Suggestions for Research Projects
Here’s a list of almost-manageable projects for your days in GCSU Special Collections. This list should be especially helpful to people who are still quite open-minded about the research they intend to conduct during the NEH Summer Institute.
- O’Connor’s writing for college publications at GSCW. (Books of her cartoons have been published, but there’s more to do about the prose and the poems that Flannery published around the same time.)
- O’Connor’s book collection–using as a guide The Presence of Grace and Other Book Reviews and Flannery O’Connor’s Library: Resources of Being, get a notion of O’C’s take on major and minor writers, some of whom inspired her. Her annotations are fairly easy to interpret.
- The correspondence with Maryat Lee. Some letters were not published by Sally Fitzgerald, rather upsetting Lee.
- The Jean Cash collection includes biographical materials that did not make it into the first biography of O’C.
- The Christine Flanagan collection, about the correspondence between O’C and Caroline Gordon. See Flanagan’s interview in the 2019 FLOCR as a guide.
- Manuscripts of Why Do the Heathen Rage?, files 215-34 in Driggers and Dunn’s The Manuscripts of Flannery O’Connor at Georgia College. See also files about “The Enduring Chill,” 194-95. Gentry just went through all this material and remains stunned.
- Manuscripts of The Violent Bear It Away, files 160-92.
- Manuscripts of O’Connor’s essays, files 235-85. Robert Donahoo has been working on these materials, and he’ll happily inspire you.
- Manuscripts of O’Connor’s stories in ETRMC: esp. those concerning “Parker’s Back” and “Judgment Day.” Files 193-214.
- Manuscripts of O’Connor’s stories in A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories, files 152-59.
- And then, of course, there are the Wise Blood manuscripts, on which you can hope to make a start. You might take Katherine Hemple Prown and Sarah Gordon as guides, or you might take inspiration from Ruth Reiniche (the expert on Ruby Hill) or Catherine Bowlin (the expert on Annie Lee Jackson, mother of Hazel Motes). You might concentrate on early versions of the novel. You might focus on looking at manuscripts that relate to a single favorite character. There are quite a few characters that never made it into the published novel.
- What else? Georgia College tries to collect all the major articles on O’Connor and all the dissertations on O’Connor. If there’s a book you’ve always wanted to take a look at, now’s your chance.