[percy-l] "What's so great about this Percy guy, anyway?"

dabeck at iupui.edu dabeck at iupui.edu
Thu Sep 1 10:22:19 EDT 2005

I like your "sidestep" into Girard. Next to Kierkegaard and Marcel, I probably 
refer to him (in class) more than any other philosopher (though he considers 
himself an anthropologist). I was wondering if you might elaborate on the 
connection you touched on. 
 While I'm not sure how many here are familiar with Girard's work, I think it 
would be great to discuss how some of his ideas are manifested in Percy. (They 
seem to be manifested everywhere else, especially his take on mimetic desire.)
 BTW, someone mentioned that these crises can bring out the best and worst in 
us. I saw footage of the looting and have now heard evacuation of the Super 
Dome has been halted, because someone is firing on the choppers. Crazy world.
Quoting Patrick Lynch <padraig at well.com>:

> Pain and discomfort, it seems, without any what one might call  
> "mindfulness" or perceptive thought can bring to fore that darker  
> self. It's somewhat similar to what a friend told me about his being  
> questioned on his Conscientious Objector status and was given the  
> situation where a person was about to rape his sister and there was a  
> gun between him and that person. The representative said, "Would you  
> not shoot the rapist?" He answered, "Yes," but if he could, he would  
> try to avoid the gun or even putting his sister in harm's way in the  
> first place.
> Perhaps the higher self, and I hope I can be forgiven a sidestep away  
> from Percy here, is like the one advocated by Rene Girard. One must  
> look at violence (and by association from within the highest self)  
> and choose to have it stop. Rather than look for the scapegoat,  
> become the scapegoat. choose to suffer. Sort of like Tom in the  
> Second Coming who has to deal with the toothache and come out from  
> his cave.
> I must say, Karl and Dave, you bring up fascinating ideas.
> Patrick
> On Aug 31, 2005, at 8:35 PM, Karl M. Terrell wrote:
> > There is something about these awful occurences that brings up a dark
> > side of our authenic selves.  I'm not sure we can wholly control this.
> > We can only hope, on balance, that the search will proceed toward a
> > light.

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