Monday, July 25, 2005

Flannery O'Connor

The following are some Flannery O'Connor's links and quotes that may be useful for indirect literary apologetics. I will be updating this log as I come across more information and insight.


Catholic Educators: Flannery O'Connor
If Flannery Had A Blog...
Jimmy Akin: Flannery O'Connor Tribute
Flannery O'Connor
Wise Blood
Comforts of Home
Biblical Horizons: FLANNERY O'CONNOR
Flannery O'Connor's Short Fiction
Meet Flannery O’Connor


(On Mystery)
". . . if our writer believes that our life is and will remain mysterious, if he looks upon us as beings existing in a created order to whose laws we freely respond, then what he sees on the surface will be of interest to him only as he can go through it into an experience of mystery itself. His kind of fiction will always be pushing its own limits outward toward the limits of mystery, because for this kind of writer, the meaning of a story does not begin except at a depth where adequate motivation and adequate psychology and the various determinations have been exhausted. Such a writer will be interested in what we don't understand rather than what we do. He will be interested in possibility rather than probability. He will be interested in characters who are forced out to meet evil and grace and who act on a trust beyond themselves--whether they know very clearly what it is they act upon or not . . . the kind of writer I am describing will use the concrete in a more drastic way. His way will much more obviously be the way of distortion. . . . It's not necessary to point out that the look of this fiction is going to be wild, that it is almost of necessity going to be violent and comic, because of the discrepancies that it seeks to combine. (Flannery O'Connor)

(On Transcendent Mystery)
“I often ask myself what makes a story work, and what makes it hold up as a story, and I have decided that it is probably some action, some gesture of a character that is unlike any other in the story, one which indicates where the real heart of the story lies. This would have to be an action or a gesture which was both totally right and totally unexpected; it would have to be one that was both in character and beyond character; it would have to suggest both the world and eternity. The action or gesture I’m talking about would have to be on the anagogical level, that is, the level which has to do with the Divine life and our participation in it. It would be a gesture that transcended any neat allegory that might have been intended or any pat moral categories a reader could make. It would be a gesture which somehow made contact with mystery.” Flannery O’Connor

(On Free will)
“The novelist does not write about general beliefs but about men with free will, and [that] there is nothing [in our faith] that implies a foregone optimism for man so free that with his last breath he can say No.” Flannery O’Connor
“An absence of free will in these characters would mean an absence of conflict in them, whereas they spend all their time fighting within themselves, drive against drive.” Flannery O’Connor

(On Method)
"When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs as you do, you can relax a little and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock—to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind, you draw large and startling figures." —Flannery O'Connor, "The Fiction Writer & His Country"


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