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The Works and Ideas of Flannery O'Connor

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Joe Wotawa

on 19 January 2016

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Transcript of The Works and Ideas of Flannery O'Connor

O'Connor has a strong emphasis on seeing, and describing, the world as it truly is.
For a religious writer, it is just as important for fiction to be well-written as it is to convey deeper meaning.
If fiction is poorly written, no one will want to read it.
Fiction that is too forceful with dogma but is bad amounts to "pious trash" (Catholic Novelists and Their Readers)
Writing Good Fiction
Catholicism and Fiction
The Incarnation
Portray humanity as it actually is
Do not portray a sanitized version of humanity
The Eucharist
Meaning to be found in common objects
Provide detailed, accurate descriptions of the story to convey meaning
Grace, Free Will and Sin
Seeking understanding of human motives
Seeking understanding of human actions
Theory in Action
Only by following these steps will a person be able to write a good story.

Do not skip any step, especially step one.
Catholic Influences
The Incarnation
God becomes human
Takes on the "dirt" of the human condition.
The Eucharist
Simple elements - bread and wine
Everyday objects transformed
Intersection of natural and supernatural
Grace, Free Will and Sin
Observing a world fallen from grace
Conflicting human drives and tendencies
A real understanding of evil
The Intersection of Theology and Fiction
The Works and Ideas of Flannery O'Connor
Full transcript