Thursday, July 26, 2007

Wisdom Shouts In the Street

"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 means 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."

Flannery O'Connor in Mystery and Manners

After reading about this author in WORLD magazine, I got this book from the library thinking it might interest one of my daughters. As I began skimming through it I came across this quote and it has just stuck with me. I have thought that not just novelists with Christian concerns, but Christians with Christian concerns have to face this very issue.

Unfortunately, I am not a novelist and do not have a means to put forth my ideas and concerns in such a detached way. I must deal with the problem that I have the potential to intimidate others and must decide if sharing my thoughts and ideas are worth it. Yes, using a novel to speak is an enticing idea, but I haven't the hint of imagination required for such a task. So I stumble along trying to walk a line that isn't clear enough for my liking because you often don't know you've crossed it until it's too late or if crossing it is really a bad thing. Even though it's been quite some time since I've been in any trouble, I still know that "shouting" doesn't always go over well, even when you are speaking in normal tones.


[all the houses look the same] said...

howdy howdy howdy...... just wanted to leave a comment!


MomToCherubs said...

I understand all too well your dilema. So just to be sure ... know that shouting, or normal tones, are welcomed here with open arms.

MamaLion said...

I know, Momtocherubs, and I believe you. Why do you think I sent you that email the other day that said 'I miss you"?

In the first draft of this post,which was much more extensive, I included a story of a dear friend who took months to convince me that she could handle it. She took every opportunity to say, "Bring it!" And I did "bring it" and she did handle it, very well I might add. I discovered she could bring it too. It was great. And just to make the bargain even sweeter she has an authentic Yankee husband (which translated means rough on the outside, major softy on the inside) who always makes me laugh.