[percy-l] New reader

chaslow53 at aol.com chaslow53 at aol.com
Wed Jun 30 13:48:12 EDT 2004

I have very much enjoyed the activity on this list in the past several days.  Let me add just a few things, none of them original:

* WP did say that "lack of place" was one of the great things about Covington.  "...lack of identity, lack of placeness, even lack of history."  In Covington, "I didn't know anybody, had no kin."  He subsequently said, as I recall, that one of the things he enjoyed most about the town was that he was less well known than the local Budweiser distributor.

* He left New Orleans for Covington in part because of the debilitating effect of NO on the author's productivity.  "The occupational hazard of the writer in New Orleans is a variety of the French flu, which might be called the Vieux Carre syndrome."  Faulkner, he said, was "charmed to a standstill" by NO.

* When I was in graduate school at the University of Cincinnati, I was such a Thomas Wolfe fan (even though, or perhaps especially because, I was not an English major) that I drove all night to get to Ashville to try to find his grave (found it) and his mother's boarding house (never did).

* I was prevented from embarrassing myself by writing a letter to WP by virtue of my ignorance.  I had honestly never heard of him by the time of his death.  In fact, I never read a word until about three years ago. I interviewed an applicant for the job of departmental assistant.  This was her first job, and she was an English major.  Well, there's not much to ask folks in a first job interview, so, because she was an English major, I asked her who her favorite author was.  She told me that it was Walker Percy, and I just on a whim a few days later picked up The Moviegoer.  Wow, what a revelation.

* Although WP was spared, I did have my "here's a letter for a famous person" phase.  I wrote an indignant and bombastic letter to Pope Paul VI to express my utter horror at the thought that he would CONSIDER taking the Mass out of Latin.  His Holiness did not see fit to reply.

Chuck Lowry
Brooklyn, NY

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