A fundamentalist reads a parable only for its moral lesson; such a reader of a Flannery O'Connor story takes with her only the flimsy, so-called theme - don't be a blowhard! Don't lean too much on your own crutches! - leaving behind all the good and complex richness that might have fed the chickens. The literary equivalent of eschewing well-cooked meals in favour of a daily vitamin.
- Liz Windhorst Harmer, from her essay on O'Connor and religion, "My Flannery", in the Winter 2016 issue of The New Quarterly. You can read the whole thing here.