Flannery O'Connor · 1281 pages
Rating: (2.9K votes)
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.”
“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 ways 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.”
“The modern hero is the outsider. His experience is rootless. He can go anywhere. He belongs nowhere. Being alien to nothing, he ends up being alienated from any type of community based on common tastes and interests. The borders of his country are the sides of his skull.”
“Art requires a delicate adjustment of the outer and inner worlds in such a way that, without changing their nature, they can be seen through each other.”
“When people have told me that because I am a Catholic, I cannot be an artist, I have had to reply, ruefully, that because I am a Catholic I cannot afford to be less than an artist.”
“Ultimately we are only as old as we feel in our hearts and minds.”
“Desperation will drive you to do things you know will never make you whole again and even to lose the very thing you’re desperate for.”
“I was looking forward to my visit to the library. I’ve always been a big reader and thought I might eventually volunteer as a Friend of the Library.”
“Public schools were not only created in the interests of industrialism—they were created in the image of industrialism. In many ways, they reflect the factory culture they were designed to support. This is especially true in high schools, where school systems base education on the principles of the assembly line and the efficient division of labor. Schools divide the curriculum into specialist segments: some teachers install math in the students, and others install history. They arrange the day into standard units of time, marked out by the ringing of bells, much like a factory announcing the beginning of the workday and the end of breaks. Students are educated in batches, according to age, as if the most important thing they have in common is their date of manufacture. They are given standardized tests at set points and compared with each other before being sent out onto the market. I realize this isn’t an exact analogy and that it ignores many of the subtleties of the system, but it is close enough.”
“What’s been clear for almost forty years is that the levels of circulating insulin in animals and humans will be proportional to body fat. “The leaner an individual, the lower his basal insulin, and vice versa,” as Stephen Woods, now director of the Obesity Research Center at the University of Cincinnati, and his colleague Dan Porte observed in 1976. “This relationship has also been shown to occur in every commonly used model of altered body weight, including…genetically obese rodents and overfed humans. In fact, the relationship is sufficiently robust that it exists in the presence of widespread metabolic disorder, such as diabetes mellitus, i.e., obese diabetics have elevated basal insulin levels in proportion to their body weight.”
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