Flannery O’Connor Reduced to Wordless Howl-Grunt

by problem of family and honesty:

This thing of demanding honesty of people is in the upper reaches of extreme Innocence. The only people of whom you can demand honesty are those you pay to get it from. When you ask [someone] to be honest with you, you are asking him to act like God, whom he is not, but whom he makes some attempt to be like in giving you what you want, and it doesn’t make him show up too well, of course. Never, above all things, ask your family to be honest with you. This is putting a strain on the human frame it can’t bear. [A person's] honesty is only honesty, not truth, and it can’t be of much value to you intellectually or otherwise. To love people you have to ignore a good deal of what they say while they are being honest, because you are not living in the Garden of Eden any longer. The last thing I find I want of my kinfolks is their honesty. Oeeewarrrrhggghhh.


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