Spring 1953 • Vol. XV No. 2 Book Reviews |

Outraged, or Embarrassed

Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor. Harcourt, Brace. $3.00. This Happy Rural Seat by George Lanning. World. $3.50. When the contemporary literary imagination, in all the anxious sensitivity and honesty of youth, explores the problem of what has happened in the modern world to belief, the result is likely to be bizarre, oblique, tortured, and ambiguous. A deeply tragic sense of the human condition will wear the mask of an irresponsibly sportive nihilism. Compassion will wield a whip. Awareness of the need for grace will vent itself in the evocation of obscenity and violence. So it seems to be in Miss O'Connor's first novel. Or, as in Mr. Lanning's, a profound seriousness about the decline of western culture will assume the guise of a somewhat precious whimsicality and weave out of the half-humorous, half-pathetic gropings of senescence a wry parable of affirmation. The reason is simply that the 20th Century is at this late date the most fallen of all the Christian and the un

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The Great Profession

By Arthur Mizener

Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor. Harcourt, Brace. $3.00. This Happy Rural Seat by George Lanning. World. $3.50. When the contemporary literary imagination, in all the anxious sensitivity and honesty of […]

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