[percy-l] Re: Some Random Thoughts, Largely Unrelated, Based on Previous Discussions and Readings

Earthrise Press earthrisepress at comcast.net
Tue Dec 3 11:35:00 EST 2002

Thanks Ken, for the welcome.

I don't want to interfere with your duties but assume you can
steal a moment or two since you responded.

Given the Percy venue of this list, I'd say Percy suggests in
the quotation I cite that the Enlightenment conception of man
was destroyed by the catastrophes of the 20th Century, a
common view he knew was not original to himself, i.e., so
runs most of modern literature.... The cosmos has become
a chaos, another commonplace. Isaac Bashevis Singer sums it up
well in his Nobel Lecture, in terms Percy might have agreed with:

"The serious writer of our time . . . cannot but see that the power of
religion, especially belief in revelation, is weaker today than it was in
any other epoch in human history. More and more children grow up without
faith in God, without belief in reward and punishment, in the immortality of
the soul, and even in the validity of ethics. The genuine writer cannot
ignore the fact that the family is losing its spiritual foundation. All the
dismal prophecies of Oswald Spengler have become realities since the Second
World War. No technological achievements can mitigate the disappointment of
modern man, his loneliness, his feeling of inferiority, and his fear of war,
revolution and terror. Not only has our generation lost faith in Providence,
but also in man himself, in his institutions, and often in those who are
nearest to him." 1978.

A lot of water under the bridge since then....

I agree "man is his thought." In such a chaos, the struggle in the early
21st Century is for the definition of "we." Percy marks out his ground in
the rest of the piece I quoted from. I respect his conscience.

Frederick Glaysher

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ken Armstrong" <armstron at ohiou.edu>
To: <percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2002 9:36 AM
Subject: Re: [percy-l] Re: Some Random Thoughts, Largely Unrelated, Based on
Previous Discussions and Readings

> At 07:07 AM 12/3/2002 -0500, Frederick Glaysher wrote:
> Hey, Frederick, welcome to the list, I've enjoyed reading some of your
> essays (much to agree with, some not) since seeing your recent post on
> another list. I'm too tied to other duties to be much of a revivalist
> but your isolating the Percy quote below made me wonder not about the bad
> start the 21st may be off to (depends where you are?), but how now do we
> conceive ourselves in the cosmos? If rational, naturally good, and part of
> the cosmos then, what now? Or, in the "perception is everything" line of
> thought, how on the whole (not as individuals who may differ widely) do we
> conceive ourselves now?
> Ken Armstrong
> How about attempting a
> >"revival" with one of my favorite quotations from Percy:
> >
> >Sign Posts in a Strange Land, 309:
> >
> >"The old modern age has ended. We live in a post-modern as well
> >as a post-Christian age which as yet has no name....
> >
> >"It is post-modern because the Age of Enlightenment with its vision
> >of man as a rational creature, naturally good and part of the cosmos,
> >which itself is understandable by natural science--this age has also
> >ended. It ended with the catastrophes of the twentieth century."
> >
> >What are we to make of the catastrophes of the 21st Century?
> >Not off to an especially good start, are we?! Or too gloomy
> >a quotation to prompt comment?
> >
> >Frederick Glaysher
> >
> >Earthrise Press
> >P. O. Box 81842
> >Rochester, MI 48308-1842
> >Voice: 248-651-3380
> >FAX: 248-608-6424
> ><mailto:EarthrisePress at Comcast.Net>EarthrisePress at Comcast.Net
> >www.fglaysher.com
> --
> An archive of all list discussion is available at
> Visit the Walker Percy Project at http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy

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