Thursday, January 12, 2012

Baptism In Your Bones

"When I write a novel in which the central action is a baptism, I am very well aware that for a majority of my readers, baptism is a meaningless rite, and so in my novel I have to see that this baptism carries enough awe and mystery to jar the reader into some kind of emotional recognition of its significance. To this end I have to bend the whole novel--its language, its structure, its action. I have to make the reader feel, in his bones if nowhere else, that something is going on here that counts."

--Flannery O'Connor, from "Novelist & Believer"

Sitting on O'Connor's porch


  1. I love Flannery O'Connor! What an excellent quote.

  2. I went to Milledgeville last year -- spent some time at Andalusia. I'm a big fan of O'Conner, and I had the great opportunity to attend the FOC conference at GCSU. I also had the opportunity to pray and go to mass at Sacred Heart Church, Flannery's home parish. The passage you quoted comes quite alive in her short story, "The River" and in her novel, The Violent Bear It Away.

  3. I am so ignorant of O'Connor's writing, I'm ashamed to be in your presence. Thanks for this selection ... I really do need to read her.