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

Patrick Lynch padraig at well.com
Fri Sep 2 20:12:56 EDT 2005

My familiarity with Girard comes out of "translations" of his ideas  
by Gil Bailie and Richard Rohr, OFM. Most specifically, Girard's  
_Violence Unveiled_, which is a survey of Girard's views as seen from  
the vantage point of Biblical history and even the work of Bob Dylan.  
Unfortunately, I cannot read French and have _Things Hidden Since the  
Foundation of the World_ waiting for me on my bookshelf. While my  
high school students may not be ready for Bailie or Girard, I find  
the 3rd chapter of _Violence Unveiled_ very valuable.

It's the first week of school and I am utterly haunted by the horrors  
of the Gulf Coast area (Why is help taking so long? Why isn't the  
media asking the class or race questions?) I know these are not  
direct Percy points, but I think there are parallels. Your point  
about mimetic desire would be a lovely thread at which to pull.  
Surely this applies to Tom More and the man on the train (pre-crash)  
and even Will Barrett.

Sorry it took it little longer to get back to this discussion.
On Sep 1, 2005, at 7:22 AM, dabeck at iupui.edu wrote:

> Patrick,
> 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.
> -David
> 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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