Flannery O’Connor, Cartoonist and Chicken Trainer Extraordinaire


Apparently, as a college student, O’Connor developed a taste for making linoleum cuts, which appeared in the college’s newspaper along with awesomely quipy captions directed at the pompousness of student life and the faculty.

Barry Moser, who is writing the introduction to the upcoming book on O’Connor’s early art, likens her linoleum technique and general temperament to her keen eye for gesture: All the poses her figures strike seem realistic, despite her rarely using references. Moser also believes that the consciously lazy attention she paid to other writers is evident in her visual artwork as well, and may have been a key part of her whole aesthetic practice.

Also, O’Connor taught a chicken to walk backwards when she was six, which she later said was the “high point of her life”.  Gosh, she’s cool.


Graham Todd is an intern at The Rumpus. He spends his mornings writing post-apocalyptic, vaguely biblical sci-fi horror comedy, his evenings tutoring the wide-eyed youth of the Palo Alto area, and his Thursdays at The Rumpus office, effectively “off the streets”. Beyond this weekly ritual, he enjoys karaoke, the movies, and jogging. More from this author →