Friday Flannery

Export to PDF | Export to DOC

This is one of my favorite Flannery quotes. Here I give it a bit fuller context than is usually seen.  It’s a pity that I think we’ve sailed past the stage where shouting is sufficient. I think our shouting must become something a bit more clever.

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; and he may well be forced to take ever more violent means to get his vision across to this hostile audience. When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock; to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.

— Flannery O’Connor, The Fiction Writer and His Country