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555 pages, Paperback
First published November 8, 1971
She saw the streak as a vast swinging bridge extending upward from the earth through a field of living fire. Upon it a vast horde of souls were rumbling toward heaven. There were whole companies of whitetrash, clean for the first time in their lives, and bands of black niggers in white robes, and battalions of freaks and lunatics shouting and clapping and leaping like frogs. And bringing up the end of the procession was a tribe of people whom she recognized at once as those who, like herself and Claud, had always had a little of everything and the God-given wit to use it right.
‘A body and a spirit,’ he repeated. ‘The body, lady, is like a house: it don’t go anywhere; but the spirit, lady, is like a automobile: always on the move, always…’
‘Why listen, lady,’ he said with a grin of delight, ‘the monks of old slept in their coffins!’
‘They wasn’t as advanced as we are,’ the old woman said.
He didn’t like anything. He drove twenty miles every day to the university where he taught and twenty miles back every night, but he said he hated the twenty-mile drive and he hated the second-rate university and he hated the morons who attended it. He hated the country and he hated the life he lived; he hated living with his mother and his idiot brother and he hated hearing about the damn dairy and the damn help and the damn broken machinery. But in spite of all he said, he never made any move to leave.
“Habría sido una buena mujer si hubiera tenío a alguien cerca que le disparara cada minuto de su vida.”Quizás no haga falta una pistola y valga con la amenaza de un infierno apocalíptico. Como dijo una vez Harold Bloom refiriéndose a la autora “su sensibilidad era una mezcla extraordinaria de salvajismo sureño y severo catolicismo”. Y así ella misma quizás era la primera necesitada de esa amenaza que le facilitara mantener a raya su malvada y pecaminosa naturaleza.
"Over the years I came to see how much they had in common--a highly developed sense of comedy, deep faith, great intelligence. The aura of aloneness surrounding each of them was not an accident. It was their métier, in which they refined and deepened their very different talents in a short span of time. They both died at the height of their powers."
"When Flannery died, Thomas Merton was not exaggerating his estimate of her worth when he said he would not compare her with such good writers as Hemingway, Porter and Sartre but rather with 'someone like Sophocles. . . I write her name with honor, for all the truth and all the craft with which she shows man's fall and his dishonor.'"
"Listen here," he hissed, "I don't care if he's good or not. He ain't right!A Stroke of Good Fortune. The Life You Save May Be Your Own. The River. The Displaced Person. A View of the Woods. The Lame Shall Enter First. Two of these are contained within Everything That Rises Must Converge. A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories has the other four. Neither one would have done as much good in my estimation as the works in toto. Key word my.
"You won't be the same again," the preacher said. "You'll count."I acquired this book with the personal penchant of Go Big or Go Home in mind, eyed it back whenever I felt it eyeing me, and began. Now at the end, older and wiser and a few Wiki articles smarter, I say that if O'Connor's character are grotesque, I know an awful lot of grotesque people. I say that the archaic definition of awe of dread, terror, is not nearly as archaic as some would believe and far more hope. I say that if I wanted to understand O'Connor, I would have to understand the South, and to do that I would have to understand Catholicism, and to do that I would have to devote my life to literature in a much more concentrated manner than I am want to seriously consider.
"The world was made for the dead. Think of all the dead there are.Fortunately for O'Connor, morality is an uncomfortable nitpick for and will be so for the rest of days. Unfortunately for O'Connor, I read her long after my phase of existential grasping had faded to musing embers and the chance of conversion was ripe for the rotting. Fortunately, I am all too well acquainted with the tightwire between "I am a good person," and "I see me when I'm sleeping, . I know when I'm awake," to the point of nauseated pain, enough to see what she seeks to show in other things beyond the scope of religion and belief. Unfortunately, I am neither in love enough with her particular disturbation to seek her out before the very far future has come my way, nor am I certain that my positive judgment of her work hinges but a little on the whiteness of my skin. Conflict, conflict. Whether good or ill for her, she will long be kept as a subject of contemplation.
She was sorry that the poor man had been chased out of Poland and run across Europe and had had to take up in a tenant shack in a strange country, but she had not been responsible for any of it...[he] had probably not had to struggle enough.There's something ugly but true in all of her works, a vein that would do well to acquire a name deeper than the common 'hypocrisy' when realization of such often demands the death of the realizer, if not more. All for the reader's benefit, of course, the implication of 'woe to those who refuse to heed' thrown in free with sardonic glee. Not horror, but Old Testament. Not raison d'être, but your godforsaken soul.
"Oh, I see," the stranger said. "It ain't the Day of Judgment for him you're worried about, it's the Day of Judgment for you."I may not be Catholic, but that is not an "anything but".
"...she might experience a painful realization and this would be the only thing of value he had to leave her.
She had married him when he was an old man and because of his money but there had been another reason that she would not admit then, even to herself: she had liked him.
She stared across the lot where there was nothing but a profusion of pink and yellow and purple weeds, and on across the red road, to the sullen line of black pine woods fringed on top with green. Behind that line was a narrow gray-blue line of more distant woods and beyond that nothing but the sky, entirely blank except for one or two threadbare clouds. She looked at the scene as if it were a person she preferred to him.