Lawrence Downes, writing in the New York Times last Thursday, complains that the new ninety-three-cent postage stamp doesn’t show Flannery O’Connor as “the 20th-century master of the short story, the ‘hermit novelist’ who fused her art and life as a Southerner and a Roman Catholic with stories that are shocking, hilarious and often bloody.” I kind of agree. But on the other hand this could be an image of Flannery O’Connor in heaven, and that seems all right to me. Plus, beggars can’t be choosers.
Regarding Ms. O’Connor and her struggle with the ultimate tension of any fictionist – nature and grace – Paul Elie has a new shot soaring across the secular bow here.
In which the esteemed law prof and perspicacious culture critic ponders an interesting O’Connor-Percy connection.
Flannery O'Connor and Shelby Foote just got name-checked on the Mets broadcast.
— Michael B Dougherty (@michaelbd) May 14, 2014
Friend of Korrektiv (if only because we consider ourselves friends with her) Professor Jessica Hooten Wilson is teaching in Prague, or has recently. Flannery O’Connor! Walker Percy! For the latter, see also here.
So two Polish Churchmen and an Irish American fiction writer walk into a controversy and the first Pole compounds the controversy started by the second Pole by turning to the second Pole and saying, “Lack of emotional approach to the human person – seemingly substituted by the notion of the ‘quality of life’ – a symptom of our times.”
“Did you get the article I sent you?” asked my father.
“It’s about the new book of Flannery O’Connor’s letters.”
“No, I’m talking about the book of letters.” [Good Things Out of Nazareth: Letters of Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, and Caroline Gordon, edited by Benjamin Boatwright Alexander]
“Oh. No, I hadn’t heard about that.”
But my mother had. She saw an interview with Alexander on EWTN.
Hat tip to Greg Camacho, who sent a link to this fine radio interview about the prayer journal, featuring editor Bill Sessions, noted Catholic lit guy Paul Elie, and Carlene Bauer, who got the jump on Korrektiv Press’s Lives of Famous Catholics by doing a fictionalized version of the quasi-romance between O’Connor and the poet Robert Lowell. (Yaddo, Yaddo!) Bonus Percy mention: Sessions says he has letters from our man as well.
Anyway, let’s write some stuff and publish it. You know, like all these fine people did.
O’Connor’s A Prayer Journal is out November 12.