Thursday, February 02, 2006

On the title of her novel "The Violent Bear It Away" (from Matthew 11:12)

One thing I observe about the title is that the general reaction is to think that it has an Old Testament flavor. Even when they read the quotation, the fact that these are Christ's words makes no great impression. That this is the violence of love, of giving more than the law demands, of an asceticism like John the Baptist's, but in the face of which even John is less than the least in the kingdom - all this is overlooked. I am speaking of the verse apart from my book; in the book I fail to make the title's significance clear, but the title is the best thing about the book. I had never paid much attention to that verse either until I read that it was one of the Eastern fathers' favorite passages - St. Basil, I think. Those desert fathers interest me very much.

5 comments:

Brendan P. Hyde said...

We're indeed thankful for Flannery.

"...the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence & the violent bear it away."

This to me is a clear example of the Douay's superiority.

Niall Mor said...

So glad you're blogging again! I was dismayed by your long hiatus and afraid you had abandoned the project. Peace!

Radical Catholic Mom said...

I wrote my thesis on this very topic!!!! I LOVE Flannery and her prophetic voice. To this day I contemplate what that verse means. Every day I get something different out of it. Good points that you bring up! God bless you for this blog!

papa herman said...

I am currently reading 'The Violent Bear...' thank you for sharing Flannery O'Connor's thots behind this title.


ps: i like the idea behind this blogsite.

Anonymous said...

I've just found this blogg-site to and about Ms O'Connor and her steely eye. More later, but for now my cup runneth over. Thank you.