Happy Birthday, Flannery O’Connor

In addition to being the feast of the Annunciation, today is Flannery O’Connor’s birthday! The brave southern writer, with eyes and imagination so keen she could find grace in the deepest darkness, would have been 88.

flannery oconnor, a good man is hard to find, flannery, southern novelist writer, catholic writer“The serious writer has always taken the flaw in human nature for his starting point, usually the flaw in an otherwise admirable character. Drama usually bases itself on the bedrock of original sin, whether the writer thinks in theological terms or not. Then, too, any character in a serious novel is supposed to carry a burden of meaning larger than himself. The novelist doesn’t write about people in a vacuum; he writes about people in a world where something is obviously lacking, where there is the general mystery of incompleteness and the particular tragedy of our own times to be demonstrated, and the novelist tries to give you, within the form of the book, the total experience of human nature at any time. For this reason, the greatest dramas naturally involve the salvation or loss of the soul. Where there is no belief in the soul, there is very little drama.”

-Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor

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3 comments on “Happy Birthday, Flannery O’Connor

  1. pam2626 says:

    She was a great writer! I have read all her short stories.

  2. Sean Johnson says:

    Definitely, Pam! Her stories are genius. If you enjoyed them, I can’t recommend her letters enough–not only do they give you a close look at a very neat lady, they’re chock-full of insight for avid readers/writers. Thanks for you comment!

  3. I recently re-read “The Violent Bear it Way,” and O’Connor’s insight, prose, and story telling just absolutely thrill me.

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