[percy-l] Ernest Becker's 1974 Pulitzer Prize winner: TheDenial of Death

Lawrence Rhu rhul at gwm.sc.edu
Mon Jul 17 14:53:35 EDT 2006

I think it (that P may not have read B yet shares such deep resonance with his lines of thought) is very interesting _precisely_ b/c it suggests that the boundaries of a shared culture are not textual in so specific -- or, if you will, positivistic, a way, as the question, "Did P read B?" implies.  When Richard Ford says that The Moviegoer made him feel he could write a novel about anywhere, I think he was saying the same kind of thing.  Percy expressed dismay at the label "Southern" novelist because he felt it was a way critics could easily pigeonhole him and deny him fuller, fairer reading.  Yet he was certainly full and direct in his acknowledgment of Southernness as a central part of his identity, even though public conversation on the topic might set his teeth on edge when it was simply assumed to have specific meanings, etc.  Of course, The Moviegoer couldn't be much more deeply embedded in New Orleans than it is, and yet it is inspired and animated by continental art and thinking.  So somebody like Ford feels freed by it as a writer and ends up, in The Sportswriter, penning a remarkable novel so different yet so indebted to P's first and subsequent novels as well.


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

>>> karey at kareyperkins.com 07/17/06 1:42 PM >>>
Thanks.  I do think it's interesting that some of the same concepts are
discussed and similar conclusions are reached.  Though, since they both did
read the same people, that probably isn't so unusual.





From: percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Nikkibar at aol.com
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2006 12:52 PM
To: percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [percy-l] Ernest Becker's 1974 Pulitzer Prize winner: TheDenial
of Death


Although this is not authoritative as it is virtually impossible to prove a
negative, i do not ever recall hearing Walker discuss Becker. One might
review his library donation inventory to see if Becker was among the books.

Nikki Barranger

More information about the Percy-L mailing list