True

“People without hope not only don’t write novels, but what is more to the point, they don’t read them.”  

–Flannery O’Connor

Nobody brings it home like Flannery.  I guess you’d call me pretty hopeful because as I struggle with revising my novel, I’m also plowing through The Brothers Karamazov.  Or perhaps that’s called crazy.  Not sure.

About elizabethcarden

A wife, mom and writer of historical fiction (but sadly, not of thank you notes).
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2 Responses to True

  1. jojo says:

    I’ve been thinking about this observation.

    It is an interesting idea that hope motivates us to read and to write — hope that we find something by reading another person’s experience, or hope that a reader finds something in the experience we share. I guess it is an innately hopeful action to believe it is worthwhile to try to connect with another person. I’m not often sure what I’m looking for – but there is a jolt when I read something and it truly resonates.

    Sometimes the feeling is recognition – having experienced something very personal and then finding a character living something so eerily similar. Sometimes the feeling is discovery of something completely beyond my experience to that point.

    I like that idea in The Once and Future King that Merlin reassures Arthur that Arthur has stumbled into his destiny – that he’s in the right place. It feels good to find a little kernel of something that tells you that you’re on the right track – that your path is going someplace. It takes hope to keep traveling the path in between those signposts.

    I have never thought about it this way before – but I guess it is more hope than curiosity that keeps me interested in the world. Flannery is onto something there.

    • Great thoughts, J! That is what I love about Flannery–she makes little quips that often seem kind of light and quirky, but if you stop long enough to ponder you find they are really quite deep and profound. Didn’t C.S. Lewis say, “We read to know we are not alone?” I am not at all sure that is why I read, but it is part of it surely.

      As for hope. What a word! You know we were talking about the new translation of the Mass, and one of my favorite parts is right after the Our Father when the priest says “Deliver us Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant us peace in our days, that by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” Blessed hope. Hope is a holy thing in and of itself.

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