Flannery O’Connor Essay “Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction”
I wanted to share part of this essay with you. She wrote:
“The great novels we get in the future are not going to be those that the public thinks it wants, or those that critics demand. They are going to be the kind of novels that interest the novelist. And the novels that interest the novelist are those that have not already been written. They are those that put the greatest demands on him, that require him to operate at the maximum of his intelligence and his talents and to be true to the particularities of his own vocation. The direction of many of us will be more toward poetry than toward the traditional novel.
“The problem for such a novelist will be to know how far he can distort without destroying, and in order not to destroy, he will have to descend far enough into himself to reach those underground springs that give life to big work. This descent into himself will, at the same time, be a descent into his region. It will be a descent through the darkness of the familiar into a world where, like the blind man cured in the gospels, he sees men [as] if they were trees, but walking. THis is the beginning of vision…”
I’m glad I read the essay because of the novel I’ve been working on since April. It’s one of the first things that I’ve felt I truly need to write. Hopefully I can live up to the story’s challenge.
What do you think?
*Editor’s note: originally appeared on Tumblr
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- Tagged: essay, Flannery O'Connor, grotesque, southern fiction