The Return of the Wilderking

All 3 Wilderking Books Cropped for RR

There is a moment in Chapter 4 of The Bark of the Bog Owl that makes me cringe a little bit. Aidan and Dobro have gotten mixed up with a panther, which “bared its fangs and wailed a deep rumbling moan that became a piercing scream.” It’s not a bad description, but it’s not what

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On Ash Wednesday

Recycling from a couple of years ago…

It’s Ash Wednesday. Yesterday my friend Father Thomas, an Anglican priest, burned the palm fronds from last year’s Palm Sunday to make the ashes to rub on people’s foreheads today. “Remember that you are dust,” he will say to them, “and to dust you shall return.”

I

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Flannery O’Connor Summer Reading Club–”Everything that Rises”

Rosa Parks, after the boycott

I’m terribly sorry about my absence right in the middle of the Summer Reading Club. I hope to circle back around to the stories we missed–”Greenleaf,” “A View of the Woods,” and “The Enduring Chill.” Meanwhile, I figured it was best just to pick up with the

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Flannery O’Connor Summer Reading Club, Week 7: “Good Country People”

I’m at the beach this week, so I’ll keep this short and rely on you, dear reader, to do the heavy lifting–which you often do anyway.

The irony in “Good Country People” is thick and layered. The joke is on Joy-Hulga, and it is an especially mean joke–or, in any case, it appears to

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Flannery O’Connor Summer Reading Club, Week 6: “The Artificial Nigger”

Happy Wednesday, FOC summer reading clubbers, and forgive my tardiness in posting this week. I haven’t relished the thought of having the “n-word” prominently displayed on my blog for all search engines to find. But it probably is time we addressed the question of race in O’Connor’s fiction.

By way of entry into the

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The Misfit’s Hat, Mr. Shiftlet’s Car, and Symbolism in O’Connor’s Fiction

Earlier this week, Madeleine asked the following question:

Did FO write these stories with all sorts of symbols and hidden meanings like a rich treasure hunt waiting for persistent readers, or was she writing good stories with some meat to chew on? I’m just wondering if I should be thinking every

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Flannery O’Connor on Freelance Protestantism

I hope you have had a chance to read through the discussion on “The River” over the last couple of days. It has been extremely insightful and lively–and also courteous, I might add. One thing that has become evident is that a reader’s interpretation of the story’s end hinges on how that reader understands

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Flannery O’Connor Summer Reading Club, Week 2: “The Life You Save May Be Your Own”

The Flannery O’Connor Summer Reading Club continues this week with “The Life You Save May Be Your Own.”

The central action of “The Life You Save May Be Your Own”” is a battle of wits between Mr. Shiftlet and Lucynell Crater–Shiftlet angling to get the old woman’s car, the old woman manipulating Shiftlet to

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Discussion Question: “It’s no real pleasure in life.”

The Flannery O’Connor Summer Reading Club continues this morning with a discussion question about the Misfit. The Misfit tells the grandmother that if Jesus did indeed raise the dead, there is nothing to do but to throw away everything and follow him. If, on the other hand, Jesus didn’t raise the dead, “then it’s

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The Flannery O’Connor Summer Reading Club

Remember me? It has been a while, but summer is here and my first year back teaching is complete, so I thought it would be fun to host some summer reading discussions at Jonathan-Rogers.com. My biography of Flannery O’Connor–The Terrible Speed of Mercy–will be released later this summer, so why don’t we read through

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