The Main House at Andalusia
Unless otherwise noted, all photos on this page by Karen Robinson
“When in Rome, do as you done in Milledgeville.”
“There are two qualities that make fiction. One is the sense of mystery and the other is the sense of manners. You get the manners from the texture of existence that surrounds you. The great advantage of being a Southern writer is that we don’t have to go anywhere to look for manners; bad or good, we’ve got them in abundance. We in the South live in a society that is rich in contradiction, rich in irony, rich in contrast, and particularly rich in its speech.” (O’Connor 103)
“As a fiction writer who is a Southerner, I use the idiom and the manners of the country I know, but I don’t consider that I write about the South. So far as I am concerned as a novelist, a bomb on Hiroshima affects my judgment of life in rural Georgia, and this is not the result of taking a relative view and judging one thing by another, but of taking an absolute view and judging all things together; for a view taken in the light of the absolute will include a good deal more than on taken merely in the light provided by a house-to house survey” (O’Connor 134)
|View from the front porch of the MainHouse at Andalusia|
|“… first of all, you have to appreciate the Southern sense of place and identity, and this is not just geographical obviously, this is a deep cultural kind of background…and you have to appreciate the fact that here is a young woman born in Savannah, raised in Milledgeville, died in Milledgeville, and for the most part never left the state, let alone the region and everything in her work is colored by this Southern sense of place, what she refers to and what other critics have referred to as the “true country,” and the true country of course, is a sense of place that’s much deeper than just being from somewhere, but it--it implies that place, itself, is an entry way into the deepest aspects of identity, and that’s key; these stories might could happen somewhere else, but they wouldn’t be the same—and of course the wonderful thing is that she takes her own particular local region and makes it universal … so she—we were talking before the interview a little bit about Faulkner—she does the same thing that Faulkner does, and to use his words, she made her own little postage stamp of native soil stand for something much bigger than just itself—so she’s not a local writer, she’s not a regional writer, because she transcends all of that, but the regional identity is --is essential. That’s the first thing I think an O’Connor reader really has to appreciate” (King, Interview).|
|View of the Main House at Andalusia|
|“O’Connor found elements of her Christian vision of man in both the religion and history of her native region. The legacy of a revivalist past has lingered longer in the South than in any other region of the country, and while O’Connor hesitated to describe the South as Christ-centered, she did feel it to be Christ-haunted. The South’s history included a major experience—the loss of the Civil War—in which O’Connor found important theological implications. She saw the loss of the Civil War as the South’s collective and personal experience of the biblical story of the Fall.
O’Connor relates that when novelist Walker Percy was asked why the South had so many good writers, he replied, ‘Because we Lost the War.’ Commenting on his remark, O’Connor observed that Percy
|Behind the Main House at Andalusia|
|“I come to Flannery O’Connor’s work with affection and respect. […] I have spent years in the homes of people who are, in certain respects, her chosen ones—the South’s impoverished, hard-praying, stubbornly enduring rural folk, of both races. […] She learned from the people she watched so intently, heard so well; and she wanted her readers to do likewise—learn, while having fun with good stories “ (Coles xxxi).
Visit the Flannery O’Connor-Andalusia Foundation website:
Nancy Marshall took these photographs in spring and summer of 2007 and winter of 2008 at Andalusia, the farm near Milledgeville, Georgia, where Flannery O’Connor (1925 -1964) spent the last thirteen years of her life. The photographs, which show interior views of the house and exterior views of the surrounding landscape, document the context in which O’Connor wrote some of her most acclaimed works, including “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and The Violent Bear it Away. These photographs were exhibited at Emory University in conjunction with "The Prophet's Country: A Celebration of the Life and Work of Flannery O'Connor" in 2007 and will be exhibited at Georgia State College and University Museum in Milledgeville, Georgia in 2009. They were taken in collaboration with the Flannery O'Connor-Andalusia Foundation, Inc.
Please see the full photo essay:
“Andalusia: Photographs of Flannery O'Connor's Farm”
To view, visit: http://www.southernspaces.org/contents/2008/marshall/1a.htm
Coles, Robert. Flannery O’Connor’s South. Athens: U of Georgia P, 1993.
Gordon, Sarah, ed. A Literary Guide to Flannery O’Connor’s Georgia. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2008.
King, David. Interview. 29 September 2008.
O’Connor, Flannery. Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose. Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, eds. New York: Farrar, 1961.
McFarland, Dorothy Tuck. Flannery O’Connor. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1976.
|Main cow barn at Andalusia|