The World of Flannery O
194 Pages

The World of Flannery O'Connor



Josephine Hendin's landmark study explores the fiction that erupted from Flannery O'Connor's enigmatic contradictions: she was the dutiful daughter of a conservative Southern family, the uncompromising Roman Catholic, the stoic figure enduring a painful fatal illness, and the author of strange and violent tales that exploded all the virtues of heritage, obedience, and faith. The tension between those disparate selves drives the complexity of Flannery O'Connor's literary achievement into the center of American experience.
While other critics have chosen to treat Flannery O'Connor as a traditional Southern or dogmatic Catholic writer, Hendin takes a perceptively fresh view of her work in the context of contemporary fiction. Hendin illuminates all her fiction, beginning with the early novels and ending with Everything that Rises Must Converge. Differentiating her from other Southern writers, Hendin shows how O'Connor created a unique art, remarkable for its portrait of the agony of American yearning.



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Published 29 May 2009
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EAN13 9781725225053
Language English
Document size 14 MB

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Wipf and Stock Publishers 199 W 8th Ave, Suite 3 Eugene, OR 97401 World of Flannery O'Connor By Hendin, Josephine Copyright©1970 by Hendin, Josephine ISBN 13: 978-1-60608-465-6 Publication date 5/06/2009 Previously published by Indiana University Press, 1970
Series Foreword
F ory-five years ater er dea, Flannery O’Connor coninues o ineres readers. Graduae sudens wrie eses and scolars publis books analyzing er work. During is spring of 2009, a major biogra-py of O’Connor was publised and reviewed naionally. O’Connor’s readersip is no limied o academicians. According o on-line book dealers, er books coninue o sell well. O’Connor firs received criical aenion in e popular press, wic reviewed er firs novel,Wise Blood. Early reviewers were unsure of wa o make of e religious sruggles of Hazel Moes, O’Connor’s “sain in spie of imself.” Many reviewers ried o place O’Connor in a convenien pigeonole labeled “Souern Goic,” sug-gesing a er work was a pale imiaion of William Faulkner, Carson McCullers, Truman Capoe and, less favorably, Erskine Caldwell. One reviewer, objecing o e violence of some of er sories, called er work “igly unladylike.” O’Connor’s early reviewers oten failed o see e deps in er work. he lae 1950s broug e beginning of serious academic inquiry ino O’Connor’s ficion. In 1958,Critiquedevoed an enire issue o ar-icles on O’Connor and anoer Caolic auor, J. F. Powers. In 1962, he Sewanee Review“he Lame Sall Ener publised er novella, Firs,” and Jon Hawkes’ imporan aricle, “Flannery O’Connor’s Devil.”
Series Foreword
Books on O’Connor began o appear in e mid-1960s, ater er dea. Sanley Edgar Hyman wroe a sor monograp on er work as par of e “Pamples on American Wriers” se-ries publised by e Universiy of Minnesoa Press. Vanderbil Universiy Press publised Carer W. Marin’s sudyhe True Country: hemes in tHe Fiction of Flannery O’Connor1968. in hese volumes were useful inroducions o major emes in er work, bu more books were o follow. he early 1970s saw e publicaion of valuable books on O’Connor. Preson M. Browning publised one of e bes gen-eral inroducions o O’Connor’s life and work. Mara Sepens’ he Question of Flannery O’Connorexamined O’Connor’s seem-ingly ars, ausere Crisian worldview. Scolars like Jon R. May and David Eggenscwiler paid paricular aenion o e religious underpinnings of er ficion. May examined er so-ries as modern-day parables. Eggenscwiler relaed er work and oug o modern eology. Josepine Hendin ook e conroversial sep of looking a auobiograpical elemens in e sories. In er book, Carol Sloss suggesed a O’Connor addressed er work o “ose [readers] wo are unuored in religious belief ” in an effor o make i accessible o readers of any religious persuasion. hese books were originally publised in small prin runs by universiy presses and ave long since gone ou of prin. Wipf & Sock’s Flannery O’Connor Sudies Series brings some of ese imporan books back ino prin for conemporary readers. hey will elp readers gain greaer insig ino O’Connor’s ar. All e auors are living, oug some ave reired from eac-ing. heir work on O’Connor came early in eir careers. Eac scolar as coninued o work in academia and o publis books on oer lierary subjecs. hey ave graciously graned Wipf &
Series Foreword
Sock permission o bring eir early books back ino circula-ion. he casual reader and e academic will learn muc abou e life and ar of Flannery O’Connor from ese sudies.
Douglas Robillard, Jr. Series Edior for e Flannery O’Connor Sudies Series Universiy of Arkansas a Pine Bluff Marc 2009