Though stressing that Flannery O'Connor was first and foremost
a writer of fiction, John Desmond maintains in Risen Sons
that her orthodox Catholic theology stands at the center of her
vision, providing the metaphysical base from which the fiction
evolved. Given this religious context, Desmond contends that
O'Connor's stated view of fiction-writing as an "incarnational act"
suggests a direct connection between the practice of
fiction-writing and the Incarnation of Christ--the pivotal historic
event which her fiction seeks to imitate and through which her
vision is revealed.
O'Connor's attempts to create images that would connect the
Incarnation with fictional incarnation, Mystery with mystery, were
not immediately realized in her early works. It was only with
Wise Blood that she came to recognize Christian historical
vision as her particular fictional subject and the analogical
method as the appropriate fictional strategy. This discovery made
possible the convergence of her metaphysics, historical vision, and
artistic technique, providing the thematic and structural basis for
the quality of "unique wholeness" that distinguishes all her
Desmond suggests that O'Connor achieved the fullest development
of her analogical vision and most complete identification of
thought and technique in her novel The Violent Bear It
Away. Her dramatic rendering of the route Tarwater takes
before he can comprehend the transcendent, mysterious source of
personality and the meaning of personhood in history parallels the
actions of Christ, embodying O'Connor's complex and dramatic vision
of the mind's engagement with history in all its ultimate
extensions of meaning.
Subjects: Language & Literature
You do not have access to this book on JSTOR. Try logging in through your institution for access.
Log in to your personal account or through your institution.
Table of Contents
Export Selected Citations
Export to NoodleTools
Export to RefWorks
Export to EasyBib
Export a RIS file
(For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...)
Export a Text file