Posted by: jackslife | June 12, 2009

The Localism of Flannery O’Connor

I’m behind the times here, but there is another great Jason Peters artcle on FPR about the great Flannery O’Connor.  O’Connor has long been one of my favorite writers.  In fact, I have an O’Connor quote above my desk that reads, “Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers.  My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.  There’s many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.”

I had never really put my finger on the role of placelessness in O’Connor stories.  I can see that theme in the examples that Peters sites.  It seems that the “villains” (for lack of a better word) in her stories are often some variation on placeless.

If you have never read O’Connor, I highly recommend that you do so.  She wrote a number of short stories that are incredible.  I would especially recommend the stories, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Good Country People” as a starting point.  O’Connor’s social and religious commentary seems to be obscured in some people’s minds by the unexpected violence of her stories, but for those who are willing to expend the time and thought there is a wealth of beauty and truth to be found.


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