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Reference Books

Forty-Three Years Later

1995

The first full-length book about Wise Blood is published, New Essays on Wise Blood.

O'Connor is regularly included in reference books such as encyclopedias and biographical dictionaries of writers.

Reference Book Characteristics
AUDIENCE: Anyone from the general public to students to scholars
AUTHOR: Either the writing staff of the encyclopedia or scholars specializing in the subject of the entry
TIMELINESS: At least a year or more behind events; sometimes takes many years for a person or work of art or literature to be considered important enough to cover.
CONTENT: Provides concise overviews, definitions, dates, statistics, and chronologies. Information is usually presented in an objective manner. Specialized reference books have bibliographies for finding more resources.
TYPE OF SOURCE: Secondary

Today and Forward

As Flannery O'Connor is accepted into the literary "canon" (meaning that she is considered an important writer who should be studied and taught), the amount of information about her grows exponentially. Research about O'Connor becomes interdisciplinary, as publications about her extend beyond the field of literature to religion, philosophy, and psychology. A film is made of Wise Blood, which brings popular press attention to the novel and releases its own flow of information. The number of web pages devoted to her life and work also increases.

Information in the arts and humanities rarely follows a predictable path or timeline. Not all novels take so long to have books written about them, and some never have a whole book devoted to them. Other topics such as paintings, poems, or religious texts may have many scholarly articles written about them but not any books.

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