Friend and regular reader Bev responded to my piece yesterday in which I wondered why Flannery O’Connor didn’t write more directly about Central State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, which was in full swing when she moved with her parents to the Cline mansion in Milledgeville and when she was in what was then Georgia State College for Women.
Bev sent along this article, which offers a different perspective:
“Mab Segrest, a visiting scholar at nearby Georgia College, is writing a book about Central State and teaching a course titled Milledgeville and the Mind. She has explored the hospital’s impact on the fiction of author Flannery O’Connor, who lived just seven miles from the asylum. “Her crazy preachers walk right out of case histories of ‘religious excitement’—their fears of ‘wise blood’ part of the belief in insanity as a hereditary illness that worsened over generations,” Segrest says.”
The whole article is interesting; I encourage you to read it.