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Flannery O'Connor quotes

To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness.

Conviction without experience makes for harshness.

It is better to be young in your failures than old in your successes.

Everywhere I go, I'm asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.

I preach there are all kinds of truth, your truth and somebody else's. But behind all of them there is only one truth and that is that there's no truth.

I don't deserve any credit for turning the other cheek as my tongue is always in it.

Faith is what someone knows to be true, whether they believe it or not.

The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location.

I am not afraid that the book will be controversial, I'm afraid it will not be controversial.

When in Rome, do as you done in Milledgeville.

There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.

When a book leaves your hands, it belongs to God. He may use it to save a few souls or to try a few others, but I think that for the writer to worry is to take over God's business.

I find that most people know what a story is until they sit down to write one.

It seems that the fiction writer has a revolting attachment to the poor, for even when he writes about the rich, he is more concerned with what they lack than with what they have.

The Southerner is usually tolerant of those weaknesses that proceed from innocence.

The writer can choose what he writes about but he cannot choose what he is able to make live.

The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention.

At its best our age is an age of searchers and discoverers, and at its worst, an age that has domesticated despair and learned to live with it happily.

I am a writer because writing is the thing I do best.