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Flannery O'connor's Journal Reveals A Kindred Spirit

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Have you ever felt like a struggling writer with no confidence that your writing will impact anyone's life? You're not alone...
 

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“I AM. THIS IS NOT PURE CONCEIT. I am not self-satisfied but I feel that God has made my life empty in this respect so that I may fill it in some wonderful way—the word ‘wonderful’ frightens me. It may be anything but wonderful. I may grovel the rest of my life in a stew of effort, of misguided hope.”

Flannery O’Connor wrote these solemn words, weighty for a young woman of just 18, in 1943, in her college journal. The writer is most known for her short, strange stories, including “A Temple of the Holy Ghost” and “Good Country People,” that were characterized equally by their rootedness in her lifelong Catholic belief and their quirky flair for the Southern Gothic. Because O’Connor died at the height of her literary career, fans hungry for more of her words devour whatever remaining bits and pieces are released from her tightly guarded estate. Now, with the publication of her college-era scribbles, arrives another long-awaited, if modest, offering.

 

The journal—published for the first time in the current issue of Image, an arts and faith quarterly—covers just 40 days from December 1943 through February 1944, and was written during O’Connor’s sophomore year at what was then Georgia State College for Women. Despite its brevity, the diary is an illuminating document that offers a glimpse into the mind of the artist as a young woman.

 

 

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Wonderful article, marred only by another dip of the pen into victimhood being the sole property of women.  I'd never heard of Flannery O'Conner, but because of your post I'll find some of her work to read. Her work  sounds fascinating.

Edited by suspensewriter
goofed the wording

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O'Connor was a brilliant author writing to the mainstream about spiritual issues in a provocative but literary way. 
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/11/the-passion-of-flannery-oconnor/309532/

 

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The boys in the classroom were right to be scared of her irony. O’Connor’s was not the shifty, reactive, and merely local variety that passes for irony today: sitcom irony, skinny-jeans irony. It was vertical and biblical: the irony by which the mighty are lowered, the humble exalted, and the savior dies on a cross. And she would shortly be required to submit to it herself, in full. Within three years of leaving Iowa, where she had prayed for desire of the Lord to claim her like a disease, she was diagnosed with lupus. Stricken, she returned to her mother’s farm in Milledgeville, her base of production for the novels Wise Blood and The Violent Bear It Away, and the short-story collections A Good Man Is Hard to Findand Everything That Rises Must Converge, the latter published posthumously. Health and sex and adventure had been taken from her, and in their place was a vision, her world, blast-lit and still reeling under the first shock of creation. “The air was so quiet,” she wrote in “The River,” “he could hear the broken pieces of the sun knocking in the water.” It was a gift. And we are left with a question: Without this terrible narrowing-down, would she have achieved the greatness she prayed for? This illness, this thing that confined her, that hauled her, crutches clanking, into a premature spinsterhood, and finally killed her at the age of 39, can we call it by the name of grace? Dare we?

 

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I'll call it Grace.  I dare to believe in a God that lives to bring good out of evil instead of protecting us from it.  Thank you for introducing her to us.  I'll be looking for those works for my reading edification, and pleasure.  

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