[percy-l] Percy-L Trivia

Matthias Staab scipio2 at gmx.de
Sun Jul 31 15:03:43 EDT 2005

Percy-L TriviaHenry,

10 years are a really long time... I just checked the archives to notice
that I joined in Mid-September 1995. Looking back on these ten years, I
notice that through Walker Percy and through the list, I discovered a number
of other writers, first of all Flannery O'Connor who was and is even less
known in Germany where I live than Dr Percy. I made friends with some of you
co-list members - bonds which are still lively today.

With others, contact is more virtual. E.g. coming across the name of Jim
Forest during the reading of Paul Elie's book I feel like hearing about an
old acquaintance!

To you, Henry, my sincerest thanks for enabling all this through the years,
and to all of you co-Percyites where ever you are, my best transatlantic

Matthias Staab
scipio2 at gmx.de
Life is a mystery, love is a delight. Therefore, I take it as axiomatic that
one should settle for nothing less than the infinite mystery and the
infinite delight. In fact, I demand it. I refuse to settle for anything
less. (Walker Percy)

 -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]Im Auftrag von Henry P. Mills
Gesendet: Sonntag, 31. Juli 2005 06:34
An: percy-l
Betreff: [percy-l] Percy-L Trivia

  Answer: what became Percy-L started as a hypermail archive launched in
early August, 1995. Discussion was formalized into Percy-L one year later in
August, 1996. http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy/mail-archives.html holds all the
archived messages if you’re interested in a bit of semiotic archeology.

  If you were a member back then, I hope you will write me and let me know.
Happy 10th, Percy-L!

  Henry Mills

    From: "Henry P. Mills" <wpercy2 at ibiblio.org>
    Reply-To: "Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion"
<percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org>
    Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2005 23:12:09 -0500
    To: percy-l <percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org>
    Subject: Re: [percy-l] dead

    Thanks for the more than enjoyable edification, Chuck.  We could use
more of it.  I will take this as a good moment to say Percy-L the
communication channel is decidedly not dead, nor will it be anytime soon.
It runs very stably and soundly through the digital machineries of UNC and
will remain active as long as I have the presence and ability to sit at the
keyboard.  So whether or not there is actually any Percy “chatter” at any
given point, the potential for intersubjective connection still remains as a
constant for the, at present, 117 members subscribed. One may also always
return to past discussions when on a search for Percy by visiting the list’s
archives at  <http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/percy-l/>, if not find and
re-invigorate subjects there to new life by returning them to new
discussion.  All things held constant, therefore, Percy-L is not dead, nor
will it be as long as 2 remain members, and we are a far piece from there.

    Henry Mills

    PS-Just as a little trivia, can anyone say when Percy-L was launched?

      From: chaslow53 at aol.com
      Reply-To: "Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion"
<percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org>
      Date: Sat, 30 Jul 2005 22:29:15 -0400
      To: percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org
      Subject: Re: [percy-l] dead

      Well, it is obviously true that the list is not as active as it once
was.  I think there are many of us (we exchange private e-mails from time to
time, where you smarter folk can't catch us) who are fans of the novels and
don't really have a great interest in the philosophy.  I'm not sure what WP
would have thought of us, but there it is.

      And even of those of us interested in the novels, there appear to be
two groups.  The academics are ever eager to trace sources and influences,
but the "layfolk" are more interested in using the novels to help answer
WP's "ordinary Thursday afternoon at 4:00" conundrum: how is it that we can
spend the morning reading philosophy and history and theology and fiction
and walk away from it with no idea at all of how we are to lead our lives
after lunch?

      Two historical/literary thoughts present themselves here.

      * William Buckley is reported to have said that he read Moby Dick at
55 and it changed his life.  I cannot vouch for that, either that he said it
or that it changed his life.  I speak here as one who edifies, not with
authority.  What I can say is that I read The Moviegoer at 52 and it changed
my life.  I am interested in an exchange of ideas, not necessarily
restricted to that sort of reaction, of what the Percy novels mean in the
individual lives of those who read and contemplate them.  To the extent that
the novels broaden our understanding of the "dark journey," they are
valuable; they become even more valuable when we understand how they affect
others as well.

      * John Henry Newman was the author of A Grammar of Assent, The Idea of
a University and a thousand papers on points of Church history and doctrine
so austere and obscure that we are staggered to this day to contemplate his
output.  Yet when he was made a Cardinal, he chose as his motto something
that showed a side of him that none of us today would associate with him:
Cor ad cor loquitur, the heart speaks to the heart.  So, too, Walker Percy
wrote novels whose message, whether in Binx's relationship with his mother
or in Tom Moore's relationship with his second (Presbyterian!) wife or in
Lancelot's pipe-clanking with is fellow inmate, could not be clearer: cor ad
cor loquitur.

      I'm not saying that this should move us to sentimental essays based
not on WP's novels but on sociological flights with only the remotest
connection.  I am just saying that there are a lot of us who read and
treasure the novels because of their expression of what Binx experienced as
"God's importunate grace" and discussions which are too philosophical or too
technical are not going to grab us, because we are neither philosophers nor
academics.  That's why you don't hear from that group too very often.

      Damn, I guess I am intent on retaining my amateur status!

      Chuck Lowry
      Brooklyn, New York

      An archive of all list discussion is available at

      Visit the Walker Percy Project at http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy

    An archive of all list discussion is available at

    Visit the Walker Percy Project at http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy

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