Mystery & Manners – Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Conner was a 20th-century American writer who* I discovered through a cryptic reference in the computer game The Trolley Problem. This book is a posthumous compilation of her non-fiction writing, including some lectures she gave about writing (one of my favourite topics). Her writing is full of dry, arch humour:

Everywhere I go I’m asked if the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.

And amusing turns of phrase:

The average reader is pleased to observe anybody’s wooden leg being stolen.

There are pieces covering various other topics including peacocks, Catholicism and everything in between. (That’s such a cliché, and a nonsensical one at that: what topics could possibly be between peacocks and Catholicism?) But I enjoy her writing about writing the most. She wrote novels and short stories too – I’ll be investigating those at some point too.

* “Whom” is a pointless word which deserves to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

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