Revelation and Convergence

Flannery O'Connor and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition
Author: Brent Little
Publisher: CUA Press
ISBN: 0813229421
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: N.A
View: 8606

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Flannery O'Connor's Religious Imagination

A World with Everything Off Balance
Author: George Kilcourse
Publisher: Paulist Press
ISBN: 9780809140053
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 328
View: 3616

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Explores how Flannery O'Connor's deep Catholic faith permeated her writing, with imaginative and sometimes grotesque characters searching for redemption and seeking God's grace through sometimes unusual and even bizarre means. Original.

Passing by the Dragon

The Biblical Tales of Flannery O'Connor
Author: J. Ramsey Michaels
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1620322234
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 224
View: 988

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This book attempts a close reading of the fiction of Flannery O'Connor, story by story, with one eye on her use of the Bible, and her view of the Bible in relation to her own work. After introductory chapters on O'Connor's markings in her own Roman Catholic Bible, her book reviews in diocesan newspapers, and her impatience with her wayward readers, Michaels looks first at her two novels, Wise Blood and The Violent Bear It Away, and then at seventeen of her short stories from her two collections, A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Everything That Rises Must Converge. Michaels takes notice of O'Connor's explicit references to the Bible (or Bibles) in her stories, and looks more particularly to the ways in which the stories are driven at least in part by specific biblical texts. Among the themes that emerge are alienation or displacement, what it means to be "good," the relation between body and spirit and between the Old Testament and the New, issues of race and gender, and above all what O'Connor once called "the action of grace in territory held largely by the devil."

Flannery O’Connor and the Perils of Governing by Tenderness


Author: Jerome C. Foss
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 1498532608
Category: Political Science
Page: 218
View: 6415

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Flannery O’Connor’s fiction continues to haunt American readers, in part because of its uncanny ability to remind us who we are and what we need. Foss’s book reveals the extent to which O’Connor was a serious reader of the history of political philosophy. She understood the ideas upon which the American regime rests, and she evaluated those ideas from the standpoint of both faith and reason. Foss’s book explains why O’Connor feared that the modern habit to govern by tenderness would lead to terror. After a thorough account of her familiarity with the history of political philosophy, Foss shows how the works of Plato, Aristotle, Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Machiavelli, Locke, Rousseau, and Nietzsche inform O’Connor’s stories. This does not mean that O’Connor was writing about politics in the narrow sense. Her vision was deeply theological, and she carefully avoided topical stories that promote social agendas. Her concern was with the health of the American regime more broadly, insofar as the manners of a regime affect citizens’ attitudes toward religion. O’Connor does not present a political theory of her own, but as Foss argues, she was a political philosopher in the original sense of the word. Her stories give clear accounts of her political wisdom. Foss further shows the continued relevance of her wisdom in age dominated by abstract modern theories, such as that of John Rawls.

A Prayer Journal


Author: Flannery O'Connor
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374709696
Category: Religion
Page: 112
View: 6015

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"I would like to write a beautiful prayer," writes the young Flannery O'Connor in this deeply spiritual journal, recently discovered among her papers in Georgia. "There is a whole sensible world around me that I should be able to turn to Your praise." Written between 1946 and 1947 while O'Connor was a student far from home at the University of Iowa, A Prayer Journal is a rare portal into the interior life of the great writer. Not only does it map O'Connor's singular relationship with the divine, but it shows how entwined her literary desire was with her yearning for God. "I must write down that I am to be an artist. Not in the sense of aesthetic frippery but in the sense of aesthetic craftsmanship; otherwise I will feel my loneliness continually . . . I do not want to be lonely all my life but people only make us lonelier by reminding us of God. Dear God please help me to be an artist, please let it lead to You." O'Connor could not be more plain about her literary ambition: "Please help me dear God to be a good writer and to get something else accepted," she writes. Yet she struggles with any trace of self-regard: "Don't let me ever think, dear God, that I was anything but the instrument for Your story." As W. A. Sessions, who knew O'Connor, writes in his introduction, it was no coincidence that she began writing the stories that would become her first novel, Wise Blood, during the years when she wrote these singularly imaginative Christian meditations. Including a facsimile of the entire journal in O'Connor's own hand, A Prayer Journal is the record of a brilliant young woman's coming-of-age, a cry from the heart for love, grace, and art.

