[percy-l] Percy's prose

Karl M. Terrell kterrell at sheastokes.com
Tue Jun 29 17:49:24 EDT 2004

I'm not a literary jock, but I agree with the comparison to Fitzgerald's
sentences.  Luminous is the word.  This is what I look for in a writer:
Someone who can write great sentences that I have to stop and re-read,
eliciting an involuntary whisper ... "Wow!"


-----Original Message-----
From: marcus at loyno.edu [mailto:marcus at loyno.edu] 
Sent: Monday, June 28, 2004 9:31 PM
To: Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion
Subject: [percy-l] Percy's prose

Karl wrote that he is "simply a fan of [Percy's]
magnificently fluid prose...."

Agreed.  At his best, Percy's sentences are close to or on a par with F.
Scott Fitzgerald's.  If you go back and look at some of the surviving
scraps of Percy's adolescent writing, there is a special luminosity
there in his diction and syntax, as there is in his mature writing.
Even his casual correspondence has a special bosky tang--like that he
ascribes to Bourbon.

I have never seen any good studies of Percy's prose.  His "messages" may
or may not be profoubnd, but he has the artist's touch to make his
statements so distinctive and compelling.

If there's a student on this list looking for a fresh aspect
of Percy for a thesis or dissertation or a book, I think
this topic is overlooked.

Later this week I'll post something about John Desomond's recent book,
WP's Search for Community.  U Georgia.  2004. 
Anyone else reading it?  Anyone want to make it a thread subject?  Got
to do something to survive another summer in New orleans.


Marcus (who will be very happy when a dear friend of 40+
years, going back to when we were all young together in
Beirut when that city stood for beauty, sensuality, and tolerance, gets
on a plane later this week and leaves Iraq. Very happy.)

----- Original Message Follows -----
From: <Robert_Pauley at oxy.com>
To: <percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org>
Subject: RE: [percy-l] New reader
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 18:11:21 -0700

> Karl:
> I agree heartily. I came upon Percy one day in a funk in
> the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina reading about
> Will Barrett in a funk in the Blue Ridge Mountains of
> North Carolina. It couldn't have been a more perfect "man
> on the train" moment. Second Coming remains my favorite,
> the sweetest of his books I believe. I really think I got through that

> year because of Percy -- every page was laughter rich with 
> recognitions. I wrote Percy and told him this, and the gentleman wrote

> me back, a nice, long letter.
> Rip P.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org 
> [mailto:percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Karl M. 
> Terrell Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 5:51 PM
> To: Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion;
> Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion
> Subject: Re: [percy-l] New reader
> * * This communication is CONFIDENTIAL * *
> I have enjoyed the few entries I've read here over the
> past few months since joining in.  Anything to do with
> Percy fascinates me.  However, I must confess, my interest has little 
> to do with Percy's language theory (at least not the technical aspects

> thereof), nor am I that interested in the 'Catholic' issues (I am much

> too 'lapsed' in this area, as are many of Percy's
> protagonists).
> I am, instead, simply a fan of his magnificently fluid
> prose, his trenchant observations on human nature, and his characters 
> who -- while dangerously alienated -- have struck me always as 
> satisfyingly in tune with the rhythm
> of life as it ought to be.   Also, as a Southerner
> introduced to Percy when I was a student at Chapel Hill 30 years ago, 
> I feel very much at home with Mr. Percy.
>  Binx Bolling was my Holden Caulfield.  His later heroes
> were mine in my later life.
> I would enjoy hearing from Percy afficianados of similar
> ilk.
> Karl
> --
> An archive of all list discussion is available at 
> http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy/hypermail
> Visit the Walker Percy Project at http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy
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