the figure at the window

On one occasion, Caroline Gordon sent Flannery O’Connor an essay she’d been writing on Henry James titled “The Figure at the Window on the Carpet.” O’Connor wrote to Gordon [12 May 1952], “I am certainly indebted to you for letting me see this piece and I think it ought to be a book. If Catholic… Continue reading the figure at the window

“Kindest Regards” [?!] from Evelyn Waugh

O'Connor, writing to Gordon after the publication of Wise Blood: “I’m sorry you won’t be able to review the book but I am glad to have the comment [Gordon's quote] on the jacket, where it will give pause. I thought you would be interested in [Evelyn] Waugh’s comment which was as follows: ‘You want a… Continue reading “Kindest Regards” [?!] from Evelyn Waugh

“The Electric Give and Take”

"[Caroline Gordon's] letters to O’Connor, which cover 13 years from 1951 to O’Connor’s death in 1964, are the most detailed literary critiques I have ever read, covering everything from naming characters, to proper viewpoint, particularly as she guided O’Connor through the writing of her first novel, Wise Blood. She was a hard taskmaster and would not… Continue reading “The Electric Give and Take”

Regina O’Connor, The Diplomat

In The Letters of Flannery O’Connor and Caroline Gordon, one my favorite O’Connor letters tells a story about how the displaced persons who lived at Andalusia interacted with the longtime farmhands: “The D. P. [the Displaced Person, Mr. Matysiak] and Shot nearly choked each other in the wagon the other day and now my mother… Continue reading Regina O’Connor, The Diplomat

Crowded Effects, Strange Light

I think you have crowded your effects too much here. If I were writing this passage I would emphasize its importance by breaking it up into several--perhaps three--sentences instead of crowding a lot of ideas into one sentence [. . .]  “Single block of one story brick and wooden shacks” sounds ugly. (Of course they… Continue reading Crowded Effects, Strange Light