[percy-l] "American Dream"

Karey Perkins karey at kareyperkins.com
Thu Jul 6 00:58:28 EDT 2006

Percy's writing was topical so it suits the teaching of him to use topical
media as a supplement - but these young students aren't going to get it.
Sometimes I think college literature is just too advanced for college aged
students - teenagers or barely out of teenager-dom.  I taught a World
Literature course this summer to a gaggle of adorable young sorority girls
who dutifully took notes on everything we discussed and went over, but I
still realized that most of the references, allusions, and innuendos were
lost on them as they would have been on me at their age.

The problem is that topical media (music especially) of today is so
pre-packaged and marketed it has lost the artistry and soul and doesn't work
in a literature class.  My 19 year old daughter who is
English/art/philosophy oriented listens more to the music of 60s and 70s
(Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens) than what passes for music today.  The music of
today that she considers worth listening to is "indy" music, but she says
most people her age don't listen to it.   


-----Original Message-----
From: percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Beck, David A
Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 11:57 PM
To: percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [percy-l] "American Dream"

Larry, Jim et al,
I think that you are both correct. University presses aren't producing 
Dan Brown-like bestsellers. My hunch is that the reason the books are 
so high (besides the legit reasons Larry gave) is that they expect 
libraries to be their main customers. Hence they can gouge libraries 
and forget the mass market.
The upside of all of this is that the amazon market place offers most 
of these books at a reasonable price. My academic mentor in grad school 
(the late Tony Sherrill) published a great book that also discussed 
Percy (Road-Book America). It had a similiar price, but I found it in 
the used marketplace of amazon for half-price (and it looked like it 
had never been opened).
The problem, of course, is that the author probably won't receive any 
royalties. But, if you are like me and just want the book to be read, 
the internet offers some great deals. I receive such a small commission 
on my books that I'd rather give them away to more people than receive 
the chump change I get for each book sold.
I wrote two obscure (small press) books on Eastern Orthodoxy a decade 
or so ago. I'm amazed to see that some book sellers are offering each 
book at $40 or more. If someone goes via the publisher s/he can get 
each book for under $12 (paperback).
Anyway, I am going to ask our university library to purchase the book, 
if they haven't already ordered it. Looks good and I look forward to 
reading it.
BTW, as a follow up to the last discussion I brought up (on The 
Moviegoer), I'll dive into that book next week. I plan to give a big 
intro, using some of the work that Karey and Rhonda provided me. I'll 
have to admit, however, that I am still a little hesitant. Today we 
concluded our poetry section. I thought that it would be cool to use 
some song lyrics. I chose Springsteen's "Thunder Road", Counting Crows' 
"Round Here" and Jakob Dylan's (the Wallflowers), "One Headlight." 
2/3rds of my students weren't familiar enough with Springsteen to be 
able to name ONE song he wrote/sung. They thought that Counting Crows 
were from "my" generation (I'm 47!!!).
I felt so old that I thought I'd should ask for a handicap parking 
sticker. I mean, I asked, didn't you guys ever "roll down the windows 
and let the wind blow back your hair"?? If Springsteen is so dated, how 
will they get Bill Holden and Rory Calhoun??
Sorry, I won't go on, in fear that no one here will get it either.
Feeling old in Indy ("I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers 
rolled"--no, wait, "I shall wear my trousers sagging").
Time to go to bed (no mermaids sing to me).

Quoting Lawrence Rhu <rhul at gwm.sc.edu>:

> Jim--
> Pity indeed.  I take your point without any comfort to offer.  The
> crisis in humanities publishing continues, and university presses
> have had to take drastic measures to survive.  Of course, these
> include such prohibitively high prices, more limited printings, fewer
> paperbacks at least vaguely in the purchasable range, etc.  Still, I
> am pleased that you express some interest.  Thanks.
> Larry
> Lawrence F. Rhu
> Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature
> University of South Carolina
> Columbia, SC  29208
> Tel:  803 777 0144
> Fax:  803 777 9064
> Email:  rhul at sc.edu
>>>> JHForest at cs.com 07/04/06 6:13 AM >>>
>>> The pleasure and satisfaction of having a new book just out have
> irresistibly combined with the easy availability of an appropriate
> listserv and a "hard
> url" to make advertising its recent publication almost effortless. As you
> recall, I have previously mentioned the presence of Percy and especially
> Movigoer in my book as a matter of possible interest for subscribers to
> list. So here it is, just a click away (with my sincere apologies for the
> price). <<
>>> http://www.cas.sc.edu/engl/faculty/faculty_pages/rhu/cavell.html
> What a fine title and inviting cover! But what a pity that it costs so
> I fear this will put it beyond the budget of many who might have
> wished to buy
> a copy, myself included.
> Jim Forest
> * * *
> Jim and Nancy Forest
> Kanisstraat 5 / 1811 GJ Alkmaar / The Netherlands
> tel: (31)(72) 511 2545
> Jim's e-mail: jhforest at cs.com (alternative address: jhforest at gmail.com)
> Nancy's e-mail: forestflier at cs.com (alternative address:
> forestflier at gmail.com)
> Jim and Nancy Forest web site: www.incommunion.org/forest-flier/
> Forest-Flier Editorial Services: www.incommunion.org/forest-flier/ffes/
> Jim's photo web site: www.flickr.com/photos/jimforest/sets/
> Orthodox Peace Fellowship web site: www.incommunion.org
> * * *
> --
> An archive of all list discussion is available at
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/percy-l/
> Visit the Walker Percy Project at http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy

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