By Flannery O'Connor
"I wish to write a stunning prayer," writes the younger Flannery O'Connor during this deeply religious magazine, lately chanced on between her papers in Georgia. "There is a complete brilliant global round me that I might be in a position to flip for your praise." Written among 1946 and 1947 whereas O'Connor used to be a scholar faraway from domestic on the collage of Iowa, A Prayer magazine is an extraordinary portal into the internal lifetime of the good author. not just does it map O'Connor's singular courting with the divine, however it exhibits how entwined her literary hope was once along with her craving for God. "I needs to write down that i'm to be an artist. now not within the experience of aesthetic frippery yet within the feel of aesthetic craftsmanship; another way i'm going to suppose my loneliness consistently . . . i don't are looking to be lonely all my lifestyles yet humans in basic terms make us lonelier through reminding us of God. expensive God please support me to be an artist, please allow it bring about You."
O'Connor couldn't be extra undeniable approximately her literary ambition: "Please aid me expensive God to be a great author and to get whatever else accepted," she writes. but she struggles with any hint of self-regard: "Don't allow me ever imagine, pricey God, that i used to be whatever however the device in your story."
As W. A. periods, who knew O'Connor, writes in his advent, it was once no twist of fate that she begun writing the tales that might turn into her first novel, Wise Blood, in the course of the years whilst she wrote those singularly ingenious Christian meditations. together with a facsimile of the whole magazine in O'Connor's personal hand, A Prayer Journal is the list of an excellent younger woman's coming-of-age, a cry from the center for romance, grace, and art.
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Extra info for A prayer journal
It has to be vomited. But perhaps that is too literary a statement—this mustn’t get insincere. How can I live—how shall I live. Obviously the only way to live right is to give up everything. But I have no vocation & maybe that is wrong anyway. But how [to] eliminate this picky fish bone kind of way I do things—I want so to love God all the way. At the same time I want all the things that seem opposed to it—I want to be a fine writer. Any success will tend to swell my head—unconsciously even. If I ever do get to be a fine writer, it will not be because I am a fine writer but because God has given me credit for a few of the things He kindly wrote for me.
My intellect is so limited, Lord, that I can only trust in You to preserve me as I should be. Please help all the ones I love to be free from their suffering. Please forgive me. My dear God, I am impressed with how much I have to be thankful for in a material sense; and in a spiritual sense I have the opportunity of being even more fortunate. But it seems apparent to me that I am not translating this opportunity into fact. You say, dear God, to ask for grace and it will be given. I ask for it. I realize that there is more to it than that—that I have to behave like I want it.
There is a want but it is abstract and cold, a dead want that goes well into writing because writing is dead. Writing is dead. Art is dead, dead by nature, not killed by unkindness. I bring my dead want into the place[,] the dead place it shows up most easily, into writing. This has its purpose if by God’s grace it will wake another soul; but it does me no good. The “life” it receives in writing is dead to me, the more so in that it looks alive—a horrible deception. But not to me who knows this.
A prayer journal by Flannery O'Connor