By Stanley Edgar Hyman
It's not effortless to put Mary Flannery O'Connor in a literary culture, and it's too early to guage her paintings or position it in our literature, yet a few beginnings should be tried. regardless of the existing opinion, she used to be essentially a novelist, no longer a quick tale author, and as a result her novels are higher and extra vital than even the easiest of her tales. Any dialogue of her theology can in simple terms be initial to, now not an alternative choice to, aesthetic research and evaluate. The strengths of her writing are these traits in it which have been so much disliked and attacked: the apocalyptic violence, the ugly imaginative and prescient, the vulgarity. The weaknesses of her fiction come from a misjudgment in craft, within which her tales come to depend too usually and too automatically on dying to finish them. although, she exercised her intelligence, mind's eye, and craft such a lot successfully, and her early dying can have disadvantaged the realm of unforeseeable marvels.
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Extra resources for Flannery O'Connor (University of Minnesota Pamphlets on American Writers, No. 54)
Powers, with a bibliography and articles on the former by Caroline Gordon, Sister M. , Louis D. , and George F. ) Esprit, Vol. 8, No. i (Winter 1964). ) Farnham, James F. "The Grotesque in Flannery O'Connor," America, 105:27781 (May 13, 1961). Ferris, Sumner J. "The Outside and the Inside: Flannery O'Connor's The Violent Bear It Away," Critique, 3:11-19 (Winter-Spring 1960). 47 S T A N L E Y EDGAR H Y M A N Fitzgerald, Robert. "The Countryside and the True Country," Sewanee Review, 70:380-94 (Summer 1962).
The writer to whom she is most indebted stylistically, Mark Twain, is never mentioned in discussions of her work, nor did she ever identify him as an influence, so far as I know. Yet if The Violent Bear It Away has any single progenitor, it is Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Miss O'Connor's mature writing has very little to do with Faulkner or any of what is called "southern" literature. The writer who most influenced her, at least in her first books, is Nathanael West. Wise Blood is clearly modeled on Miss Lonelyhearts (as no reviewer noticed at the time), and contains many specific reminiscences of it.
Stelzmann, Rainulf A. "Shock and Orthodoxy: An Interpretation of Flannery O'Connor's Novels and Short Stories," Xavier University Studies, 2:1 (March 1963)Stern, Richard. "Flannery O'Connor: A Remembrance and Some Letters," Shenandoah, 16:5-10 (Winter 1965). Tate, Mary Barbara. "Flannery O'Connor: A Reminiscence," Columns, 2:1 (Fall 1964).