Flannery O’Connor Dissing Ayn Rand in 1960

Flannery O’Connor was both one of America’s greatest short story writers and one of our greatest snarky critics. Case in point, the following comments on objectivist “philosopher” and Atlas Shrugged author Ayn Rand:

I hope you don’t have friends who recommend Ayn Rand to you. The fiction of Ayn Rand is as low as you can get re fiction. I hope you picked it up off the floor of the subway and threw it in the nearest garbage pail. She makes Mickey Spillane look like Dostoevsky.

Burn.

Hat tip to Bibliokept for finding that in a 1960 letter between O’Connor and Maryat Lee. The full letter is collected in The Habit of Being.

Here are a few other killer O’Connor quotes:

“Everywhere I go, I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.”

“I use the grotesque the way I do because people are deaf and dumb and need help to see and hear.”

“Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.”

“Whenever I’m asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one.”

“I don’t deserve any credit for turning the other cheek as my tongue is always in it.”

About the Author

More Like This

A Victorian Novelist Attempts To Write Queer Characters Without Getting Censored

They were simply good friends! Barely even friends. They had never met, actually.

Sep 6 - Colin Heasley

The Life of a Male Writer, Told By the Women Who Couldn’t Write His Story

In "The Sweetest Fruits," Monique Truong reimagines Lafcadio Hearn through the women who loved him

Sep 6 - JR Ramakrishnan

This Cookbook from 1942 Is a Textbook for Making a Better World

Revisiting "How to Cook a Wolf" in the era of climate change

Aug 29 - Abby Walthausen