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Pickle Me This

May 15, 2007

Wooden leg first

I think it’s quite cool that my rereading of A Good Man is Hard to Find coincided with Flannery O’Connor in the news, as a new letters archive is opened. Maud Newton provides excellent coverage, as well as links to previous O’Connor posts she has written. I especially like her “But it is a wooden leg first”.

“If you want to say that the wooden leg is a symbol, you can say that. But it is a wooden leg first, and as a wooden leg it is absolutely necessary to the story. It has its place on the literal level of the story, but it operates in depth as well as on the surface. It increases the story in every direction, and this is esentially the way a story escapes being short”.

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