Tag Archives: Flannery O’Connor

“Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads in Them” – Why Bother with Poetry?

This poem by the contentious, straightforward major American poet Marianne Moore came to mind tonight and I thought it was worth sharing. Cogently and succinctly she takes on the common objections and antipathy of the general public to the reading … Continue reading

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“Some Place” (is better than no place at all)

In the rural South, if you are a newbie in town, or just passing through, and pull into a truck stop or Mini-Mart, for however brief a time and however chintzy a purchase, you are sure to be asked a … Continue reading

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THE LONG SHADOW: Flannery O’Connor’s Masterful Use of Dread and Foreboding in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”

Copyright © 2014 by Margaret Langstaff, All Rights Reserved. THE LONG SHADOW Scholars and critics have poured over O’Connor’s amazing literary achievement in her story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” for decades. The power and inevitability of the … Continue reading

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“A Good Man Is Hard to Find”– A “Perfect” Short Story?

(c) Copyright  2014 Margaret Langstaff, All Rights Reserved It occurs to me as I approach writing an appreciation of this story that a reader’s ability to respond to it, let alone appreciate it, is not a sure thing anymore today. … Continue reading

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So What the Heck Is a Short Story? (A Dip into Lit Crit, A Prelude, before Our Swan Dive into O’Connor’s Stories)

I am amazed that so few readers and writers today have a clear idea of what this genre is supposed to look like, feel like, sound like, not to mention how long it should take to read one, AND (GASP)! … Continue reading

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In Her Own Voice: Flannery O’Connor Reads Aloud A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND

This recording will add tremendously to the reader’s understanding of this classic story. Straight from the horse’s mouth, a great author in her own voice tells the story in the way she wanted it to be heard and interpreted. This … Continue reading

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“The grandmother did not want to go to Florida.” Flannery O’Connor’s Mastery of the Short Story Form

(c) Copyright 2014,  Margaret Langstaff, All Rights Reserved. “The grandmother did not want to go to Florida” is the first line in O’Connor’s short story masterpiece, “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” It is a masterful opening line in … Continue reading

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The Library of America

If I am not careful, I am going to start sounding like a stodgy member of the literary establishment–NOT!  I think serious writers have to keep their distance–a safe one–from received opinion in order to access what it is that might … Continue reading

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Flannery O’Connor on Writing: You Are Always Bounded by What You Can Make Live …

Here  are a few short ones (all I have time for right now, apologies) but they may keep a certain sort thinking, chewing on them, for a while in spite of their brevity– “The sense of place is very highly developed in Southerners.” The … Continue reading

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Fllannery O’Connor on “The Meaning of a Story”

From THE HABIT OF BEING: THE LETTERS OF FLANNERY O’CONNOR, P.437 [O’Connor was frequently aggravated and frustrated by mis-readings and misunderstandings of her work by people who she felt should know better and who should have had the intellectual background … Continue reading

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Flannery O’Connor on Writing

Once one gets through the hesitancy and uncertainty of her youthful  scholarship student ruminations at the Iowa’s Writers Workshop in  THE HABIT OF BEING, the view broadens, the pace quickens and the takeaway for a writer scouring the book for useful tips and affirmation grows exponentially. I … Continue reading

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More Than Just a Habit–The Letters of Flannery O’Connor

The recent attention and acclaim Flannery O’Connor’s previously unpublished “Prayer Journal” has received inspired me over the holidays to pull out my well-thumbed marked up copy of her selected letters, THE HABIT OF BEING (edited by Sally Fitzgerald and originally published … Continue reading

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Holy Moly! Flannery O’Connor’s Prayer Journal is a Hit!

Marilynne Robinson’s review of this new O’Connor book (really an unedited—by O’Connor– journal written in a spiral notebook when she was but 20 years old and enrolled in the Iowa Writer’s Workshop) is both stimulating and revealing. Robinson was an inspired … Continue reading

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Art Is Not for Everybody

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The Rigors of Writing and The Shocking Plunge into Reality

Though I still have my hair and teeth, I can attest to the truth of O’Connor’s ballsy statement. I would  add that The Plunge into Reality is also often highly disruptive, can make a mess of the rest of one’s life, … Continue reading

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The Ghost of Flannery O’Connor: A Self-Portrait

 All right, let me be upfront about this before we wade into deep water: Every time I look at this painting, I get the distinct impression it was intended to be humorous, ironic and self-deprecating. Rather than the halo of … Continue reading

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Flannery O’Connor “My Dear God”

Followers of this blog who have taken the trouble to wade through my whimsical though approximately accurate “About” page will have discovered that I am a great admirer of the short stories and novels of Flannery O’Connor.  We are co-religionists … Continue reading

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