Forty-five years ago, Flannery O’Connor went from her home in Georgia to Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C., to give a lecture during a festival marking the university’s 175th anniversary. As things turned out, it was the last such lecture she gave, and that grim fact lends her remarks a finality she couldn’t have fully intended.
In my view, though, that lecture was more a beginning than an ending—and a beginning with special...
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