As I've read Caroline Gordon's letters and essays and lectures, I've collected what I call my "Gordon Method" textbook: her best, most timeless advice to writers. Here's a sample of one of my favorites, sent to Flannery O'Connor in November, 1951, while O'Connor was revising her first novel, Wise Blood. Gordon writes to O'Connor: "I… Continue reading The Gordon Method
This week, THE LETTERS OF FLANNERY O'CONNOR AND CAROLINE GORDON ranked #54 in Amazon.com's listing of Literary/Letters books! Thrilled to be right behind Van Gogh.
"[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”
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
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