The Scaffolding of Friendship

One of the most famous (and beautiful) lines of O'Connor's Wise Blood is her description of Taulkinham: The black sky was underpinned with long silver streaks that looked like scaffolding and depth on depth behind it were thousands of stars that all seemed to be moving very slowly as if they were about some vast… Continue reading The Scaffolding of Friendship

“The Best Single Source” on O’Connor Stories

Part of what I'd like to do with this website is to find a home for the items that didn't make the book, THE LETTERS OF FLANNERY O'CONNOR AND CAROLINE GORDON. After four years of background research, I have a lot of small stories and tangents that, while not essential to the book's final content,… Continue reading “The Best Single Source” on O’Connor Stories

“Ladies Don’t Beat the Daylight Out of People”

“Under the watchful glare of Caroline Gordon, Flannery subdued her impulse to speak with such robust language in her fiction, in which, as Miss Gordon strictly enjoined her, the author’s voice may use only Johnsonian English. But Flannery didn’t disdain the colloquial in person, or in letters, and certainly not in the dialogue of her… Continue reading “Ladies Don’t Beat the Daylight Out of People”

1981 Review of Caroline Gordon’s COLLECTED STORIES

"It is a joy to read or reread the stories in this collection, observing the precepts of the teacher coming to life in her work. Her own literary heritage was impressive. She was private secretary to Ford Madox Ford who knew Henry James who knew Turgenev who knew Flaubert. The influence is apparent but not… Continue reading 1981 Review of Caroline Gordon’s COLLECTED STORIES

The Writer’s Craft: un progression d’effet

… the note of the ineffable, the symbolic, can't be struck suddenly at the end. It ought to be prepared for from the beginning. This note of the archetypal, ineffable--call it what you will--ought to be what [Ford Madox] Ford called un progression d'effet. That is, it ought to have its own progression through the… Continue reading The Writer’s Craft: un progression d’effet