"The Lord out of dust had created him, had made him blood and nerve and mind, had made him to bleed and weep and think, and set him in a world of loss and fire all to baptize one idiot child that He need not have created in the first place and to cry out a gospel just as foolish."
So American -haasteen yhteydessä iski halu lukea uudestaan Flannery O'Connorin jälkimmäinen romaani The Violent Bear It Away (suomeksi kääntyisi varmaan "Hyökkääjät tempaavat sen itselleen", Matt. 11:12), ja kirjoittaa laajempi esittely suuresti ihailemastani kirjailijasta, mutta huomaan etten pysty.
En ole kovinkaan varma uskallanko suositella hänen kirjojaan muille, koska ne ovat vaativia, provosoivia, ärsyttäviä, jyrkkiä, täynnä epämiellyttäviä henkilöitä tekemässä epämiellyttäviä asioita ja nojaavat sellaiseen kulttuuriperimään joka monelle suomalaiselle lienee hyvin vieras. Siis hyvin helppoja inhota.
Ja yrittämällä kuvailla mitä niissä tapahtuu antaa niistä yleensä väärän kuvan, ne on koettava. Niinpä tiputtelen tänne vain siteerauksia kirjailijalta itseltään.
“I prefer to talk about the meaning in a story rather than the theme of a story. People talk about the theme of a story as if the theme were like the string that a sack of chicken feed is tied with. They think that if you can pick out the theme, the way you pick the right thread in the chicken-feed sack, you can rip the story open and feed the chickens. But this is not the way meaning works in fiction.
When you can state the theme of a story, when you can separate it from the story itself, then you can be sure the story is not a very good one. The meaning of a story has to be embodied in it, has to be made concrete in it. A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is. You tell a story because a statement would be inadequate. When anybody asks what a story is about, the only proper thing is to tell him to read the story. The meaning of fiction is not abstract meaning but experienced meaning, and the purpose of making statements about the meaning of a story is only to help you experience that meaning more fully.”
"All my stories are about the action of grace on a character who is not very willing to support it, but most people think of these stories as hard, hopeless and brutal."
"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."
"To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness."
"Anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic."
"Ever since there have been such things as novels, the world has been flooded with bad fiction for which the religious impulse has been responsible. The sorry religious novel comes about when the writer supposes that because of his belief, he is somehow dispensed from the obligation to penetrate concrete reality. He will think that the eyes of the Church or of the Bible or of his particular theology have already done the seeing for him, & that his business is to rearrange this essential vision into satisfying patterns, getting himself as little dirty in the process as possible. His feeling about this may have been made more definite by one of those Manichean-type theologies which sees the natural world as unworthy of penetration. But the real novelist, the one with an instinct for what he is about, knows that he cannot approach the infinite directly, that he must penetrate the natural human world as it is. The more sacramental his theology, the more encouragement he will get from it to do just that."
Suomeksi on ilmestynyt yksi valikoima novelleja Otavan Sinisessä kirjastossa, nimeltään Palava kehä.