Flannery O’Connor: Take One for Pain ~ BitterSweetLife

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Flannery O’Connor: Take One for Pain

In the last week I’ve got through about 700 pages of required reading for my one-week intensive course. The purpose of this post is not to comment on the quality of what I’m choking down consuming. Rather, I wanted to note that in the last couple days, I’ve begun to intersperse the official reading sessions with Flannery O’Connor’s short stories to make life more bearable.

Maybe this is not, strictly speaking, the most efficient plan of action. But, as is said of such troubled times, “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” and say what you want, “A Good Man Is Hard To Find.” I’m not claiming to be a good man, but I readily admit to trying to keep myself sane. Sometimes you have to read one thing before you can read the other thing. And yes, I know “Judgment Day” is just around the corner; my class starts Tuesday.

In order to add some substance to this distracted post, I’m linking to an excellent post on O’Connor from Justin Taylor’s blog. Taylor extensively cites Credenda Agenda, a small-market magazine which is eagerly devoured by that smallest of market segments, theologians who have a sense of humor. You had better at least take a look.

As for me, surviving the next seven days will require a very pronounced sense of humor. But, Flannery O’Connor.

Here's an excerpt to get you started.

Flannery O'Connor is easily the most important and talented and self-consciously Christian short story author of the twentieth century. Nobody else is close. I've seen her stories revolutionize people's lives, and yet most Christians have never even heard her name. Sure, many Christian academics and writers sing her praises, especially of late. But we should all know her stories inside and out; they should be easy allusions in conversation; they should be common parables in our teens' mouths. And we need to master her style and absorb her insights before the next generation can build upon her gifts.
That's Douglas Jones of Credenda Agenda speaking. Now go read the rest, it gets better.

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Roger "Bud" Oliver said...

I had thought of several stunning comments to make regarding your excellent post here but thought better of it and will write my own blog on O'Connor's intersection with my journey. Thank you for the inspiration.

Bud Oliver


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife