Flowering Judas, Katherine Anne Porter
"Flowering Judas" Katherine Anne Porter
The following entry presents criticism of Porter's short story "Flowering Judas." See also Katherine Anne Porter Short Story Criticism (Volume 43), Katherine Anne Porter Literary Criticism (Volume 1), and Volumes 3, 7, 10, 13, 27.
The frequently anthologized "Flowering Judas" is known for its tight technical construction, its rich symbolism, and its thematic unity. Porter herself once acknowledged that this piece, which focuses on an emotionally withdrawn expatriate living in Mexico and participating in that country's revolution, was one of her best writings. She also stated that the tale was first inspired by her stay in Mexico in the early part of the twentieth century: "All the characters and episodes are based on real persons and events, but naturally, as my memory worked upon them and time passed, all assumed different shapes and colors, formed gradually around a central idea, that of self-delusion." Despite the story's autobiographical beginnings, critics acknowledge that the imagery, tensions, and language of "Flowering Judas" are the work of a master writer of fiction; in appraising Porter's work, David Madden has noted Joseph Conrad's junction that '"[a] work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line.' 'Flowering Judas' realizes that aspiration to an uncommon degree."
Plot and Major CharactersAlthough frequently incorporating flashbacks, "Flowering Judas" chronologically takes place in the span of one evening in 1920s Mexico shortly after the Obregon revolution. The story opens with the protagonist, an American woman named Laura, returning to the hacienda where she lives. A lapsed Catholic and a virgin known for her nun-like costume, Laura teaches English to local children, delivers messages and narcotics to political prisoners, and does various errands for leading members of the movement. Waiting for her at home is Braggioni, a leader in the revolution who attempts to seduce her through conversation and song. Laura's thoughts reveal her distaste for Braggioni, other men's ill-fated attempts to pursue a romantic relationship with her, and the lack of true emotional commitment or involvement in her life—she cares little for her teaching, finds no joy in her chastity, struggles with her religious beliefs, and participates in the revolution for strictly intellectual reasons. Eventually Braggioni leaves and returns to his long-suffering wife with whom he achieves a momentary reconciliation, but not before Laura reveals that one prisoner whom she regularly visits, Eugenio, will be dead by morning. Eugenio has stockpiled the drugs brought by Laura and taken them all in an attempt to kill himself. Though discovered by Laura, he has asked her not to call a doctor, a request to which she has complied. Like Laura, Braggioni honors this request, albeit out of contempt for the prisoner. "Flowering Judas" ends with Laura dreaming of Eugenio, who promises to take her to a new country—the land of death. She is lowered onto the ground by the Judas tree outside her bedroom window and finds herself in a variety of landscapes. She keeps asking Eugenio to take her hand, but he refuses, offering instead flowers from the Judas tree. Laura accepts and eats the blossoms only to discover that Eugenio's hands have been reduced to bone. Eugenio accuses her of being a murderer and a cannibal; echoing lines from the Bible, he claims the blooms are his body and blood. Laura then awakens from her nightmare, afraid to fall back asleep.
Thematic analyses of "Flowering Judas" typically emphasize the story's focus on love and betrayal, the latter most obviously evoked by the name Judas, the name of the apostle who betrayed Jesus, in the title. On the most simplistic level, Laura has betrayed Eugenio by participating in his murder. Though technically a suicide, Laura is, to a degree, responsible for his death, a fact that her subconscious realizes in her dream. Braggioni is similarly a betrayer; he is guilty of adultery and, like Laura, has sent men, including Eugenio, to their deaths. Critics additionally note there are more elaborate examples of betrayal in "Flowering Judas." For instance, Laura's lack of true political conviction and enthusiasm for the revolution are often seen as acts against the movement as a whole. Laura's role in Eugenio's death and her ambivalent attitude toward her pupils—she does not feel warmth for the children but appreciates "their charming opportunist savagery"—are also seen as a betrayal, or rejection, of life in general and love in particular. Porter's thematic focus on love is further reflected in the relationship between Laura and her various suitors. She ultimately rejects each of their advances, but her misleading attitude of tolerance and her, at times, thoughtless actions are misconstrued as encouragement. Her relationship with Braggioni, specifically his visit in the story—the imagery of which contains sexual connotations—is often viewed as a brief study of sexual repression, physical erotic love, and spiritual love. Other thematic interpretations of the story emphasize the importance of revolution and religion.
