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Listening to Flannery O'Connor

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I was chatting with an acquaintance recently about Flannery O'Connor (1925 - 1964) when he told me about a recent find and that it is available on the Internet.

In January 2012, Erin Z. Bass, editor of Deep South, an online magazine, wrote: "Professor of English with a focus on Southern lit and women's studies at UL Lafayette, Dr. Mary Ann Wilson was cleaning out her office and came across an old audio reel labeled 'Flannery O'Connor.' It turned out to be a recording of the author's 1962 lecture at the university and is one of the few of her voice that exists." (The article can be found here.)

To access Flannery O'Connor reading her essay "Some aspects of the grotesque in southern fiction" click here and follow the links. There are also links to a lecture she gave at Notre Dame University in 1957 as well as her reading her short story "A Good Man is Hard to Find."

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Flannery O'Connor is a beacon of light and sanity in the contested world of art and theology.

"Writers who see by the light of their Christian faith will have, in these times, the sharpest eye for the grotesque, for the perverse, and for the unacceptable," O'Connor said. "To the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures." ("The fiction writer and his country" in Mystery & Manners: Occasional Prose, 1970)

According to Bass' blog, the University of Louisiana in Lafayette is planning a symposium on Flannery O'Connor in November to commemorate the 50th anniversary of her visit there.

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August 28-September 10, 2015

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