Percy and Sentimentality
piat1 at bellsouth.net
Mon Mar 11 08:27:53 EST 2002
We've kicked this very passage about more than once --and profitably I
think. I've always been a bit on the odd side of the argument --imagine
accusing Percy of the very sentimentality he is railing against. But
reading your comments now --in the context of 911 --cautioning ourselves
against these impulses in this context --in this moment, I find myself
comforted by your post and the memories of earlier comments to the same
effect made by others. And so --I think you've expressed the caution and
the observance well. Sentiment without sentimentality.
Righteousness is an act not a sentiment. And somehow the act is supposed to
comfort others not primarily oneself. But I like the way you've put it.
And the proof (as far as I'm concerned) that you got it right is that
although you are questioning yourself --you are comforting me. --and so I'm
reminded also, not to be so damn satisfied with myself.
And with you also I look to hear other comments from other voices
oh yeah I recall some of our earlier discussion included reference to
Flannery O'Connor --not one to suffer fools or the self righteous gladly.
But of course poking the pretense out of others balloons is (as I think you
so rightly point out) something best left to those with a deft hand, a light
touch and a clear sense of their own complicity -- and , oh of course a
sense of humor like Percy and O'Connor.
But all of this is mostly to say hi, thanks and hope others will comment.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Parlin, Steven" <PARLINS at culver.org>
To: "Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion"
<percy-l at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2002 11:40 AM
Subject: [percy-l] Percy and Sentimentality
> Hey folks,
> Last night, after watching the 9-11 special broadcast, I got into a
> discussion with a friend about the danger of sentimentalizing history. I
> in over my head I think because, unlike Percy, I wasn't able to clearly
> articulate the distinction between sentimentality and sincere observance.
> have an intuitive sense of what Percy means when he says in Lost in the
> Cosmos that we humans are, among other things, "sentimenal and violent, or
> rather sentimental therefore violent", but I can't quite flesh this idea
> in clear terms. Does anyone want to take a whack at this?
> An archive of all list discussion is available at
> Visit the Walker Percy Project at <http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy>.
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