Included are seven photos from our visit to Flannery O'Connor's childhood home in Savannah. It's painful to reckon with the racism within O'Connor's work, and to yet be moved and inspired by her insights into writing. A good essay is "The Bigots on My Bookshelf," by Marlon James, which suggests there is a separation between artists and the work they create because, ultimately, a work of art will long outlive the artist, and can be newly understood and contextualized, it's attributes undiluted alongside its flaws. O'Connor spent the first 13 years of her life in Savannah, and formed the deep attachment to Catholicism that informed her later years. She attended mass every single morning of her most productive writing years and convalescence (from lupus) in Millidgeville, Georgia. She remains the only writer ever to win the National Book Award posthumously.
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The Forsyth Park Fountain in Savannah, placed in 1858, has an interesting history. City officials charged with park improvements ordered it (Model No. 5) from the catalogue of Janes, Beebe & Co., a New York foundry which also created ironwork for the U.S. Capitol dome and the Library of Congress--however, for many years, a popular misconception was that they had purchased it from the Sears catalogue. Additionally, iron plaques, which were removed in 1915, suggested the fountain was selected because it emulated the Fontaines de la Concorde in Paris. The fountain was actually modeled upon Jean-Pierre-Victor André's display fountain at London’s 1851 Great Exhibition, which may have, in some small measure, been inspired by the Fontaines de la Concorde. Andrés foundry in France emphasized the affordability and versatility of cast iron in comparison to marble, bronze, or hand cut stone. In the past 160 years, the fountain has been painted several times, including a sepia veined marble in 1870, and much darker hues in the early 20th century. Brick paving, an iron railing, swans, and brass urns were added to the original design between 1860 and 1870.
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