Wise Blood Quotes

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Wise Blood Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
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Wise Blood Quotes (showing 1-30 of 36)
“Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“Faith is what someone knows to be true, whether they believe it or not.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“There are all kinds of truth ... but behind all of them there is only one truth and that is that there's no truth.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“It's easier to bleed than sweat, Mr. Motes.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it. Where is there a place for you to be? No place.

Nothing outside you can give you any place," he said. "You needn't look at the sky because it's not going to open up and show no place behind it. You needn't to search for any hole in the ground to look through into somewhere else. You can't go neither forwards nor backwards into your daddy's time nor your children's if you have them. In yourself right now is all the place you've got. If there was any Fall, look there, if there was any Redemption, look there, and if you expect any Judgment, look there, because they all three will have to be in your time and your body and where in your time and your body can they be?”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“I preach there are all kinds of truth, your truth and somebody else's, but behind all of them, there's only one truth and that is that there is no truth... No truth behind all truths is what I and this church preach! Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it. Where is there a place for you to be? No place... In yourself right now is all the place you've got.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“Later he saw Jesus move from tree to tree in the back of his mind, a wild ragged figure motioning him to turn around and come off into the dark where he might be walking on the water and not know it and then suddenly know it and drown.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“Her name was Maude and she drank whisky all day from a fruit jar under the counter.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“...free will does not mean one will, but many wills conflicting in one man. Freedom cannot be conceived simply.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock -- to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“He had the feeling that everything he saw was a broken-off piece of some giant blank thing that he had forgotten had happened to him.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“It began to drizzle rain and he turned on the windshield wipers; they made a great clatter like two idiots clapping in church.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“I'm a member and preacher to that church where the blind don't see and the lame don't walk and what's dead stays that way.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“I don't have to run from anything because I don't believe in anything.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“There was already a deep black wordless conviction in him that the way to avoid Jesus was to avoid sin.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“That's the trouble with you preachers," he said. "You've all got too good to believe in anything," and he drove off with a look of disgust and righteousness.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“I can smell the sin on your breath.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“The Bible was the only book he read. He didn't read it often but when he did he wore his mother's glasses. They tired his eyes so that after a short time he was always obliged to stop.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“Leave!’ Hazel Motes cried. ‘Go ahead and leave! The truth don’t matter to you. Listen,’ he said, pointing his finger at the rest of them, ‘the truth don’t matter to you. If Jesus had redeemed you, what difference would it make to you? You wouldn’t do nothing about it. Your faces wouldn’t move, neither this way nor that, and if it was three crosses there and Him hung on the middle one, that wouldn’t mean no more to you and me than the other two. Listen here. What you need is something to take the place of Jesus, something that would speak plain. The Church Without Christ don’t have a Jesus but it needs one! It needs a new jesus! It needs one that’s all man, without blood to waste, and it needs one that don’t look like any other man so you’ll look at him. Give me such a jesus, you people. Give me such a new jesus and you’ll see how far the Church Without Christ can go!”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“Listen, friends," said the disciple confidently, " [...] I didn't have a friend in the world. Do you know what it's like not to have a friend in the world?"
"It ain't no worsen havinum that would put a knife in your back when you wasn't looking," the older man said, barely parting his lips.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“His friends told him that nobody was interested in his goddam soul unless it was the priest and he managed to answer that no priest taking orders from no pope was going to tamper with his soul. They told him he didn't have any soul and left for the brothel.

He took a long time to believe them because he wanted to believe them. All he wanted was to believe them and get rid of it once and for all, and he saw opportunity here to get rid of it without corruption, to be converted to nothing instead of to evil. The army sent him halfway around the world and forgot him. He was wounded and they remembered him long enough to take the shrapnel out of his chest - they said they took it out but they never showed it to him and he felt it still in there, rusted, and poisoning him - and then they sent him to another desert and forgot him again. He had all the time he could want to study his soul in and assure himself that it was not there. When he was thoroughly convinced, he saw that this was something that he had always known.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“The park was the heart of the city. He had come to the city – and with a knowing in his blood – he had established himself at the heart of it. Everyday he looked at the heart of it; every day; he was so stunned and awed and overwhelmed that just to think about it made him sweat. There was something, in the center of the park, that he had discovered. It was a mystery although it was in a glass case for everybody to see and there was a typewritten card over it telling all about it. But there was something the card couldn't say and what it couldn't say was inside him. He could not show the mystery to just anybody; but he had to show it to somebody. Who he had to show it to was a special person. This person could not be from the city but he didn't know why. He knew he would know him when he saw him and that he would have to see him soon or the nerve inside him would grow so big that he would be forced to steal a car or rob a bank or jump out of a dark alley onto a woman.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“As was usual with him, he began with the least important thing and worked around and in toward the center where the meaning was.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“You might as well go one place as another," he said. "That's all I know.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“This shiffer-robe belongs to Hazel Motes. Do not steal it or you will be hunted down and killed.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“Does one's integrity ever lie in what he is not able to do? I think that usually it does, for free will does not mean one will, but many wills conflicting in one man. Freedom cannot be conceived simply. It is a mystery and one which a novel, even a comic novel, can only be asked to deepen.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“That belief in Christ is to some a matter of life and death has been a stumbling block for readers who would prefer to think it a matter of no great consequence.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“I preach there are all kinds of truth, your truth and somebody else’s, but behind all of them, there’s only one truth and that is that there’s no truth,”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood
“...sitting with him was like sitting by yourself; he didn't talk except when it suited him. You asked him a question in the morning and he might answer in the afternoon, or he might never.”
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood

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