"…[Jean] Paulhan warns that linguistic expression is never pure, since it is always contaminated by rhetoric. According to Gide, Joyce is like Paulhan in that he tears up ‘cloaks and appearances,’ unveiling the rhetorical function of language. Paulhan himself refers to Joyce and Marcel Proust as similarly Bergsonian authors, intent on destroying the conventional self, formed by habit and mechanical intelligence…" — Jean-Michel Rabaté
"I have read almost everything that Bloy, Bernanos, and Mauriac have written. The Catholic fiction writer has very little high-powered “Catholic” fiction to influence him except that written by these three, and Greene. But at some point reading them reaches the place of diminishing returns and you get more benefit reading someone like Hemingway, where there is apparently a hunger for a Catholic completeness in life, or Joyce who can’t get rid of it no matter what he does. It may be a matter of recognizing the Holy Ghost in fiction by the way He chooses to conceal himself."
O’Connor, Flannery, letter to Father J.H. McCown, 16 January 1956, in Sally Fitzgerald, ed., Flannery O’Connor: The Habit of Being, 130. (via thirstygargoyle)
"The boys in the classroom were right to be scared of her irony. O’Connor’s was not the shifty, reactive, and merely local variety that passes for irony today: sitcom irony, skinny-jeans irony. It was vertical and biblical: the irony by which the mighty are lowered, the humble exalted, and the savior dies on a cross."
Euro City on the Heidelberg-Hamburg line.
Chronic love racing
through the docile squares of fields
through Europe’s lingering infection
the Führer of philosophy.
He’d be a train as punctual
as faith’s ambiguity.
March. March. Long-distance march.
The fanatical complexity of passing stations.
under predestination’s stretched sail.
without regaining death.
now stand along the platform
calling on the evidence of their luggage.
They carefully unpack their ideologies,
drowned by the noise of an ontological excavator
philosophy’s adoptive aunt.