Flannery_OConnor
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Targets Are Where You Find 'Em!

To put this volume in perspective, we have to know that the cartoonist was a young amateur who actually considered making a career of the art, but was then drawn to another mode of expression—one which transcended, perhaps, her cartoons, but also sublated them.  They were always a part of her imagination; the habit of art could be transformed into the world of her fiction, and it was.

And also for the sake of perspective, we have to remember that the artist died at the age of 39, nearly 50 years ago, which means in effect that we have been thinking about her—if that is the case—longer than she thought about us.  As the author recedes into history, she looms larger not because she possessed a gift, but because the gift possessed her.

Perspective suggests furthermore that this is another in a line of extraordinary volumes by Flannery O’Connor (1925-64) that were created by editors who, in one way or another, synthesized various materials.  Robert and Sally Fitzgerald were responsible for Mystery and Manners (1969), which pulled together various essays, speeches, and other prose.  The Complete Stories (1971) put the apprentice stories written for O’Connor’s M.F.A. at the University of Iowa in context for the first time.  Sally Fitzgerald gathered and edited O’Connor’s letters as The Habit of Being...

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