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Flannery O'Connor Quotes


Mary Flannery O'Connor was an American novelist, short-story writer and essayist.
(1925 - 1964)

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All my stories are about the action of grace on a character who is not very willing to support it, but most people think of these stories as hard, hopeless and brutal.
[Action]
 

And if the student finds that this is not to his taste, well, that is regrettable. Most regrettable. His taste should not be consulted; it is being formed.
[Education]
 

At its best our age is an age of searchers and discoverers, and at its worst, an age that has domesticated despair and learned to live with it happily.
 

Conviction without experience makes for harshness.
[Instincts]
 

Everywhere I go, I'm asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
 

Faith is what someone knows to be true, whether they believe it or not.
 

I am a writer because writing is the thing I do best.
 

I am much younger now than I was at twelve or anyway, less burdened.
[Self Confidence]
 

I am not afraid that the book will be controversial, I'm afraid it will not be controversial.
 

I don't deserve any credit for turning the other cheek as my tongue is always in it.
 

I find that most people know what a story is until they sit down to write one.
 

I preach there are all kinds of truth, your truth and somebody else's. But behind all of them there is only one truth and that is that there's no truth.
 

If you do the same thing every day at the same time for the same length of time, you'll save yourself from many a sink. Routine is a condition of survival.
[One Day]
 

It is better to be young in your failures than old in your successes.
 

It seems that the fiction writer has a revolting attachment to the poor, for even when he writes about the rich, he is more concerned with what they lack than with what they have.
 

It's easier to bleed than to sweat.
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Manners are of such great consequence to the novelist that any kind will do. Bad manners are better than no manners at all, and because we are losing our customary manners, we are probably overly conscious of them; this seems to be a condition that produces writers.
 

The basic experience of everyone is the experience of human limitation.
[Self Knowledge]
 

The basis of art is truth, both in matter and in mode.
 

The Southerner is usually tolerant of those weaknesses that proceed from innocence.
 


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