Thursday, June 26, 2008

Here's to hope, salvation, and long looks

A shotglass of oaky wisdom from Flannery O'Conner:

"...people without hope do not write novels. Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I'm always highly irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality, and it's very shocking to the system. If the novelist is not sustained by a hope of money, then he must be sustained by a hope of salvation, or he simply won't survive the ordeal. People without hope not only don't write novels, but what is more to the point, they don't read them. They don't take long looks at anything, because they lack the courage. The way to despair is the refuse to have any kind of experience, and the novel, of course, is a way to have experience."--Mystery and Manners

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