51+ Flannery O’Connor Quotes And Sayings For Inspiration

Flannery O'Connor Quotes

Flannery O’Connor was an American author who wrote short stories and essays. Her writing style has been described as Southern Gothic. She was born in Savannah, Georgia, and died at age 39 from lupus.

O’Connor was a devout Catholic who believed strongly in the power of prayer. O’Connor’s life and writings offer inspiration for anyone who wants to live a meaningful and purposeful life. Here are some quotes by Flannery O’Connor to inspire you.

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

– Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor Quotes

1. “Accepting oneself does not preclude an attempt to become better.” – Flannery O’Connor

2. “I think there is no suffering greater than what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe.” – Flannery O’Connor

3. “If you don’t hunt it down and kill it, it will hunt you down and kill you.” – Flannery O’Connor

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

5. “All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.” – Flannery O’Connor

6. “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” – Flannery O’Connor

7. “The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention.” – Flannery O’Connor

8. “Only if we are secure in our beliefs can we see the comical side of the universe.” – Flannery O’Connor

9. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.” – Flannery O’Connor

10. “Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.” – Flannery O’Connor

11. “I write to discover what I know.” – Flannery O’Connor

12. “To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness.” – Flannery O’Connor

13. “The way to despair is to refuse to have any kind of experience.” – Flannery O’Connor

14. “There are all kinds of truth … but behind all of them there is only one truth and that is that there’s no truth.” – Flannery O’Connor

15. “Your beliefs will be the light by which you see, but they will not be what you see and they will not be a substitute for seeing.” – Flannery O’Connor

16. “Children know by instinct that hell is an absence of love, and they can pick out theirs without missing.” – Flannery O’Connor

17. “Conviction without experience makes for harshness.” – Flannery O’Connor

18. “To know oneself is, above all, to know what one lacks. It is to measure oneself against Truth, and not the other way around. The first product of self-knowledge is humility.” – Flannery O’Connor

19. “A story is a way to say something that can’t be said any other way, and it takes every word in the story to say what the meaning is.” – Flannery O’Connor

20. “Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.” – Flannery O’Connor

21. “Satisfy your demand for reason but always remember that charity is beyond reason, and God can be known through charity.” – Flannery O’Connor

22. “Not-writing is a good deal worse than writing.” – Flannery O’Connor

23. “I find that most people know what a story is until they sit down to write one.” – Flannery O’Connor

24. “It is better to be young in your failures than old in your successes.” – Flannery O’Connor

25. “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.” – Flannery O’Connor

26. “There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” – Flannery O’Connor

27. “The mind serves best when it’s anchored in the Word of God. There is no danger then of becoming an intellectual without integrity.” – Flannery O’Connor

28. “I am not afraid that the book will be controversial, I’m afraid it will not be controversial.” – Flannery O’Connor

29. “The operation of the Church is entirely set up for the sinner; which creates much misunderstanding among the smug.” – Flannery O’Connor

30. “There is no excuse for anyone to write fiction for public consumption unless he has been called to do so by the presence of a gift. It is the nature of fiction not to be good for much unless it is good in itself.” – Flannery O’Connor

31. “Faith comes and goes. It rises and falls like the tides of an invisible ocean. If it is presumptuous to think that faith will stay with you forever, it is just as presumptuous to think that unbelief will.” – Flannery O’Connor

32. “I am a writer because writing is the thing I do best.” – Flannery O’Connor

33. “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” – Flannery O’Connor

34. “A God you understood would be less than yourself.” – Flannery O’Connor

35. “It is the business of the artist to uncover the strangeness of truth.” – Flannery O’Connor

36. “Push back against the age as hard as it pushes against you.” – Flannery O’Connor

37. “The serious writer has always taken the flaw in human nature for his starting point, usually the flaw in an otherwise admirable character.” – Flannery O’Connor

38. “The writer can choose what he writes about but he cannot choose what he is able to make live.” – Flannery O’Connor

39. “What people don’t realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when of course it is the cross.” – Flannery O’Connor

40. “I use the grotesque the way I do because people are deaf and dumb and need help to see and hear.” – Flannery O’Connor

41. “We are not judged by what we are basically. We are judged by how hard we use what we have been given.” – Flannery O’Connor

42. “Every morning between 9 and 12 I go to my room and sit before a piece of paper. Many times, I just sit for three hours with no ideas coming to me. But I know one thing. If an idea does come between 9 and 12 I am there ready for it.” – Flannery O’Connor

43. “The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location.” – Flannery O’Connor

44. “Most of us come to the church by a means the church does not allow.” – Flannery O’Connor

45. “The basis of art is truth, both in matter and mode.” – Flannery O’Connor

46. “The scientist has the habit of science; the artist, the habit of art.” – Flannery O’Connor

47. “I love a lot of people, understand none of them.” – Flannery O’Connor

48. “If you can’t make something out of a little experience, you probably won’t be able to make it out of a lot. The writer’s business is to contemplate experience, not to be merged in it.” – Flannery O’Connor

49. “In most good stories, it is the character’s personality that creates the action of the story. If you start with real personality, a real character, then something is bound to happen.” – Flannery O’Connor

50. “Remember that you don’t write a story because you have an idea but because you have a believable character.” – Flannery O’Connor

51. “If we forget our past, we won’t remember our future and it will be as well because we won’t have one.” – Flannery O’Connor

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