13 July 2014


from Flannery O'Connor's novel, The Violent Bear it Away:

["He" is O'Connor's reluctant adolescent prophet, Francis Tarwater. . .]

He felt his hunger no longer as a pain but as a tide. He felt it rising in himself through time and darkness, rising through the centuries, and he knew that it rose in a line of men whose lives were chosen to sustain it, who would wander in the world, strangers from that violent country where the silence is never broken except to shout the truth. He felt it building from the blood of Abel to his own, rising and spreading in the night, a red-gold tree of fire ascended as if it would consume the darkness in one tremendous burst of flame. The boy’s breath went out to meet it. He knew that this was the fire that had encircled Daniel, that had raised Elijah from the earth, that had spoken to Moses and would in the instant speak to him. He threw himself to the ground and with his face against the dirt of the grave, he heard the command. GO WARN THE CHILDREN OF GOD OF THE TERRIBLE SPEED OF MERCY. The words were as silent as seed opening one at a time in his blood.

Read this novel, if you haven't. Re-read it, if you have. Great stuff. 

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1 comment:

  1. I love Flannery O'Connor, the way she writes is/was incredible. How it progressed as the years went by shows not only her growth but also her intellect. Yes, her wors can be harsh but I look at it that it mirrors reality so well.