Peculiar Crossroads

Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and Catholic Vision in Postwar Southern Fiction
Author: Farrell O'Gorman
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 9780807133354
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 272
View: 6484

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In Peculiar Crossroads, Farrell O'Gorman explains how the radical religiosity of both Flannery O'Connor's and Walker Percy's vision made them so valuable as southern fiction writers and social critics. Via their spiritual and philosophical concerns, O'Gorman asserts, these two unabashedly Catholic authors bequeathed a postmodern South of shopping malls and interstates imbued with as much meaning as Appomattox or Yoknapatawpha. O'Gorman builds his argument with biographical, historical, literary, and theological evidence, examining the writers' work through intriguing pairings, such as O'Connor's Wise Blood with Percy's The Moviegoer, and O'Connor's A Good Man Is Hard to Find with Percy's Lancelot. An impeccable exercise in literary history and criticism, Peculiar Crossroads renders a genuine understanding of the Catholic sensibility of both O'Connor and Percy and their influence among contemporary southern writers.

A Subversive Gospel

Flannery O'Connor and the Reimagining of Beauty, Goodness, and Truth
Author: Michael Bruner
Publisher: IVP Academic
ISBN: 9780830850662
Category: Religion
Page: 260
View: 8320

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The good news of Jesus Christ is a subversive gospel, and following Jesus is a subversive act. These notions were embodied in the literary work of American author Flannery O'Connor, whose writing was deeply informed by both her Southern context and her Christian faith. In this volume in IVP Academic's Studies in Theology and the Arts series, theologian Michael Bruner explores O Connor's theological aesthetic and argues that she reveals what discipleship to Christ entails by subverting the traditional understandings of beauty, truth, and goodness through her fiction. In addition, Bruner challenges recent scholarship by exploring the little-known influence of Baron Friedrich von Hügel, a twentieth-century Roman Catholic theologian, on her work. Bruner's study thus serves as a guide for those who enjoy reading O'Connor and—even more so—those who, like O'Connor herself, follow the subversive path of the crucified and risen one.

Flannery O'Connor, Hermit Novelist


Author: Richard Giannone
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252025280
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 287
View: 7002

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"Lord, I'm glad I'm a hermit novelist", Flannery O'Connor wrote to a friend in 1957. Sequestered by ill health, O'Connor spent the last thirteen years of her life on the family farm in rural Georgia, which she claimed was accessible "only by bus or buzzard". During this productive, solitary time she became increasingly fascinated by fourth-century Christians who retreated to the desert for spiritual replenishment. In Flannery O'Connor, Hermit Novelist, Richard Giannone explores O'Connor's identification with these early Christian monastics, a bond that stemmed from her faith as well as her own isolation and physical suffering from lupus, and the ways in which their strange, still voices illuminate her fiction. Distinguishing among various desert calls summoning O'Connor's protagonists to solitude and renunciation, Giannone shows how these characters live out a radical simplicity of ascetic discipline as a means of grappling with their demons and drawing closer to God. Combining discussion of her fiction with biographical detail and excerpts from the writings of the early Christians, Giannone reveals how O'Connor's treatment of the desert brings self-denial and self-scrutiny to bear on the urgencies of modern American life. Through the insights of the ancient monastics, Flannery O'Connor, Hermit Novelist not only clarifies the bizarre demonology that has long perplexed O'Connor's readers but also reveals in her fiction an attention to the qualities of inner life and a prescient concern for the rampant evil and dissensions of the outside world.

The Letters of Flannery O'Connor and Caroline Gordon


Author: Christine Flanagan
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820354074
Category: Literary Collections
Page: 272
View: 400

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“This girl is a real novelist,” wrote Caroline Gordon about Flannery O’Connor upon being asked to review a manuscript of O’Connor’s first novel, Wise Blood. “She is already a rare phenomenon: a Catholic novelist with a real dramatic sense, one who relies more on her technique than her piety.” This collection of letters and other documents offers the most complete portrait of the relationship between two of the American South’s most acclaimed twentieth-century writers: Flannery O’Connor and Caroline Gordon. Gordon (1895–1981) had herself been a protégée of an important novelist, Ford Madox Ford, before publishing nine novels and three short story collections of her own, most notably, The Forest of the South and Old Red and Other Stories, and she would offer insights and friendship to O’Connor during almost all of O’Connor’s career. As revealed in this collection of correspondence, Gordon’s thirteen-year friendship with O’Connor (1925–64) and the critiques of O’Connor’s fiction that she wrote during this time not only fostered each writer’s career but occasioned a remarkable series of letters full of insights about the craft of writing. Gordon, a more established writer at the start of their correspondence, acted as a mentor to the younger O’Connor and their letters reveal Gordon’s strong hand in shaping some of O’Connor’s most acclaimed work, including Wise Blood, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” and “The Displaced Person.”

