A Prayer Journal - download pdf or read online

By Flannery O'Connor

Author note: W.A. periods (Editor)

"I want to write a gorgeous prayer," writes the younger Flannery O'Connor during this deeply religious magazine, lately chanced on between her papers in Georgia. "There is a complete good international round me that I will be capable of flip in your praise." Written among 1946 and 1947 whereas O'Connor used to be a pupil faraway from domestic on the college of Iowa, A Prayer magazine is a unprecedented portal into the internal lifetime of the nice author. not just does it map O'Connor's singular courting with the divine, however it exhibits how entwined her literary hope was once along with her craving for God. "I needs to write down that i'm to be an artist. now not within the experience of aesthetic frippery yet within the feel of aesthetic craftsmanship; another way i'm going to suppose my loneliness regularly . . . i don't are looking to be lonely all my lifestyles yet humans basically make us lonelier through reminding us of God. expensive God please support me to be an artist, please permit it result in You."

O'Connor couldn't be extra undeniable approximately her literary ambition: "Please aid me expensive God to be an excellent author and to get anything else accepted," she writes. but she struggles with any hint of self-regard: "Don't permit me ever imagine, pricey God, that i used to be something however the software to your story."

As W. A. periods, who knew O'Connor, writes in his advent, it was once no twist of fate that she started writing the tales that may turn into her first novel, Wise Blood, in the course of the years whilst she wrote those singularly innovative meditations. together with a facsimile of the total magazine in O'Connor's personal hand, A Prayer Journal is the list of an excellent younger woman's coming-of-age, a cry from the center for romance, grace, and artwork.

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It had been sent to her, at h er request, by a certain Mrs. Elisabeth M organ who, although she rem ains a shadowy figure, was to becom e A lexandra’s first patron. She was a m ature woman, an occultist, who b e frie n d e d F ren ch stu d e n ts visiting E ngland. A lexandra, as she sat alone in the garden, stared at the pale blue cover with its enigm atic oriental symbols. T h e contents were still m ore perplexing: unfam iliar language, twists of thought, snatches of Sanskrit. At first she supposed it was all craziness, b u t she soon d eter­ m ined to find o ut in person.

Lawrence, who e a rn e d a bachelor’s degree from O xford, spent most of his time wan­ d ering about England or reading medieval literature. A lexandra had 28 B OOK ONE: T H E SEEKER to re tu rn often to Brussels to continue h er musical studies. T h e stern ju d g e within h e r refused to let h e r rest. She could p rep a re for no def­ inite career because those o pen to w om en were too limited. However, the u n h ap p y and frustrated young w om an did not convert smoothly to B uddhism . L ater in life she liked to give that impression, b u t in reality she painfully oscillated from pole to pole.

A lexandra writes that the “young m an” left that same evening for Marseilles and a ship b o u n d for India. In fact, A lexandra did not break her ties so quickly. She resorted again to h e r tem ple o f learning, the Musée Guimet. Ascending the gran d staircase past frescos of a B rahm in tending a ritual fire, B uddhist m onks in saffron togas carrying begging bowls, a Japanese tem ple am id cherry blossoms with icy m ountains in the background, she felt like a pilgrim proceeding toward the unraveling o f the suprem e mystery.

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