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Reconsidering Flannery O'Connor$
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Alison Arant and Jordan Cofer

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496831798

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496831798.001.0001

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“The Words to Say It”: Using Flannery O’Connor to Reconsider Lacan

“The Words to Say It”: Using Flannery O’Connor to Reconsider Lacan

(p.63) “The Words to Say It”: Using Flannery O’Connor to Reconsider Lacan
Reconsidering Flannery O'Connor

Doreen Fowler

University Press of Mississippi

Doreen Fowler takes a new approach to O’Connor by showing how her fiction both anticipates and revises the work of Jacques Lacan. Though others have used Lacan to read O’Connor’s fiction, this chapter is the first to note that both authors’ explorations of mystery (psychological for Lacan and theological for O’Connor) center around language, which they recognize as an obstacle to transcendent meaning. Fowler ultimately rereads the Lacanian Real as O’Connor’s encounter with the Divine Life, arguing that what Lacan sees as coming to the end of meaning making is what O’Connor sees as the precondition for grace.

Keywords:   Jacques Lacan, The Real, Psychoanalysis, Language Theory, Post-structuralism

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