"Flowering Judas" is often discussed in conjunction with Porter's "Miranda" tales and other stories of hers having a Mexican setting. Whether discussed in this light or examined for its own literary merits, "Flowering Judas" is frequently praised as a stylistically and thematically unified masterpiece of the short story genre. Critics typically focus on the final scene of "Flowering Judas," the dream sequence, as well as Laura's visit with Braggioni, and much criticism has been generated about the tale's thematic focus on death, betrayal, denial, and love. "Flowering Judas" has also garnered praise for various stylistic features, including the use of flashbacks and the present tense, as well as the lack of a formal, linear story line. Commentators have also emphasized the semi-autobiographical story's inherent religious aspects, including allusions to the apostle Judas, works by T. S. Eliot and Dante Alighieri having religious overtones, the foot-washing scene involving Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and the sacrament of eucharist as first celebrated at the Last Supper. Nevertheless, such a focus, as critics assert, does not imply that "Flowering Judas" is solely a religious tale but a rather a sophisticated exercise in mood and outlook. As M. M. Liberman has written: "'Flowering Judas' owes its greatness not at all to some opportunistic employment of a conventional religious symbol to signify theme but to a brilliant narrative practice throughout, one capable of representing a feeling that, once apprehended by the reader, permits him to see with what overriding intelligence Miss Porter knew her Laura, 'the desperate complication of her mind' and what it meant."
SOURCE: "Katherine Anne Porter: Symbol and Theme in 'Flowering Judas'," in Accent, Vol. 7, Spring, 1947, pp. 182-88.
[In the following excerpt, West analyzes religious and political symbols in "Flowering Judas."]
Katherine Anne Porter, in writing of Katherine Mansfield's fictional method in 1937, said that she "states no belief, gives no motive, airs no theories, but simply presents to the reader a situation, a place and a character, and there it is; and the emotional content is present as implicitly as the germ in the grain of wheat." Of her own method she has written: "Now and again thousands of memories converge, harmonize, arrange themselves around a central idea in a coherent form, and I write a story."
Enlightening though these statements are concerning Miss Porter's concept of a short story, true as they appear to be of her own fiction and of the creative process, they still leave the reader with his own problem of "understanding" when he is confronted with the individual story. If we disregard the fact that the first statement was made about a fellow artist (it is still descriptive of Miss Porter's own stories), we must yet discover the "germ" which produced the emotion and which flowers into the final form of the story. Though we might say that the converging, the harmonizing, and the arranging constitute a logical, though partly subconscious, activity which serves to bring the...
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SOURCE: "My Familiar Country: Alienation" in Katherine Anne Porter, Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1965 pp. 39-43.
[In the following excerpt, Hendrick provides a thematic analysis of "Flowering Judas, " noting its focus on religion, self-destruction, betrayal, and the "wasteland theme."]
"Flowering Judas," (1930) can profitably be read in the light of "Where Presidents Have No Friends," Miss Porter's brilliant analysis of the Obregón revolution. Though feeling a profound respect for the aims of the movement, she sees the confusion and the cross-purposes present at both the highest and lowest levels, as further confused by foreign opportunists who found support from many groups. "The result," she wrote, "is a hotbed of petty plotting, cross purposes between natives and foreigners, from the diplomats down to the unwashed grumbler who sits in the alameda and complains about the sorrows of the proletariat. In all this the men in present power are struggling toward practicable economic and political relations with the world." This story also marks a great change in Miss Porter's fictional presentation of the Mexican scene—for the first time, she presents an extended study of the expatriate in Mexico.
Miss Porter's own account of the composition of this justly famous story also provides a key to its meaning:
"Flowering Judas" was written between seven o'clock...
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SOURCE: "Laura and the Unlit Lamp," in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 1, No. 1, Fall, 1963, pp. 61-3.
[In the brief essay below, Bride comments on the relationship between chastity, religion, and spirituality in "Flowering Judas."]
A superficial reading of Katherine Anne Porter's "Flowering Judas" could very well lead one to regard it as a manifesto of what might be called the theology of the aesthete, in which chastity is the first of the capital sins and the refusal of sexual indulgence replaces the oppression of the poor as the sin crying to heaven for vengeance.