Giving the Devil His Due

Demonic Authority in the Fiction of Flannery O'Connor and Fyodor Dostoevsky
Author: Jessica Hooten Wilson
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 1498291384
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 156
View: 6563

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Flannery O'Connor and Fyodor Dostoevsky shared a deep faith in Christ, which compelled them to tell stories that force readers to choose between eternal life and demonic possession. Their either-or extremism has not become more popular in the last fifty to a hundred years since these stories were first published, but it has become more relevant to a twenty-first-century culture in which the lukewarm middle ground seems the most comfortable place to dwell. Giving the Devil His Due walks through all of O'Connor's stories and looks closely at Dostoevsky's magnum opus The Brothers Karamazov to show that when the devil rules, all hell breaks loose. Instead of this kingdom of violence, O'Connor and Dostoevsky propose a kingdom of love, one that is only possible when the Lord again is king.

Wise Blood

A Novel
Author: Flannery O'Connor
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9780374530631
Category: Fiction
Page: 236
View: 2803

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The passengers on the train to Taulkinham show mixed reactions when Haze questions their belief in Jesus.

The Violent Bear It Away

A Novel
Author: Flannery O'Connor
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1466829052
Category: Fiction
Page: 256
View: 3341

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First published in 1955, The Violent Bear It Away is now a landmark in American literature. It is a dark and absorbing example of the Gothic sensibility and bracing satirical voice that are united in Flannery O'Conner's work. In it, the orphaned Francis Marion Tarwater and his cousins, the schoolteacher Rayber, defy the prophecy of their dead uncle--that Tarwater will become a prophet and will baptize Rayber's young son, Bishop. A series of struggles ensues: Tarwater fights an internal battle against his innate faith and the voices calling him to be a prophet while Rayber tries to draw Tarwater into a more "reasonable" modern world. Both wrestle with the legacy of their dead relatives and lay claim to Bishop's soul. O'Connor observes all this with an astonishing combination of irony and compassion, humor and pathos. The result is a novel whose range and depth reveal a brilliant and innovative writers acutely alert to where the sacred lives and to where it does not.

A Political Companion to Flannery O'Connor


Author: Henry T. Edmondson III
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813169429
Category: Political Science
Page: 398
View: 7380

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Acclaimed author and Catholic thinker Flannery O'Connor (1925--1964) penned two novels, two collections of short stories, various essays, and numerous book reviews over the course of her life. Her work continues to fascinate, perplex, and inspire new generations of readers and poses important questions about human nature, ethics, social change, equality, and justice. Although political philosophy was not O'Connor's pursuit, her writings frequently address themes that are not only crucial to American life and culture, but also offer valuable insight into the interplay between fiction and politics. A Political Companion to Flannery O'Connor explores the author's fiction, prose, and correspondence to reveal her central ideas about political thought in America. The contributors address topics such as O'Connor's affinity with writers and philosophers including Eric Voegelin, Edith Stein, Russell Kirk, and the Agrarians; her attitudes toward the civil rights movement; and her thoughts on controversies over eugenics. Other essays in the volume focus on O'Connor's influences, the principles underlying her fiction, and the value of her work for understanding contemporary intellectual life and culture. Examining the political context of O'Connor's life and her responses to the critical events and controversies of her time, this collection offers meaningful interpretations of the political significance of this influential writer's work.

Everything That Rises Must Converge

Stories
Author: Flannery O'Connor
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 1466829036
Category: Fiction
Page: 320
View: 3555

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Flannery O'Connor was working on Everything That Rises Must Converge at the time of her death. This collection is an exquisite legacy from a genius of the American short story, in which she scrutinizes territory familiar to her readers: race, faith, and morality. The stories encompass the comic and the tragic, the beautiful and the grotesque; each carries her highly individual stamp and could have been written by no one else.

