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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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Flannery O’Connor’s Real Estate: Farming Intellectual Property

Flannery O’Connor’s Real Estate: Farming Intellectual Property

(p.234) Flannery O’Connor’s Real Estate: Farming Intellectual Property
Reconsidering Flannery O'Connor

Carol Loeb Shloss

University Press of Mississippi

Carol Shloss takes a literal approach to the subject of legacy by exploring and questioning the legal nature of Flannery O’Connor’s literary estate, a hot topic among many O’Connor scholars. Using “A Circle in the Fire” as a structural metaphor, Shloss argues that the disputes over ownership and property that are present in O’Connor’s fiction echo the reality of Flannery O’Connor’s personal literary estate. Shloss draws on extensive archival research in order to trace the history of O’Connor’s literary estate since the author’s death, while exploring the meaning of property in O’Connor’s work and positing how O’Connor’s writing itself becomes a type of property. Following the succession of O’Connor’s literary executors, Shloss identifies a tendency to move away from creativity about O’Connor and toward an enshirement of her image by a small number of people. Shloss argues that in the end, relaxing the copyright restrictions on O’Connor’s archive would best carry out the wishes of the author. 

Keywords:   Flannery O’Connor’s estate, Flannery O’Connor’s archive, Scholarly access, Literary executor, Property rights

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