Like Browning, however, at the conclusion of "The Statue and the Bust," Porter might well have commented that sex will serve as well as anything else for her purpose; after all, it is the modern symbol of fulfillment. The real theme of "Flowering Judas" is still "the unlit lamp and the ungirt loin."
Laura (surely the evocation of Petrarch serves ironic purpose here) does not merely reject illicit love; she rejects all love. She rejects life. She is the essence of negation.
Laura's existence is neatly summed up in the course of the story in "the one monotonous word, 'No,'" which "holy talismanic word" preserved her from being "led into evil." Even though she was a teacher, she had no love for the little children who crowded around her each morning with fervent greetings and festooned her...
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SOURCE: "The Poetic Narrative: A Reading of 'Flowering Judas'," in Style, Vol. 2, No. 2, Spring, 1968, pp. 129-39.
[In the essay below, Gross discusses technical, thematic, and stylistic aspects of "Flowering Judas, " delineating the story's poetic and poetical nature.]
I would like to raise some questions about poetic narrative with the hope of making some sense out of the vague but useful recognition which the term conveys—that narrative form may at some times and in some ways take on some of the qualities of poetry. What these are and how they may affect the nature and powers of narration I propose to discuss through the example of Katherine Anne Porter's "Flowering Judas."
When we call a story "poetic" we may mean a variety of things. We may be saying something about its language, that it achieves the expressiveness and density of poetry. Or we may be saying something about its form, that its synthesis is spatial rather than temporal, that what it does is not to chronicle an action through a beginning, a middle, and an end, but to deploy, let us say, a succession of images, moods, epiphanies. Finally, we may be suggesting that the content of a story is "poetic," that its subject matter is particularly stirring or lyrical or sentimental. "Poetic" here has nothing at all to do with either language or form. It may be just a kind of critical ad populum, used in much the same...
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SOURCE: "Death's Other Kingdom: Dantesque and Theological Symbolism in 'Flowering Judas'," in PMLA, Vol. 84, No. 1, January, 1969, pp. 112-24.
[Here, Gottfried examines Porter's use of religious symbolism and ideals in "Flowering Judas, " particularly those evinced in Dante Alighieri's writings, as well as her focus on negation and death.]
I have a great deal of religious symbolism in my stories because I have a very deep sense of religion and also I have a religious training. And I suppose you don't invent symbolism. You don't say, "I'm going to have the flowering judas tree stand for betrayal," but, of course, it does.
(Katherine Anne Porter, "News and Ideas," CE, Vol. XXII, April 1961)
The attempt to portray hell and its leading personages by relating them parodically to heaven, or, in other words, by using inversions of varying degrees of complexity, is traditional. Scholastic theologians like St. Thomas regularly related the various virtues and kinds of blessedness to their opposites, and both Dante and Milton, the two greatest poetic infernologists, made systematic use of parody or ironic parallelism. Katherine Anne Porter, in "Flowering Judas," a story dealing with latter-day lost souls, is clearly working in this ironic mode; she uses references to the religion of the machine, two...
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SOURCE: "'Flowering Judas': Two Voices," in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. VI, No. 2, Winter, 1969, pp. 194-204.
[In the following essay, Redden examines Porter's use of dualities and balanced tensions in "Flowering Judas."]
Katherine Anne Porter's "Flowering Judas," an unusually cryptic, complex, and challenging story, has been variously interpreted. Of the two best-known and most complete readings, that of William L. Nance maintains that Miss Porter follows "the principle of rejection" [Katherine Anne Porter & the Art of Rejection, 1964], while Ray B. West, Jr., argues that she "embodied an attitude that demonstrated the necessity for the application of the ancient verities of faith and love as a fructifying element in any human existence" [Katherine Anne Porter, 1963]. Though contradictory, both conclusions are right; each underestimates the presence of the other—an equally forcible opposite "principle," or opposite "attitude"—in the story. The paradoxes of Miss Porter's fiction, it seems to me, are insufficiently illuminated by tacit reliance on the assumption that this author holds a strictly unitary view of life. If, however, one explores the hypothesis that Miss Porter's outlook is essentially and irrevocably dual, many things fall into place, including the basic role of tension in her work.
"Flowering Judas" is perhaps her most remarkable story of tension...
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SOURCE: "The Charged Image in Katherine Anne Porter's 'Flowering Judas'," in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. VII, No. 2, Spring, 1970, pp. 277-89.
