Flannery O’Connor, ” The King of the Birds,” and Easter Week

In “The King of the Birds,” Flannery O’Connor writes, “The Peacock likes to sit on gates or fence posts and allow his tail to hang down. A peacock on a fence post is a superb sight.” That vision may be a gold-flecked, Eastern Rite Crucifixion and Transfiguration all in a single instant. Fowl-famous at ageContinue reading “Flannery O’Connor, ” The King of the Birds,” and Easter Week”

Flannery, Fascism, Failings, and Flailings

During long correspondence, professional, spiritual, and personal, Betty Hester appears to have accused Flannery O’Connor of being a fascist. FO’C’s letters to Hester returned repeatedly to a defense against the charge. Unfortunately, I have not seen the prosecution’s indictment and don’t know if Betty Hester’s letter still exists. Flannery’s replies began on 25 August ’55,Continue reading “Flannery, Fascism, Failings, and Flailings”

The Violent Bear It Away: Razor Wire across a Plowed Plot

For over a decade, Caroline Gordon was generous with her advice to an inexperienced and she thought undereducated Flannery O’Connor. Initially, the younger woman accepted all criticism and direction without question; eventually, the narrow focus of the feedback caused O’Connor to balk and ask for second opinions from the Fitzgeralds and others. Gordon could beContinue reading “The Violent Bear It Away: Razor Wire across a Plowed Plot”

The Judgement of Geraniums: Shared Identities and Inspirations in Flannery O’Connor

– “What does the Bible say? ‘Driven off the face of the earth.’ Very well, I am off the face of the earth now. As I came at night so I shall go.” – “… Not naked like a soul on the Day of Judgment.” Joseph Conrad, “The Secret Sharer”   Flannery O’Connor closed theContinue reading “The Judgement of Geraniums: Shared Identities and Inspirations in Flannery O’Connor”

Happy Thanksgiving! “The Turkey” Courtesy of Flannery O’Connor

Today in America is Thanksgiving Day. As such, it might be a day particularly suited for the remembrance of Flannery O’Connor, and a day for remembering the noble fowl that Franklin proposed for our national emblem. The turkey is as mysterious and elusive as Regina’s Girl. Her potential for scowling wildness was penned up butContinue reading “Happy Thanksgiving! “The Turkey” Courtesy of Flannery O’Connor”

A Bone or Two to Gnaw on Flannery Friday, November 19, 2021

  In our tiny world, we celebrate Flannery Fridays. It may be both a gender and a generational misstep, but I confess to being a FLANboy. My philosophy is there is nothing to be lost from listening to smart people discuss Miss O’Connor’s wordcraft at every opportunity, even again and again. With this in mind,Continue reading “A Bone or Two to Gnaw on Flannery Friday, November 19, 2021”

(D) about “Grace”: A Comparison of the Workings of Grace in James Joyce and Flannery O’Connor

Mention in the diary of Stanislaus Joyce pins the attendance of John S. Joyce at a Gardiner Street retreat at Saint Francis on September 29, 1904. If a “gentleman” were to suffer a moral slip, he might tumble headfirst into the muck of Dublin’s Inferno. He might bite off a piece of his necessary tea-tasting tongueContinue reading “(D) about “Grace”: A Comparison of the Workings of Grace in James Joyce and Flannery O’Connor”

about Angela Alaimo O’Donnell’s “Talking Back to Dante”: a Set of Verses Inspired by the Divine Comedy

I might have posted here that I wrote something comparing James Joyce’s story “Grace” to O’Connor’s “The River.” Both stories use Dante’s Inferno for a sub-structure. Last night we eavesdropped on Angela Alaimo O’Donnell’s reading “Talking Back to Dante,” poems written for– about–of– Dante’s Divine Comedy. The professor has done it again. In Andalusian Hours,Continue reading “about Angela Alaimo O’Donnell’s “Talking Back to Dante”: a Set of Verses Inspired by the Divine Comedy”