Flannery O'Connor's fiction is a reminder that the rural South is as good a place as any for transcendence to break through and reveal itself to the human gaze.
The story of Flannery O'Connor's life is the story of her inner life more than her outer life. In a letter to a friend she wrote, "My audience are the people who think God is dead. At least these are the people I am conscious of writing for." And writing for such a people required that she find a whole new language, a language she had to make up as she went along, drawing startling and large figures to get the attention of the almost blind, shouting in the ear of the almost deaf.
Her famous short story A Good Man Is Hard to Find was once called "profane, blasphemous, and outrageous," but for O'Connor, the real horror was never violence or deformity, but damnation. Horror that awakens a soul to its own danger and prepares it to receive grace is no horror, but a mercy. "The devil," she wrote, "accomplishes a good deal of groundwork that seems to be necessary before grace is effective."
In The Terrible Speed of Mercy Jonathan Rogers chronicles how a conventional, devout middle-class lady from a dairy farm in Milledgeville, Georgia, came to write stories that were like literary thunderstorms, turning on sudden violence and flashes of revelation that crashed down from the heavens, destroying even as they illuminated.Publishers Description
""Many of my ardent admirers would be roundly shocked and disturbed if they realized that everything I believe is thoroughly moral, thoroughly Catholic, and that it is these beliefs that give my work its chief characteristics.""
Flannery O'Connor's work has been described as "profane, blasphemous, and outrageous." Her stories are peopled by a sordid caravan of murderers and thieves, prostitutes and bigots whose lives are punctuated by horror and sudden violence. But perhaps the most shocking thing about Flannery O'Connor's fiction is the fact that it is shaped by a thoroughly Christian vision. If the world she depicts is dark and terrifying, it is also the place where grace makes itself known. Her world--our world--is the stage whereon the divine comedy plays out; the freakishness and violence in O'Connor's stories, so often mistaken for a kind of misanthropy or even nihilism, turn out to be a call to mercy.
In this biography, Jonathan Rogers gets at the heart of O'Connor's work. He follows the roots of her fervent Catholicism and traces the outlines of a life marked by illness and suffering, but ultimately defined by an irrepressible joy and even hilarity. In her stories, and in her life story, Flannery O'Connor extends a hand in the dark, warning and reassuring us of the terrible speed of mercy.
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.3" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.6"
Weight: 0.42 lbs.
Release Date Sep 18, 2012
Publisher THOMAS NELSON BOOKS #75
Availability 0 units.
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