Friday, April 23, 2010

When in Rome...

Yesterday we received an e-mail from a gentleman in Japan who is planning a trip to the United States for the sole purpose of visiting Andalusia. It always amazes us how far people come from to see the place where Flannery O'Connor penned virtually all of her fiction. She has a big following in Japan. In fact, the largest number of foreign subscribers to the Flannery O'Connor Review are Japanese. Though O'Connor never made it to Japan, her close friend, Maryat Lee, lived there for a short while in the 1950s. With her feigned country bumpkin voice when corresponding with Lee, O'Connor wrote on May 19, 1957: "Greetings from historic Milledgeville where the ladies and gents wash in separate tubs." Confessing a certain unwillingness to bathe in what she perceived to be communal tubs, O'Connor continued, "If I were in Japan, I would be pretty high by the time I left out of there as I wouldn't have washed durng the trip. My standard is: when in Rome, do as you done in Milledgeville." If you enjoyed this gem, check out the memorable selection of O'Connor letters in The Habit of Being, available for purchase in the Andalusia gift shop for $24.00.
- Mark

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