Below is a podcast conversation with my friend and writer, Jonathan Rogers. His new biography on Flannery O’Connor clarifies her purpose in painting such grotesque figures and shocking story lines. Some of her twisted tales are downright painful, but they are purposeful. “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world” (Lewis).
Contemporaries of O’Connor who shared her Christian worldview did not like her fiction, Jonathan says. But she was not writing for them. She was attempting to rouse a world, deaf to the Voice behind creation and asleep to ultimate things. During our interview, he explains in stark terms her target audience….