I’ve been googling various authors to double-check various things, and I stumbled on a quote from Flannery O’Connor that I’d like you to consider today on distortions.
(The O’Connor quotation is from Mystery and Manners, in the essay titled The Fiction Writer &His Country, pages 33–34 in the linked edition, originally published in 1957 as part of a collection of articles by authors talking about their craft.)
“The novelist with Christian concerns will find in modern life distortions which are repugnant to him, and his problem will be to make these appear as distortions to an audience which is used to seeing them as natural; and he may well be forced to take ever more violent means to get his vision across to this hostile audience. When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock—to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost-blind you draw large and startling figures.”
O’Connor is amazing, and I’m humbled to think of what she wrote before her untimely death at the age of 39—MY AGE!
Do you agree with her? She makes a very interesting point.
At the same time, I think the opposite is also true. I’m not sure she ever would have dreamed of how shocking American literature would become. Now I almost wonder if we need to cut through the distortions to show, once again, what is good, simple, beautiful, and given.
Admittedly, I’m generally persuaded that the church, for too long, has forgotten how to speak in positive terms of its own teachings and comforts.
Anyway, the paragraph above is probably something for all of us, as Lutheran authors, to considers on a regular basis.
Blessings on your day and your days to come. 🙂