Category Archives: Flannery O’Connor

“If you believed in Jesus, you wouldn’t be so good” by Flannery O’Connor

“‘For myself,’ she continued, ‘I don’t have that streak. I believe that what’s right today is wrong tomorrow and that the time to enjoy yourself is now, so long as you let others do the same. I’m as good, Mr. Motes,’ she said, ‘not believing in Jesus as a many a one that does.’

‘You’re better,’ he said, leaning forward suddenly. ‘If you believed in Jesus, you wouldn’t be so good.'”

–Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1949/2007), 225.

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“When worldliness looks normal and righteousness looks strange” by Flannery O’Connor

“I am no vague believer. I see from the standpoint of Christian orthodoxy. This means that for me the meaning of life is centered in our Redemption by Christ and that what I see in the world I see its relation to that. I don’t think that this is a position that can be taken halfway or one that is particularly easy in these times to make transparent in fiction.”
–Flannery O’Connor, “The Fiction Writer and His Country,” in Flannery O’Connor: Collected Works, (New York: Library of America, 1988), 804-805.

“The novelist with Christian concerns will find in modern life distortions which are repugnant to him, and his problem will be to make these appear as distortions to an audience which is used to seeing them as natural.”

–Flannery O’Connor, “The Fiction Writer and His Country,” in Flannery O’Connor: Collected Works, (New York: Library of America, 1988), 805.

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“I am no vague believer” by Flannery O’Connor

“I am no vague believer. I see from the standpoint of Christian orthodoxy. This means that for me the meaning of life is centered in our Redemption by Christ and that what I see in the world I see its relation to that. I don’t think that this is a position that can be taken halfway or one that is particularly easy in these times to make transparent in fiction.”

–Flannery O’Connor, “The Fiction Writer and His Country,” in Flannery O’Connor: Collected Works, (New York: Library of America, 1988), 804-805.

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“The way to avoid Jesus” by Flannery O’Connor

“The boy didn’t need to hear it. There was already a deep black wordless conviction in him that the way to avoid Jesus was to avoid sin.”

–Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood: A Novel (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1949/2001), 22.

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“He throws the furniture around” by Flannery O’Connor

“I distrust folks who have ugly things to say about Karl Barth. I like old Barth. He throws the furniture around.”

–Flannery O’Connor, The Correspondence of Flannery O’Connor and the Brainerd Cheneys, ed. C. Ralph Stephens (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1986), 180-1.

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“It’s a highly dangerous quest” by Flannery O’Connor

“Picture me with my ground teeth stalking joy–fully armed too as it’s a highly dangerous quest.”

–Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being, Ed. Sally Fitzgerald (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1979), 126.

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