[In the essay below, Madden discusses symbolism and imagery in "Flowering Judas, " arguing that this story succeeds because it contains the "charged image" structure in which "a created, transcendent image [has] . . . an organic life of its own."]
In Writers at Work, Second Series , the interviewer asked Katherine Anne Porter whether "Flowering Judas" began as a visual impression that grew into a narrative. "All my senses were very keen," Miss Porter replied. "Things came to me through my eyes, through all my pores. Everything hit me at once. . . ." Without words or images, her stories began to form. Then she starts thinking "directly in words. Abstractly. Then the words transform themselves into images." On several occasions Miss Porter has testified to the potency of the real-life image that generated "Flowering Judas."
She chose this story for inclusion in an anthology called This Is My Best (1942). Commenting on the story at that time, she said: "All the characters and episodes are based on real persons and events, but naturally, as my memory worked upon them and time passed, all assumed different shapes and colors, formed gradually around a central idea, that of self-delusion. . . ."In the Paris Review interview...
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SOURCE: "Symbolism, the Short Story, and 'Flowering Judas'," in Katherine Anne Porter's Fiction, Wayne State University Press, 1971, pp. 70-9.
[Liberman discusses the symbolism of "Flowering Judas, " arguing that the symbol of the Judas tree "is employed to enhance and finally to reiterate theme, but not to be a sign of theme as if theme had not been established by other means. "]
If one opens Jean Stafford's Collected Stories to, say, "The Lippia Lawn," which begins, "Although its roots are clever, the trailing arbutus at Deer Lick had been wrenched out by the hogs," he is promised the work of a poet, and this promise the other stories generally keep. It is the "clever," employed for all its worth, including its root sense, that does it almost all, and this is as it should be if, as I suppose with a few others, the short story is, in crucial ways, most like the lyric in that its agent is neither plot nor character, but diction. When its language is felicitous, decorous, and evocative, the tone and feeling will cradle characterization, enhance idea, and imply action which the novel must nearly always dramatize or fail. But this is not to say that the short story is a poem and here, too, is where many fledgling writers and not a few experienced critics have gone wrong.
The short story is not quite a poem any more than it is a short novel boiled conveniently down to...
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SOURCE: "By Self Possessed: 'Flowering Judas'," in Katherine Anne Porter, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1973, pp. 68-76.
[In the following excerpt, Hardy offers a thematic analysis of "Flowering Judas," focusing on the story's emphasis on love, religion, and revolution. Hardy characterizes this story as "perhaps the best-known of Miss Porter's stories, and a great favorite of symbolist critics."]
"Flowering Judas" is perhaps the best-known of Miss Porter's stories, and a great favorite of symbolist critics. In 1947, Ray West elaborately analyzed the rather elaborately obvious religious symbolism of the story. Many later critics, taking West's study as a point of departure, have emphasized the erotic significance of the symbols. There are, I would agree with practically everybody, two most important things about Laura: she is a Catholic who has lost her faith, and she is sexually repressed.
It hardly needs saying that the two matters have a good deal to do with each other. The particular kind of Catholicism, from which she has lapsed, is that peculiarly North American, predominantly Irish, Jansenist cult—historically competitive with the earlier established tradition of Protestant puritanism in the United States—which makes religion all but exclusively a matter of morality, and morality all but exclusively sex morality. The ideal of sexual "purity" is the basis of all other...
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SOURCE: "The Making of 'Flowering Judas'," in Journal of Modern Literature, Vol. 12, No. 1, March, 1985, pp. 109-30.
[In the following essay, Walsh discusses Porter's use of historical detail and personal experience in "Flowering Judas, " noting in particular how historical figures became the basis for several of the story's characters. ]
Over the years Katherine Porter furnished many autobiographical details about her most celebrated story, "Flowering Judas" (1930), stating [in This Is My Best, 1942] that "all the characters and episodes are based on real persons and events, but naturally, as my memory worked upon them and time passed, all assumed different shapes and colors, formed gradually around a central idea, that of self-delusion, the order and meaning of the episodes changed, and became in a word fiction." This essay, drawing from Porter's published comments on the story, her unpublished letters, notes, and fiction, and my conversations with her and with her friend, Mary Louis Doherty, attempts to distinguish between the "real persons and events" and the "different shapes and colors" they assumed. Despite the thin record of Porter's Mexican period, the questionable accuracy of her recollections of it many years later, and her reputation for fictionalizing her life, we can discover many experiences she transformed into "Flowering Judas," and the reasons those transformations took the...
