Friday, March 14, 2008

Sugarcoating Life

Tony Woodlief has an interesting discussion of Flannery O'Connor's ruminations regarding the influence of her Christian commitments on her writing. He writes:

Her stories were notably violent, and filled with depraved characters. She constructed a milieu of fallen men in order to reveal the grace of God in a sin-stricken world. Nonetheless, she didn’t sit well with many good Christians....Unfortunately, this instinct [to exclude evil from works of art], in the realm of art, carries us toward artificial truth — which is to say falsehood — in the form of sentimentality and unreality. Following that line of reasoning leads me to conclude that many of the novels labeled as Christian are sinful, because they portray the world of God falsely, with dimensionless characters, unrealistic dialogue, and pat resolutions.

He then concludes provocatively:

This leads to an interesting possibility: that our local public library has more genuinely Christian literature — which is to say books that tell a truer story of the fall of man and his redemption by Christ — than most Christian booksellers.


Blogger Lanette said...

Isn't the Bible violent and filled with depraved characters?

11:29 AM  
Blogger MCO said...

Lanette, you are absolutely right. Unfotunately, many Christians manage to gloss over those accounts.

11:42 AM  

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