Friday, May 27, 2016

The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor (Part 3)

Yup. Still Flannery. I am not big on emotionalism, especially in regard to faith. Apparently, neither is she.

From a letter to Maryat Lee                                19 May 57 My prayers are unfeeling but habitual, not to say dogged, and I do include you in them. -pg. 220

On writing about "unpleasant" people:
From a letter to Cecil Dawkins                                30 January 56
 Of course I hear the complaint over and over that there is no sense in writing about people who disgust you. I think there is; but the fact is that the people I write about certainly don't disgust me entirely though I see them from a standard of judgment from which they fall short. Your freshmen who said there was something religious here was correct. I take the Dogmas of the Church literally and this, I think is what created what you call the "missing link." The only concern, so far as I see it, is what Tillich calls the "ultimate concern." It is what makes the stories spare and what gives them any permanent quality they may have.  There is really only one answer to the people who complain about one's writing about "unpleasant" people--and that is that one writes what one can. Vocation implies limitation but few people realize it who don't actually practice an art.  -pg. 221

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