Friday, November 17, 2006

To Betty Hester in 'Habit of Being', pg. 458

You confuse self-abandonment with a refusal to be yourself...As for the success, my tongue was not in my cheek. Success means being heard and don't stand there and tell me you are indifferent to being heard. Everything about you screams to be heard. You may write for the joy of it, but the act of writing is not complete in itself. It has its end in its audience. Writing is a good example of self-abandonment. I never completely forget myself except when I'm writing and I am never more completely myself than when I am writing. It is the same with Christian self-abandonment. The great difference between Christianity and the Eastern religions is the Christian insistence on the fulfilment of the individual person.

2 comments:

Tyler Clair Smith said...

i think of this often

Stephen Sparrow said...

Gerard Manley Hopkins said something similar in a letter to Robert Bridges: about success, being heard and fame, and not being afraid of it. O'Connor was familiar with Hopkin's letters to Bridges.