The Katherine Anne Porter Room http://www.lib.umd.edu/ARCV/kap/kaproom.html </li></ul>
  30. 30. Web Resources <ul><li>Katherine Anne Porter ... Descendent of Daniel Boone, legendary pioneer and explorer, Katherine Anne Porter was born in Indian Creek, Texas, but . she grew up in Texas and Louisiana. ... http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/kaporter.htm </li></ul><ul><li>PAL: Katherine Anne Porter (1890-1980) http ://www.csustan.edu/english/reuben/pal/chap7/porter.html </li></ul><ul><li>American Masters . Katherine Anne Porter | PBS http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/porter_k.html </li></ul>