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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 Trouble with “Innerleckchuls”: Flannery O’Connor, Anti-Intellectualism, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop

The Trouble with “Innerleckchuls”: Flannery O’Connor, Anti-Intellectualism, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop

Chapter:
(p.95) The Trouble with “Innerleckchuls”: Flannery O’Connor, Anti-Intellectualism, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop
Source:
Reconsidering Flannery O'Connor
Author(s):

Jordan Cofer

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496831798.003.0007

In dialogue with Eric Bennett and Mark McGurl’s work on the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, as well as Tara Powell’s work on archetypes, Jordan Cofer uses new information from the Emory Archive and The Prayer Journal to contextualize one of O’Connor’s most famous comedic devices: the antagonistic intellectual. Cofer argues that although this device may have roots in southern fiction, O’Connor’s anti-intellectual trope derives from her time in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. This chapter examines some of O’Connor’s juvenilia, the drafts of Wise Blood she was writing in Iowa (while simultaneously writing in her journal), and some of the short stories she wrote while enrolled at the Workshop. Finally, Cofer reconsiders the origins of O’Connor’s anti-intellectual as a potential outgrowth of her own anxieties during this time.

Keywords:   Anti-Intellectualism, Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Flannery O’Connor juvenilia, Emory University Archive, Anxiety

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