[percy-l] The Moviegoer

Lawrence Rhu rhul at gwm.sc.edu
Thu May 11 09:38:50 EDT 2006

Isn't it "dated" in the ways Don Quixote or Madame Bovary is dated?  Their protagonists fall under the spells of the fashionable fictions of their times -- chivalric romance, sentimental novel -- but they share themes that continue to engage us:  the relations between imagination and reality, moods and worlds, etc.  Try The Movies of My Life by Alberto Fuguet for a more recent similar sort of fictional effort, but I would readily put Percy's masterful novel in the line of those by  Cervantes and Flaubert.


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

>>> dabeck at iupui.edu 05/10/06 10:39 PM >>>
A few weeks (months?) ago, someone posted a message about the success 
of teaching The Moviegoer to a high school class. (I'm thinking it was 
Rhonda.) But the email encouraged me to try it once again, in my Intro 
to Lit class this summer. Most of the class will be bright-faced, eager 
to learn, college freshman--well, college freshman anyway.
The Moviegoer is one of my favorites, but it's also one that I've never 
taught successfully. Most thought it was too weird (I interpreted that 
as being too dated--replace Tony Curtis with Tom Cruise, etc.) But if 
high schoolers got it, then maybe it is the way I've been teaching it.
Lancelot has always gone over well in my 200-level lit classes. And 
Love in the Ruins also works pretty well, though it's a little too 
long. But TMG is such a great book that I thought I needed to give it 
one more try. I'm re-reading it now and am really enjoying it again.
So my question is (to the list and to Rhonda, if she is the one who 
posted the email): What is a good way of presenting this novel that is 
dated (in its references) but is as timely now (if not more so) than 
ever to college freshman?
Any help will be much appreciated. The class doesn't begin until 6/26.

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