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SOURCE: "Braggioni's Songs in 'Flowering Judas'," in College Literature, Vol. XII, No. 1, Spring, 1985, pp. 147-52.
[Here, Walsh details the relevance of Braggioni's songs and his singing to "'Flowering Judas"'s plot, theme, and characterization.]
"In Mexico, most of the birds, and all of the people, sing." So Katherine Anne Porter began her essay in 1924 on the Mexican corrido [The Survey, Vol. 50, No. 3, 1924]. She might have added later Braggioni, who, in "Flowering Judas," comes with guitar to sing to Laura and win her heart although he gives a "miserable performance" and only earns her contempt. Nevertheless the two songs he sings, "La Norteña" and "A la Orilla de un Palmar," contribute to our understanding of Laura's complex personality. Porter did not choose these songs at random.
In an unpublished poem, probably written in 1921, Porter describes a blind boy playing on his flute a "song about the girl from the north, with green eyes," the last line of which includes a direct quotation from "La Norteña": "Linda, no llores. Pretty thing, don't cry." [The critic adds in a footnote: "My translation of 'La Norteña' is as follows: 'My love, the girl from the North, has eyes so translucent that they sparkle like precious stones. When they smile at me, they seem like a garden of flowers, and when they weep, they seem as if they are going to dissolve. Pretty one, don't...
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SOURCE: "Revolution and Time: Laura in 'Flowering Judas'," in Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 1, Autumn, 1985, pp. 26-38.
[In the following essay, Walter provides a thematic discussion of "Flowering Judas, " detailing Porter's use of language and focus on time and temporality, revolution, and reality.]
In Katherine Anne Porter's "Flowering Judas," the following words take shape as an alienated young woman's conscious summary of her day as she awaits the narcotic of sleep to deliver her from her personal confusion: ". . . it is monstrous to confuse love with revolution, night with day, life with death—ah, Eugenio!" (Collected Stories). As "monstrous" and adverse to human intention as the fusions of opposites enumerated by Laura is the contradiction of motives instigating her exclamatory remembrance of Eugenio, a fellow revolutionary she visited in prison earlier in the day: although feeling guilt for having acquiesced in and aided Eugenio's suicide, she also feels envy for his having attained, she thinks, a state free of the turbulence of conscious life. The progression of Laura's aversion from life's mingling of contraries and her consequent loss of the capacity for moral initiative has been told and dramatized in the earlier parts of this story. Her flight from the United States to Mexico, a country that remains "strange" to her; her joining a Marxist...
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SOURCE: "The Twentieth Century: New Forms: Imagist Form," in Toward the End: Closure and Structure in the American Short Story, The University of Alabama Press, 1985, pp. 94-107.
[In the excerpt below, Gerlach examines thematic and stylistic aspects of "Flowering Judas, " citing the relationship between Braggioni and Laura as the pivotal element in the story.]
[Katherine Anne Porter's] fastidiousness and the consequent diminution of her total output are legendary. Consequently, we might expect her to be more conscious of closure, and her comments on endings and their relation to structure have a familiar ring: "If I didn't know the ending of a story, I wouldn't begin. I always write my last lines, my last paragraph, my last page first, and then I go back and work towards it. I know where I'm going. I know what my goal is" [Interview with Barbara Thompson in Writers at Work, 1963]. "Flowering Judas" (1930) was clearly a story she had in mind when referring to endings; in the same interview just quoted she mentions it as the one case when her expectations were denied: "In the vision of death at the end of 'Flowering Judas' I knew the real ending—that she was not going to be able to face her life, what she'd done. And I knew that the vengeful spirit was going to come in a dream to tow her away into death, but I didn't know until I'd written it that she was going to wake up saying, 'No!' and be...
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SOURCE: "The Inner Darkness," in Truth and Vision in Katherine Anne Porter's Fiction, The University of Georgia Press, 1985, pp. 12-59.
[In the following excerpt, Unrue analyzes Porter's emphasis on betrayal and the female principle in "Flowering Judas."]
