A Literary Life                  1
Mary Flannery O’Connor                         2
Timeline Mary Flannery O’Connor, born in Savannah, Georgia – 1925 Life-long, practicing Roman Catholic Father died at a...
Lupus – A death influence                            4
Catholicism – A religious influence                                      5
Short story collections:      A Good Man is Hard to Find – 1955          includes:                 • “A Good Man is Hard...
Still in print, still popular                                7
Humor, Death, and Religion                             8
Contains the following short stories:         "A Good Man Is Hard to Find"                 "The River"                 "Th...
The short story:       “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”                                       10
A Grandmother   &   A Good Man                                 11
Southern Gothic                  12
A Good Man is Hard to Find                             13
The short story:      “A Late Encounter with the Enemy”                                          14
Southern Confederacy                       15
A Late Encounter with the Enemy                                  16
 What Flannery O’Connor had to say: “The South impresses its image on the Southerner – be he Catholic  or not – from the...
What the biographers/critics say: “ …. She is a Southerner and a Catholic … she is our only great Christian writer”   (PB...
Another opinion: “The question of Flannery OConnors place in the tradition of modern Southern  letters remains a vexing o...
Desmond, John F. "Flannery OConnor and the History behind the History." Modern Age 27.3-4 (Summer-Fall 1983): 290-296. Rpt...
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Flannery O'Connor

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Flannery O'Connor

  1. 1. A Literary Life 1
  2. 2. Mary Flannery O’Connor 2
  3. 3. Timeline Mary Flannery O’Connor, born in Savannah, Georgia – 1925 Life-long, practicing Roman Catholic Father died at age 45 from lupus when she was 16 – 1941 Graduated from Georgia State College for Women – 1945 Studied at Iowa Writers’ Workshop, U. of Iowa – 1946 Moved to Connecticut to study under classic scholar Robt. Fitzgerald – 1949 Diagnosed with lupus at age 25 and returned home to Georgia – 1951 First publication, Wise Blood, a novel – 1952 A Good Man is Hard to Find, first collection of short stories – 1955 Lived with mother on ancestral farm until death at age 39 from lupus – 1964 3
  4. 4. Lupus – A death influence 4
  5. 5. Catholicism – A religious influence 5
  6. 6. Short story collections:  A Good Man is Hard to Find – 1955  includes: • “A Good Man is Hard to Find” • “A Late Encounter with the Enemy”  Every Thing That Rises Must Converge – 1965 6
  7. 7. Still in print, still popular 7
  8. 8. Humor, Death, and Religion 8
  9. 9. Contains the following short stories: "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" "The River" "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" "A Stroke of Good Fortune" "A Temple of the Holy Ghost" "The Artificial Nigger" "A Circle in the Fire" "A Late Encounter with the Enemy" "Good Country People" "The Displaced Person 9
  10. 10. The short story:  “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” 10
  11. 11. A Grandmother & A Good Man 11
  12. 12. Southern Gothic 12
  13. 13. A Good Man is Hard to Find 13
  14. 14. The short story: “A Late Encounter with the Enemy” 14
  15. 15. Southern Confederacy 15
  16. 16. A Late Encounter with the Enemy 16
  17. 17.  What Flannery O’Connor had to say: “The South impresses its image on the Southerner – be he Catholic or not – from the moment he is able to distinguish one sound from another … I will admit to certain preoccupations with belief and with death and grace and the devil” (Walters). When asked to name the crucial influences upon her life, she answered: “Probably . . . being a Catholic, and a Southerner, and a writer” (Walters). Her subject, in her words, was “the action of grace in territory held largely by the devil” (PBS, Roman). 17
  18. 18. What the biographers/critics say: “ …. She is a Southerner and a Catholic … she is our only great Christian writer” (PBS, Wood). “ … Flannery O’Connor went to Mass nearly every day at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Milledgeville, … in central Georgia.” “You don’t have baptism, confession, and the Mass … . You have instead odd and grotesque, historically surprising events where people encounter the grace of God. (PBS, White) “A background both Southern and Catholic, a view of the artist grounded on a firm moral base, an extreme sensitivity to the mixed tragicomic nature of experience–these are the forces which shape OConnors vision and lend color and direction to her work” (Walters). “ … *R+emarkable capacity to blend the comic and the serious in a single view of reality … her own illness–as well as her fathers early death–suggests an obvious source of a pervasive concern of her writing: omnipresent death and disaster … . 18
  19. 19. Another opinion: “The question of Flannery OConnors place in the tradition of modern Southern letters remains a vexing one … . Some … argue that her rare blend of Christian orthodoxy, Southern regionalism, and comic literary genius makes her writing so unique as to defy categorization. Among some … there is a belief that her work simply does not adequately represent the complexities of the modern consciousness. … a kind of critical dualism which accepts and admires OConnors comic talent as a literary artist in spite … of the demanding religious vision embodied in her work. … suggest*ing] a split within OConnor herself–fiction writer on the one hand and believer on the other–and thus raises the whole complex issue of the relationship between her thought and her art. At other times the religious orthodoxy in her stories is ‘accepted’ as orthodoxy, but often with the deeply felt reservation that her presentation of the spiritual consciousness is too simplistic and antiquated to do full justice to the modern temper” (Desmond). 19
  20. 20. Desmond, John F. "Flannery OConnor and the History behind the History." Modern Age 27.3-4 (Summer-Fall 1983): 290-296. Rpt. In Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. JanetWitalec. Vol. 132. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 July 2012.Document URLhttp://go.galegroup.com.libdatabase.newpaltz.edu/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CH1420048657&v=2.1&u=newpaltz&it=r&p=LitRC&sw=wPublic Broadcasting Service. “Flannery O’Connor.” Religion and Ethics. PBS, 20 Nov. 2009.Web. 2 May 2012Walters, Dorothy. "Chapter 1: A Milledgeville Girl." Flannery OConnor. Dorothy Walters. NewYork: Twayne Publishers, 1973. Twaynes United States Authors Series 216. The TwayneAuthors Series. Web. 1 July 2012.Document URLhttp://go.galegroup.com.libdatabase.newpaltz.edu/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CH1472002092&v=2.1&u=newpaltz&it=r&p=LitRC&sw=w 20

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