Jordan Cofer examines the influence of the Bible upon Flannery O'Connor's fiction. While there are many studies exploring how her Catholicism affected her fiction, this book argues that O'Connor is heavily influenced by the Bible itself. Specifically, it explicates the largely undocumented ways in which she used the Bible as source material for her work. It also shows that, rhetorically, many of O'Connor's stories (and/or characters) are based upon biblical models. Furthermore, Cofer explains how O'Connor's stories engage their biblical analogues in unusual, unexpected, and sometimes grotesque ways, as her stories manage to convey essentially the same message as their biblical counterparts.
Throughout O'Connor's work there are significant biblical allusions which have been neglected or previously undiscovered. This book acknowledges her biblical source material so readers can understand the impact it had on her fiction. Cofer argues that readers can better appreciate her work by examining how her stories are often grounded in specific biblical texts, which she similarly distorts, exaggerates, and subverts, in order to shock and teach readers. Simply put, O'Connor doesn't merely reference these biblical stories, she rewrites them.
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About the Author
Jordan Cofer is Associate Professor of English at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, USA.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1. Towards a New Approach to Flannery O'Connor's Fiction
Chapter 2. Wise Blood as a Primer for O'Connor's Religious Vision
Chapter 3. From Dishonor to Glory: Biblical Recapitulation in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Judgment Day”
Chapter 4. The Terrible Speed of Mercy: Flannery O'Connor's Backwoods Prophets
Chapter 5. So The Last Shall Be First, and The First Last: Biblical Reversals in the Fiction of Flannery O'Connor