Reading list in order...

Bryon McLaughlin BMclaughlin at
Wed Sep 25 10:33:51 EDT 2002

David Beck,

Thank you for the response.  That makes a lot of sense.  I took a graduate course on Percy in seminary and had difficulty figuring out his ties to Kier. beyond a superficial level with regard to solutions to the dilemnas of existence.  Percy's appropriation of Marcel seem to me to be a better explanation of where Percy ended up.  Further, it just makes more psychological sense.  Autonomy and self-actualization is difficult to imagine, if not impossible, without "the other(s)."  Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Bryon McLaughlin

-----Original Message-----
From: David Alan Beck [mailto:dabeck at]
Sent: Tuesday, September 24, 2002 5:42 PM
To: Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion
Subject: [percy-l] Re: Reading list in order...

In that email, I was, once again, riding my hobby horse. My grad work was
on Percy and how the synthesis of Kierkegaard and Marcel is needed to
best understand Percy's fiction. Kierkegaard's "diagnosis" of modern
society is correct, but his "remedy"--the lone "knight of faith"--isn't
found in Percy. Percy uses Marcel's "intersubjectivity" as the remedy to
the man's (woman's) modern condition. It is through "the other" that one
finds himself. For example, Lancelot finds hope when he "sees" Fr. John.
They "connect" eye-to-eye and achieve intersubjectivity. L. is just one
example. In my opnion, none of Percy's fiction contains someone finding
himself outside of interaction (communion--to use a more Christian term)
with the other. (Of course, Buber and Levinas offer similar ideas, but
Marcel's "version"--due probably to being Catholic and seeing the
necessity of the sacred in and of the material world--is more
incarnational and fits more closely with Percy's worldview (as portrayed
in his fiction. I offer the qualifier because I never met him. Maybe
Marcus or Nikki can chime in.).

David Beck

"One cannot help but awe when he contemplates
the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the
marvelous structure of reality. It is enough
if one tries merely to comprehend a little of 
this mystery every day."                         
                      - Albert Einstein                 

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