The Life You Save May Be Your Own

Short Story
Author: Flannery O'Connor
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 1443440280
Category: Fiction
Page: 25
View: 4854

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When Tom Shiftlet arrives on a farm owned by an old woman and her deaf daughter, he is at first only interested in finding a place to stay in exchange for work. However, when the old woman offers her daughter Lucynell to him in marriage, along with a sum of money, he accepts, though his intentions towards the girl remain unclear. Similar in theme and style to many of other Flannery O’Connor’s short stories, “The Life You Save My Be Your Own” was originally published in O’Connor’s short story collection, A Good Man Is Hard to Find. HarperPerennial Classics brings great works of literature to life in digital format, upholding the highest standards in ebook production and celebrating reading in all its forms. Look for more titles in the HarperPerennial Classics collection to build your digital library.

The Wounded Angel

Fiction and the Religious Imagination
Author: Paul Lakeland
Publisher: Liturgical Press
ISBN: 0814646476
Category: Religion
Page: 242
View: 9475

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In this unique book, readers are taken on a journey to explore the role of the imagination in the face of mystery, whether it be the mystery of God, whose full reality lies beyond our earthly horizons, or the deepest mysteries of life hinted at in the work of fiction. By attending to a series of novels, Paul Lakeland proposes serious fiction as an antidote to the failure of the religious imagination today and shows how literature might lead the secular mind at least to the threshold of mystery.

Contending for the Faith

The Church's Engagement with Culture
Author: Ralph C. Wood
Publisher: Baylor University Press
ISBN: 091895486X
Category: Religion
Page: 218
View: 6957

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In this book Ralph Wood calls for churches to offer a sustained an unapologetically Christian witness to a postmodern world. Wood carefully chronicles how the church is watching the complete destruction of post-Christian institutions and practices that once shaped human character toward fulfillment in goods larger than humanity's own self-interest - the chief of these being the worship and service of God. Wood contends that Christian existence can never be taken for granted, and so the church itself must seek to create a Christian culture that offers the world a drastic alternative to its own cultureless existence.

Recognizing the Gift

Toward a Renewed Theology of Nature and Grace
Author: Daniel A. Rober
Publisher: Fortress Press
ISBN: 1506409083
Category: Religion
Page: 224
View: 3117

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Recognizing the Gift puts twentieth-century Catholic theological conversations on nature and grace, particularly those of Henri de Lubac and Karl Rahner, into dialogue with Continental philosophy, notably the thought of Jean-Luc Marion and Paul Ricoeur. It argues that a renewed theology of nature and grace must build on the accomplishments of the recent past while acknowledging that an engagement with the political is unavoidable for theology. Ultimately, the aim is to revive and broaden discussion of nature and grace by drawing together the insights of contemporary theologians and Continental philosophers. Too often these areas of inquiry remain quite separate, in part due to differing priorities. This work tries to open that conversation, in part by critically pointing out, in dialogue with Ricoeur, the need in Marion’s work for an acknowledgment of recognition, reciprocity, and the political. It thus argues for a theology of nature and grace in terms of recognition of the gift, drawing out the reciprocal and political nature of gift and givenness in opposition to those, including Marion, who would seek to avoid politics and reciprocity as a proper avenue of inquiry for theology.

The Letters of Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton


Author: Patrick Samway, S.J.
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Pess
ISBN: 0268092885
Category: Religion
Page: 408
View: 1856

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From the time they first met as undergraduates at Columbia College in New York City in the mid-1930s, the noted editor Robert Giroux (1914–2008) and the Trappist monk and writer Thomas Merton (1915–1968) became friends. The Letters of Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton capture their personal and professional relationship, extending from the time of the publication of Merton's 1948 best-selling spiritual autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, until a few months before Merton's untimely death in December 1968. As editor-in-chief at Harcourt, Brace & Company and then at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Giroux not only edited twenty-six of Merton's books but served as an adviser to Merton as he dealt with unexpected problems with his religious superiors at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky, as well as those in France and Italy. These letters, arranged chronologically, offer invaluable insights into the publishing process that brought some of Merton's most important writings to his readers. Patrick Samway, S.J., had unparalleled access not only to the materials assembled here but to Giroux's unpublished talks about Merton, which he uses to his advantage, especially in his beautifully crafted introduction that interweaves the stories of both men with a chronicle of their personal and collaborative relationship. The result is a rich and rewarding volume, which shows how Giroux helped Merton to become one of the greatest spiritual writers of the twentieth century.