Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O'Connor


Hailed by critics as one of the more controversial of contemporary American authors, Flannery O'Connor has been described as the most extreme Christian dualist since Dostoevsky. In this first full-length study of O'Connor's work, Browning explores the implications of O'Connor's situation as a Roman Catholic in the South in the 1950s.

From this point of departure Browning offers a detailed analysis of Wise Blood, A Good Man Is Hard to Find, The Violent Bear It Away,and Everything That Rises Must Converge. Touching upon writings about intensely religious acts and dilemmas, this look at a Roman Catholic Southern writer will be of special interest to students of philosophy and religion.


When most of us think of Flannery O'Connor (1925-64), we at once feel the impact her work has made upon us. It is a writing that is profound and, in the true sense of the word, terrible; it has great dramatic force, and its ideas are vitally projected. All this is what we feel and think when we hear or read the name Flannery O'Connor.

The secondary things come next, but they are closely connected with the primary. Her vision was the expression, not only of a gift that would have manifested itself anywhere, but also of one that took its particular characteristics from the author's environment; she was a practicing Catholic in the fundamentally protestant Deep South. There is also the secondary but important fact that she died slowly over the years and knew she was dying. But she kept on writing her fiction and, in the years since her death, it has received high acclaim, particularly her short stories. We now rank her among the finest recent American writers of fiction.

She once illuminatingly said that her writing was "literal in the same sense that a child's drawing is literal. When a child draws he doesn't try to be grotesque but to set down exactly what he sees, and as his gaze is direct, he sees the lines that create motion. I am interested in the lines that create spiritual motion." The oppositional always occurs in Flannery O'Connor's work, a dualism which Preston Browning valuably investigates in the present book, which deals with every possible aspect of Flannery O'Connor, from her beliefs (which themselves sometimes appear to be in con-

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