izhilzha (izhilzha) wrote,

Having the courage to look at the world one's own way

Thought courtesy of Flannery O'Connor's essays on writing: it is the artist's job to look at the world and write what she sees, whether that is a mirror of society or connections between human action and some greater truth. She cannot write what people ask her for, nor what social pressures attempt to impose on her, but what she actually sees. That is her gift, if she will use it. It is remarkable how a couple of sentences could show me how scared I am to actually do that.

The passage from a lecture of hers which sparked this first for me:

"In the greatest fiction, the writer's moral sense coincides with his dramatic sense, and I see no way for it to do this unless his moral judgement is part of the very act of seeing, and he is free to use it. I have heard it said that belief in Christian dogma is a hindrance to the writer, but I myself have found nothing further from the truth. Actually, it frees the storyteller to observe. It is not a set of rules which fixes what he sees in the world. It affects his writing primarily by guaranteeing his respect for mystery."

--from "The Fiction Writer and His Country," in Mystery and Manners
Tags: books, christianity, flannery o'connor, quotey, writing

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.