Home > Uncategorized > Again from O’Connor

Again from O’Connor

Another choice quote from Flannery O’Connor’s Mystery and Manners:

Ever since there have been such things as novels, the world has been flooded with bad fiction for which the religious impulse has been responsible. The sorry religious novel comes about when the writer supposes that because of his belief, he is somehow dispensed from the obligation to penetrate concrete reality. He will think that the eyes of the Church or the Bible or of his particular theology have already done the seeing for him, and that his business is to re-arrange this essential vision into satisfying patterns, getting himself as little dirty in the process as possible. His feeling about this may have been made more definite by one of those Manichean-type theologies which sees the natural world as unworthy of penetration. But the real novelist, the one with an instinct for what he is about, knows that he cannot approach the infinite directly, that he must penetrate the natural human world as it is. (163)

That’s from another speech, entitled ‘Novelist and Believer.’ It’s turning out to be another one of my favorites.

And yet again, it seems a lesson theology needs no less than any other ‘religious art.’

Advertisements
  1. myles
    August 4, 2010 at 9:27 am

    “Many a best-seller could have been prevented by a good editor”.–F.O.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: