Archive for February 18th, 2008

I’m going to make Mondays my “Flannery Day” — Duane says it’s ok with him — so here goes. Flannery was not bashful about expressing her opinions (especially in letters to friends). If you haven’t read her letters (published as The Habit of Being) you are missing a great treat. Here are a some of observations on education and learning:

“Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.”

“Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.”

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

Academic degrees meant little to her. In 1962, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Notre Dame’s St. Mary’s College. She wrote to a friend, “My degree hasn’t done a thing for me so far, it hasn’t increased my self-confidence or improved my personality or anything I expected it to do. The local wags have already got tired of calling me ‘Doctor.’ Regina [her mother] wrapped the hood up in newspaper and put it away and unless I wear it Halloween, I guess it’ll stay there.”

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