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Comforts of Home focuses on Flannery O'Connor related information evaluated for its reliability and usefulness: links to biographical information about Flannery O'Connor, critical analysis of her work, and general praise of her abilities as a writer and a human being. If you're searching for essays and other scholarship on Flannery O'Connor published on the Web, we try to catch everything that we think is truly helpful. Be aware that most critical analysis of O'Connor is in hard-copy.

News

I am super excited for the release of Flannery, a superb documentary on the formative experiences of O'Connor's life.

This is a top notch production that goes well beyond photos, letter readings, and quotes from O'Connor's fiction, to paint a portrait of O'Connor as a real human being, not just a southern writer, or a Catholic, or a sufferer of Lupus. Flannery contains a lot of material I haven't seen such as photos not available to the general public and the family's home movies, but the highlights of the film are the interviews with people closest to O'Connor including her friends Sally Fitzgerald, Erik Langkjaer, and William Sessions; cousins Frances and Louise Florencourt; and her publisher Robert Giroux. The documentary builds a picture of young O'Connor--unconventional, creative, and deeply religious, with definite plans to support her writing with work as a cartoonist--then reveals the converging events that deflected her career directly into writing fiction. Along the way we get a glimpse of the challenges she faced as a Catholic in a state where Catholics were actively persecuted, as a woman at a time when independent women were viewed with suspicion, and as a disabled person living on a fairly isolated farm in the rural south. The film makes firm connections between O'Connor's life and her fiction, illustrating where her experiences clearly influence her work, but Flannery wisely draws a distinct line between the two.

There's far more to Flannery than I have room for in this column, and you can read more about it on the website, but I think it's required viewing for anyone who has been seized by the mystery in O'Connor's work. Due to COVID-19 closures, the documentary will release in a streaming format through partnerships with theaters and film festivals, so look for your local streaming source on the film's calendar page.

In "Flannery O'Connor and Religious Epistemology" Dr. Jason Baehr, of the Loyola Marymount University Department of Philosophy, argues that O'Connor's fiction contains an account of the mechanics of religious knowledge, and uses three of O’Connor’s stories to formulate a model of religious knowledge, concluding that moral humility can function as an epistemic virtue in relation to theistic knowledge.

A request from a visitor looking for audio of O'Connor reading her own work led me to The Morning Oil, where I found WMA files of O'Connor reading "A Good Man is Hard to Find" and one of her lectures on aspects of the grotesque in Southern fiction.


Navigating Comforts of Home

Biography: Who was Flannery O'Connor?

Online Essays: Criticism of O'Connor's work on the Internet. Many of these are "scholarly," but there are several non-academic articles here as well, so be careful if you use them for a paper.

Books : Works by and about O'Connor available online or at your local bookstore.

(If you want to see everything Amazon offers on O'Connor, you can use this connection that searches anything tagged Flannery O'Connor.)

Other Sites: The requisite "links" page.

Join the Flannery O'Connor Book Club for an opportunity to discuss O'Connor's work with other readers.

Interested in film adaptations of O'Connor's fiction? Here are several productions that have translated O'Connor's stories to the screen.

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Last update: 1 August 2020
 
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