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Collected Works by Flannery O'Connor
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Collected Works

by Flannery O'Connor

Other authors: Sally Fitzgerald (Editor)

Series: Library of America (39)

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1,294149,254 (4.61)34

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» See also 34 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
"Wise blood", "A good man is hard to find", "The violent bear it away", "Everything that rises must converge", "Stories and occasional prose", "Letters"
  IICANA | May 5, 2016 |
WISE BLOOD:
The two words most commonly used to describe this novel are "grotesque" and "gothic". It is certainly both of those things. It is also a bit bewildering, even on a second reading, even with some critical assistance. It is primarily the story of an angry young man proselytizing against Christianity by preaching from the hood of his car (which is also his home, and symbolic of his doomed journey). Hazel Motes thinks he is rejecting the teachings of his upbringing by touting the "Church Without Christ"...he is in earnest, unlike the charlatan evangelists with whom he crosses paths and figurative swords, but really, he protests too much. Hazel's need to convince others that "there was no Fall because there was nothing to fall from and no Redemption because there was no Fall and no Judgment because there wasn't the first two", and that blasphemy is the only way to truth, only convinces the reader of his need to believe in something with the same passion as any other religious fanatic. How can there be blasphemy without something to blaspheme against? "Your conscience is a trick", Hazel preaches. "It don't exist...and if you think it does, you had best get it out in the open and hunt it down and kill it, because it's no more than your face in the mirror is or your shadow behind you...If you don't hunt it down and kill it, it'll hunt you down and kill you". If the man truly believed that, then why bother to preach at all? O'Connor's writing is wonderful; there is human understanding in her depiction of a slew of unlikeable, even despicable, characters. Her dialog is pitch-perfect. And she certainly made me uncomfortable, which was her oft-stated intent. I "get" it...but that doesn't mean I buy all of it.
September 2015
  laytonwoman3rd | Sep 13, 2015 |
WISE BLOOD: The two words most commonly used to describe this novel are "grotesque" and "gothic". It is certainly both of those things. It is also a bit bewildering, even on a second reading, even with some critical assistance. It is primarily the story of an angry young man proselytizing against Christianity by preaching from the hood of his car (which is also his home, and symbolic of his doomed journey). Hazel Motes thinks he is rejecting the teachings of his upbringing by touting the "Church Without Christ"...he is in earnest, unlike the charlatan evangelists with whom he crosses paths and figurative swords, but really, he protests too much. Hazel's need to convince others that "there was no Fall because there was nothing to fall from and no Redemption because there was no Fall and no Judgment because there wasn't the first two", and that blasphemy is the only way to truth, only convinces the reader of his need to believe in something with the same passion as any other religious fanatic. How can there be blasphemy without something to blaspheme against? "Your conscience is a trick", Hazel preaches. "It don't exist...and if you think it does, you had best get it out in the open and hunt it down and kill it, because it's no more than your face in the mirror is or your shadow behind you...If you don't hunt it down and kill it, it'll hunt you down and kill you". If the man truly believed that, then why bother to preach at all? O'Connor's writing is wonderful; there is human understanding in her depiction of a slew of unlikeable, even despicable, characters. Her dialog is pitch-perfect. And she certainly made me uncomfortable, which was her oft-stated intent. I "get" it...but that doesn't mean I buy all of it.
September 2015
1 vote laytonwoman3rd | Sep 13, 2015 |
The Violent Bear It Away is a powerful, yet dark short story. O'Connor's writing has the ability to take the reader into the depths of the main characters with a residual uneasiness that continues long after the final sentence is complete. ( )
  nlgeorge | Sep 28, 2013 |
Flannery O'Connor wrote beautifully--whether it makes you laugh, cry, cringe or gasp in horror with its truthfulness. ( )
  bibliofile55 | Apr 9, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Early in her novel Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor describes protagonist Hazel Motes, leader of the Church without Christ, by the silhouette he casts on the sidewalk. “Haze’s shadow,” she writes, “was now behind him and now before him.” It’s a strange way to situate a character — skulking between his shadows — but it’s not unprecedented. In The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot’s narrator refers to “Your shadow at morning striding behind you/Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you.” Coincidence? Nobody can say for certain. But in the rare case of a critic linking O’Connor and Eliot, Sally Fitzgerald (O’Connor’s close friend) wrote that “it was Eliot and his Waste Land who provided for her the first impetus to write such a book as Wise Blood.”
 

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Flannery O'Connorprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fitzgerald, SallyEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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This collection contains all of Flannery O'Connor's novels and short story collections, as well as nine other stories, eight of her most important essays, and a selection of 259 letters, twenty-one published here for the first time.

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