Friday, June 05, 2009

Flannery O'Conner: Already dangerous at age 9

A brief passage from Brad Gooch's new biography, Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor:

A cartoon O’Connor drew when she was nine years old shows a child walking with her father and mother. In a balloon coming from the mother’s mouth are the words: “Hold your head up, Mary Flannery, and you are just as bad, Ed.” To which the girl, dragging along, snidely replies, “I was readin where someone died of holding up their head.”
This appears over in Front Porch Republic in Jason Peters' review of the book. Those of you interested in O'Connor should read Peters' review--in particular, the distinctions he makes between "place" and "region" (something I recall Eudora Welty saying is important to her as well) and the connection between that idea and her spirituality. Good, meaty stuff.

While I'm at it, I'd also like to plug Front Porch Republic generally, as I know I've done before. In its exploration of "Place. Limits. Liberty" it is deeply conservative, but most definitively not in the currently-prominent version of conservatism. As you'll see in my friend Russell's and my own comments on the post I linked to, it's possible for moderates and liberals to visit FPR and feel strong resonances with its writers' emphases on and celebrations of the Local, even as they might disagree on the means by which to best achieve those commonly-valued ends. In these days of both liberal and conservative blogs' and talk radio's and cable news' awful dumbing-down of political discourse, FPR is a welcome tonic for the intellectual and political soul, no matter one's own personal leanings.

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