The Violent Bear It Away: 70 years old in 2020

O'Connor's The Violent Bear It Away was published sixty-nine years ago in January, 1960. "The back jacket is devoted to a quote from Caroline's piece in Critique [on Wise Blood]," O'Connor told Betty Hester, "which will be like waving the red flag in front of several bulls." From an outsider's perspective, it was a nice blurb… Continue reading The Violent Bear It Away: 70 years old in 2020

A Peripety

I think you need in this story [“The Enduring Chill”] what Aristotle called "a peripety," the unforeseen incident which brings about a solution and yet springs out of what has gone before. Suppose that, as very well might be, one of the students in this class is a sort of Fr. Wiegel, a young priest… Continue reading A Peripety

8 January 1964: Gordon to O’Connor

"When I reached my uncle's house," Gordon wrote to O'Connor, "my cousin, Manny, warned me not to mention Kennedy's name. My aunt doesn't like him much better than she liked Roosevelt. Those members of my family have all turned Republican. I always feel like saying, 'But you haven't got enough money to turn Republican'." from… Continue reading 8 January 1964: Gordon to O’Connor

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”