Item description for Writing Against God: Language As Message in the Literature of Flannery O'Connor by Joanne Mullen, Joan McMullen & Joanne Halleran McMullen...
Through linguistic analysis, this study defines and explores a conflict between O'Connor's literary technique and the theology she intended to convey. McMullen (English, Louisiana State U., and editor of The Southern Review ) argues that O'Connor's fiction got away from her; in the process of making
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Studio: Mercer University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.32" Width: 6.28" Height: 0.73" Weight: 1 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 1996
Publisher Mercer University Press
ISBN 0865544883 ISBN13 9780865544888
Availability 0 units.
More About Joanne Mullen, Joan McMullen & Joanne Halleran McMullen
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Argues for linguistic analyses of Flannery O'Connor's fiction and explores her use of negation and Christian imagery... Aug 3, 2008
McMullen contends that while a linguistic analysis of Flannery O'Connor's fiction reveals -- more than other critical approaches -- the depth of her talent, readers "must be explicitly coached if [their] interpretations are to match O'Connor's explications."
Explores her literary style of using simple sentences, meaningful grammatical construction, and "naming techniques that obscure or minimize personal worth." Addresses her use of symbols and suggests that her inconsistent use of symbolic "hats, sunglasses, eyes, eyeglasses, colors, wood, animals, and machinery" pose problems for her readers.
Discusses the negation present in O'Connor's fictional world signaled by her use of "negative words, negative verbs, anagrams, the concept of suffering, mysterious concealments, and directional metaphors," which tend to "negate the action of grace presumably available to her characters."
Suggests as well, that O'Connor's "images of the Georgia landscape, familial relationships, the Christ figure, inanimate objects, death, and Christian humanism take on unexpected meanings, and on close inspection appear not to support her stated Catholic views." Outlines the "Catholic concept of a sacramental marriage, the Church's stance on birth control, and the sanctity of the family," and compares these positions to O'Connor's conflicting "private comments."
McMullen completed her Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. Her 1991 dissertation was titled "Writing Against God: Language and Flannery O'Connor's Literature." Readers may also be interested in her article discussing the linear and circular patterns seen in O'Connor's depictions of time: "The Verbal Structure of Infinity," in Language and Literature 21 (1996): 45-64.