["Flowering Judas"] almost always is interpreted as a story about revolution and betrayal, and any critical confusion has revolved around the extent to which Laura is in fact the betrayer, the "Judas." Ray West's elaborate analysis of Laura as betrayer because she brings no love to the revolution has been the most widely accepted interpretation for many years ["Katherine Anne Porter: Symbol and Theme in 'Flowering Judas'," Accent, Vol. 7, 1947]. However, even West's theory does not answer all the important questions about the story, as Liberman, among others, has pointed out. Porter has identified the model for Laura as her friend Mary Doherty, who like Laura taught Indian children in Xochimilco and participated in the revolution. Some critics, however, have correctly seen Laura as a combination of Mary Doherty and Porter herself and thus Laura as a somewhat autobiographical character, an embryonic version of Miranda, who first appears as a character in Porter's fiction five years after the publication of "Flowering Judas." If Laura is examined as a version of the grown-up Miranda and her "betrayal" examined in the light of Miranda's experiences...
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SOURCE: "Mexico," in Understanding Katherine Anne Porter, University of South Carolina Press, 1988, pp. 22-46.
[In the following excerpt, Unrue briefly assesses theme and symbolism in "Flowering Judas."]
Porter did not include "The Martyr" or "Virgin Violeta" in her first collection of stories. She told a student that she had omitted them because she had not been satisfied with them once she saw them in print. A story which did satisfy her was "Flowering Judas," one of her best-known and most often anthologized stories. Although she took notes for the story in 1921, she did not complete it until 1929, the year before her last sustained visit to Mexico. She described the writing of "Flowering Judas" in Whit Burnett's This Is My Best. It developed from the state of revolutionary affairs in Mexico in 1920 and a memory of an experience with her friend Mary Doherty, who became the real-life counterpart of Laura, even though Porter included something of herself in the character as well.
When Porter took notes for the story in 1921 she still had some idealistic faith in the revolution, but by the time she wrote the story she had become disillusioned, and this cynicism is evident in the story's tone. The first paragraph describes Braggioni in repugnant images. At the end of the paragraph, the maid greets the returning Laura at the door saying "with a flicker of a glance towards the upper...
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SOURCE: "'Flowering Judas' and the Failure of Amour Courtois," in Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 28, No. 1, Winter, 1991, pp. 77-82.
[In the essay below, in part a response to an essay by Ray B. West, Lavers analyzes the pattern and influence of the tradition of courtly love on "Flowering Judas."]
[In Lodwick Hartley and George Core's 1969 Katherine Anne Porter: A Critical Symposium] Ray B. West, in his essay, "Symbol and Theme in 'Flowering Judas,'" points out that Katherine Anne Porter's most famous story is symbolical, and therefore needs to be interpreted. He then proceeds to give the story a very sensitive reading, examining symbols, and unraveling meanings. He does his work so convincingly that later critics evidently have felt no need to go further. But while everything West says in his celebrated essay is essentially correct, he is by no means exhaustive. In fact, what he has left out of his interpretation is not merely a few ancillary images but the central controlling symbolical pattern itself. He writes at the conclusion of his essay, "The meaning [of the story] . . . is available in all its complex relationships only when we have become aware of the entire field of reference." My intention here is to put into the reader's hands that "entire field of reference."
To refresh the reader's memory, let me briefly summarize the story, and then West's interpretation of it....
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Heilman, Robert B. "Katherine Anne Porter: 'Flowering Judas'." In Modern Short Stories: A Critical Anthology, pp. 180-94. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1950.
Reprints "Flowering Judas" and then provides a brief critical discussion of the tale.
Ibieta, Gabriella. "The North-American Exile's Vision of Mexico According to Katherine Anne Porter." In Proceedings of the Xth Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association, edited by Anna Balakian and James J. Wilhelm, pp. 233-38. New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1985.
Examines Porter's depiction of Mexico in "Flowering Judas" and "Hacienda," concluding: "These texts are particularly valuable as outstanding examples of intercultural relations between two countries that still hold a conflictive fascination for each other. In both instances a process of mediation is effectively achieved by North Americans who, from a seemingly safe, although existentially precarious existence, refract an implicitly double image of the Mexican reality."
Nance, William L. "The Emerging Pattern." In Katherine Anne Porter & the Art of Rejection, pp. 12-54. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1964.
Discusses "Flowering Judas" in relation to Porter's artistic development, highlighting...
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