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Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose

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Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose Cover

ISBN13: 9780374508043
ISBN10: 0374508046
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

At her death in 1964, O'Connor left behind a body of unpublished essays and lectures as well as a number of critical articles that had appeared in scattered publications during her too-short lifetime. The keen writings comprising Mystery and Manners, selected and edited by O'Connor's lifelong friends Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, are characterized by the directness and simplicity of the author's style, a fine-tuned wit, understated perspicacity, and profound faith.

The book opens with "The King of the Birds," her famous account of raising peacocks at her home in Milledgeville, Georgia. Also included are: three essays on regional writing, including "The Fiction Writer and His Country" and "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction"; two pieces on teaching literature, including "Total Effect and the 8th Grade"; and four articles concerning the writer and religion, including "The Catholic Novel in the Protestant South." Essays such as "The Nature and Aim of Fiction" and "Writing Short Stories" are widely seen as gems.

This bold and brilliant essay-collection is a must for all readers, writers, and students of contemporary American literature.

Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, she was one of the most gifted and celebrated fiction writers in America.

At her death in 1964, O'Connor left behind a body of unpublished essays and lectures as well as a number of critical articles that had appeared in scattered publications during her too-short lifetime. The keen writings comprising Mystery and Manners, selected and edited by O'Connor's lifelong friends Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, are characterized by the directness and simplicity of the author's style, a fine-tuned wit, understated perspicacity, and profound faith.

The book opens with "The King of the Birds," her famous account of raising peacocks at her home in Milledgeville, Georgia. Also included are: three essays on regional writing, including "The Fiction Writer and His Country" and "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction"; two pieces on teaching literature, including "Total Effect and the 8th Grade"; and four articles concerning the writer and religion, including "The Catholic Novel in the Protestant South." Essays such as "The Nature and Aim of Fiction" and "Writing Short Stories" are widely seen as gems.

This bold and brilliant essay-collection is a must for all readers, writers, and students of contemporary American literature.

"Flannery O'Connor ranks with Mark Twain and Scott Fitzgerald among our finest prose stylists. Her epigrams alone are worth the price of the book . . . which should be read by every writer and would-be writer and lover of writing."John Leonard, The New York Times

"[O'Connor] was not just the best 'woman writer' of [her] time and place; she expressed something secret about America, called 'the South,' with that transcendent gift for expressing the real spirit of a culture that is conveyed by those writers . . . who become nothing but what they see. Completeness is one word for it: relentlessness [and] unsparingness would be others. She was a genius."Alfred Kazin, The New York Times Book Review

Synopsis:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 235-237)

Synopsis:

At her death in 1964, O'Connor left behind a body of unpublished essays and lectures as well as a number of critical articles that had appeared in scattered publications during her too-short lifetime. The keen writings comprising Mystery and Manners, selected and edited by O'Connor's lifelong friends Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, are characterized by the directness and simplicity of the author's style, a fine-tuned wit, understated perspicacity, and profound faith.

The book opens with "The King of the Birds," her famous account of raising peacocks at her home in Milledgeville, Georgia. Also included are: three essays on regional writing, including "The Fiction Writer and His Country" and "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction"; two pieces on teaching literature, including "Total Effect and the 8th Grade"; and four articles concerning the writer and religion, including "The Catholic Novel in the Protestant South." Essays such as "The Nature and Aim of Fiction" and "Writing Short Stories" are widely seen as gems.

This bold and brilliant essay-collection is a must for all readers, writers, and students of contemporary American literature.

About the Author

Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, she was one of the most gifted and celebrated fiction writers in America.

Table of Contents

Foreword

I

The King of the Birds

II

The Fiction Writer and His Country

Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction

The Regional Writer

III

The Nature and Aim of Fiction

Writing Short Stories

On Her Own Work

IV

The Teaching of Literature

Total Effect and the Eighth Grade

V

The Church and the Fiction Writer

Novelist and Believer

Catholic Novelists and Their Readers

The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South

VI

Introduction to A Memoir of Mary Ann

Appendix

Notes

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Felicity, July 18, 2009 (view all comments by Felicity)
This is an excellent book about fiction, why (in one practitioner's opinion) to write it, read it, and value it. Flannery O'Connor has a matter-of-fact approach to big topics like the philosophy of art, and suffers neither fools nor mediocrity. This collection of her lectures and essays is so pithy that I was often moved to jot down quotes for later use. Some of these follow my review. O'Connor has much to say that is wise and useful, and nothing that pulls its punches. The book is one of those rare and fabulous writing craft books that made me laugh out loud.

The last part of the volume, which concerns being a Catholic writer, writing the Catholic novel, et cetera, is of less use to a non-Catholic or non-Christian writer. However, some of the sections in the first part of the work where the author discusses how her religion supplies the Mystery for her art are useful to any writer interested in the sources of creativity.

Quotes:
"Fiction begins where human knowledge begins -- with the senses -- and every fiction writer is bound by this fundamental aspect of his medium."

"Art is a word that immediately scares people off, as being a little too grand. But all I mean by art is writing something that is valuable in itself and that works in itself."

"It's always necessary to remember that the fiction writer is much less immediately concerned with grand ideas and bristling emotions than he is with putting list slippers on clerks." (example of the clerk from Mme. Bovary)

"There is no excuse for anyone to write fiction for public consumption unless he has been called to do so by the presence of a gift. It is the nature of fiction not to be good for much unless it is good in itself."
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(10 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)
uwant2know, November 19, 2007 (view all comments by uwant2know)
All English is someones view, this book again just someone elses view on how English should be.
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(11 of 44 readers found this comment helpful)
RobTheVaughn, August 25, 2007 (view all comments by RobTheVaughn)
O'Connor, one of America's finest writers, was also an expert speaker - able to write speeches as effective and amazing as her fiction. This collection will be greatly enjoyed by fans of her work who wish to understand some of the thinking behind them, or for anyone interested in the art & process of writing. Buy this book before you waste money on a writing workshop, because O'Connor understood writing far better than than workshop "experts". After all, those who can't do, teach. O'Connor proves in these writings that she was a do'er, not a talker.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780374508043
Editor:
Fitzgerald, Saly
Editor:
Fitzgerald, Sally
Editor:
Fitzgerald, Saly
Editor:
Fitzgerald, Sally; Fitzgerald, Robert
Author:
Fitzgerald, Robert
Author:
O'Connor, Flannery
Author:
Fitzgerald, Sally
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Anthologies-Essays
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
29
Publication Date:
19690131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Appendix/Notes
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.27 x 5.5 x 0.715 in

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Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose Used Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374508043 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 235-237)
"Synopsis" by ,
At her death in 1964, O'Connor left behind a body of unpublished essays and lectures as well as a number of critical articles that had appeared in scattered publications during her too-short lifetime. The keen writings comprising Mystery and Manners, selected and edited by O'Connor's lifelong friends Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, are characterized by the directness and simplicity of the author's style, a fine-tuned wit, understated perspicacity, and profound faith.

The book opens with "The King of the Birds," her famous account of raising peacocks at her home in Milledgeville, Georgia. Also included are: three essays on regional writing, including "The Fiction Writer and His Country" and "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction"; two pieces on teaching literature, including "Total Effect and the 8th Grade"; and four articles concerning the writer and religion, including "The Catholic Novel in the Protestant South." Essays such as "The Nature and Aim of Fiction" and "Writing Short Stories" are widely seen as gems.

This bold and brilliant essay-collection is a must for all readers, writers, and students of contemporary American literature.

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