March 2, 2009
When asked why she wrote, she replied, “Because I’m good at it.” She found sickness “more instructive than a long trip to Europe.” She was buried the day after she died. Robert Giroux sent a copy of “Wise Blood” to Evelyn Waugh hoping for a blurb, and Waugh replied, “The best I can say is: ‘If this really is the unaided work of a young lady, it is a remarkable product.’ ” One should pretty much ignore her own pronouncements on her art, though in her last years she increasingly endeavored to explain her intentions. She was an anagogical writer, of that there is no doubt. The civil rights movement interested her not at all. When she received a request to stage one of her stories, she wrote, “The only thing I would positively object to would be somebody turning one of my colored idiots into a hero.” Her kinship, she believed, was with Hawthorne. She also described herself as being “13th-century.” She is reported to have had beautiful blue eyes.