‘The Jilting of Granny Weatherall’ by Katherine Anne Porter

Katherine Anne Porter was born in Indian Creek, Texas in 1890.
 
Old Granny Weatherall lies on her bed waiting to die, attended by Dr. Harry and her daughter Cornelia. Her consciousness spills over the edges of the narrative proper, blending with a third-person voice, merging memory with fantasy and dream. A dead child wanders in – her name is Hapsy (not quite Happy, just as Cornelia is not quite Cordelia). And then in comes jilter George, who left her waiting at the altar. She patches a life together nonetheless, but the jilting haunts her on her deathbed. ‘The Jilting of Granny Weatherall’ is an extraordinary feat of harnessing consciousness in prose. It culminates in a devastating negative epiphany that echoes Emily Dickinson’s ‘I heard a Fly buzz – when I died-‘: “/and then it was /There interposed a Fly /- With Blue – uncertain – stumbling Buzz /- Between the light – and me -/ And then the Windows failed /- and then I could not see to see -“

First published in transition, 1929 and first collected in Flowering Judas, Harcourt Brace 1930

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s