Wednesday Words, 2.24
Outstanding Science Books Galore

Fowl Friend, and Author

At her mother’s farm, Andalusia, in Milledgeville, Ga., [Flannery O'Connor] collected all manner of fowl: ducks, quail, mail-order swans and peacocks. In Christian art, the peacock appears as a symbol of immortality and the incorruptible soul. She said she was attracted to the bird by “instinct.” She was always sending peacock feathers to her correspondents and friends. After one of Robert Lowell’s “spells,” she sent him one that was five feet long. Unimpressed, he said, “That’s all I need, a peacock feather.”

From "Stranger Than Paradise," Joy Williams' review of Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor, by Brad Gooch. New York Times Book Review, March 1, 2009.

See also "Believing in Flannery O'Connor," by Terry Teachout. Commentary Magazine, March 2009.


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Robert Lowell was a grump. I would have been enchanted.

For some reason, that line made me laugh. Lowell didn't get it, did he?

I like "mail-order swans."

Me, too, Charlotte.

If I could, I'd have peacocks, too.

I thought of you when I read that review in the Times on Sunday. But you really don't want peacocks. My uncle had them and they made the most awful screams.

Why am I not surprised that O'Connor collected fowl? Love her. This is a nice reminder to pick up my short story collection of hers and finish it already.

MT, oh, shoot. They're so pretty. But screaming all day long would not be good.

Jules, I'd like to re-read some of her stories, too. I'm not as crazy about the novels.

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