Flannery O

Jim Manney of People of the Book directs us to this excellent and fun page If Flannery Had Blog. He found it via an Amy Welborn reader.

He picks out a choice (and favorite) morsel from The Habit of Being; The Letters of Flannery O’ Connor:

I was once, five or six years ago, taken by some friends to have dinner with Mary McCarthy and her husband, Mr. Broadwater. (She just wrote that book, “A Charmed Life.”) She departed the Church at the age of 15 and is a Big Intellectual. We went at eight and at one, I hadn’t opened my mouth once, there being nothing for me in such company to say. . . . Having me there was like having a dog present who had been trained to say a few words but overcome with inadequacy had forgotten them.

Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mrs. Broadwater said when she was a child and received the host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the most portable person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.

That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.

I’m considering stealing away for a day or two for some prayer time. I may take my copy of Habit of Being with me.

Maureen Martin has a clever tease of us fans of Flannery, Chesterton, etc – but I’m a fan of Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, too, so I guess I’m okay. The world has always needed both Martha and Mary. :-)

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Mir

    Oh, that blog is a GEM of a find! I’m so excited, I sent the link to a writing listserv I’m on (though it’s mostly Protestant). I have Mystery and Manners somewhere in my chaos of thousands of books (as yet unread, recently purchased). I don’t have Habit of Being. I may need to get to M&M right after Harry Potter 6. :)

    I look forward to meeing Flannery in Paradise one day. She’s one of my literary heroes.


  • http://maureenmartinblog.blogspot.com maureenmartin

    Hi Anchoress,

    Thank you for mentioning the ghost of Chesterton post. Like I mentioned to you earlier, I think the ghost would totally agree with you that sitting before the Lord at the Adoration Chapel is a good “something” to do.

    God bless, Maureen Martin