[Milledgeville, GA]: April 1962.
1 p. typed, with autograph corrections, and with docketing on verso ("Given to me by Flannery O'connor in response to interview question. The typing & handwriting are hers. J.F. Wells") in the interviewer's hand. 11 x 8-1/2 inches. Creased from prior folding, some light adhesive stains. Item #310830
Typed responses with autograph corrections by Flannery O'Connor to nine questions posed by Joel Wells for an interview entitled "Off the Cuff" which ran in the August-September 1962 issue of The Critic. The interview is reprinted in Conversations with Flannery O'Connor (University Press of Mississippi, 1987). The published interview is framed as a conversation between Joel Wells and Flannery O'Connor during a car ride from Rosary College in the Chicago suburbs, where O'Connor had a three-day residency, to South Bend, were she was to speak at Notre Dame.
In her responses O'Connor focuses on Catholicism and the Christian novelist, specifically in relation to her second novel, The Violent Bear it Away: "One of the Christian novelist's basic problems is that he is trying to get the Christian vision across to an audience to whom it is meaningless. Neverthelss, he can't write only for a select few. His work will have to have value on the dramatic level, the level of truth recognizable to anybody.… The fact that Catholics don't see religion through the Bible is a deficiency in Catholics. And I don't think the novelist can discard the instruments he has to plumb meaning just because Catholics aren't used to them ... The fact that the South in the Bible Belt is in great measure responsible for her literary preeminence now. The Cath. novelist can learn a great deal from the Protestant South."
A remarkable document, cutting to the heart of O'Connor's project as a Catholic novelist.
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