[percy-l] The Moviegoer elem ed
RGray at montreat.edu
Sat May 13 20:09:11 EDT 2006
The Moviegoer definitely surprises readers who expect a plot-driven novel. These readers can enjoy satire and philosophical reflection, if the ideas adhere to the skeleton of a suspenseful story. Moviegoer, lacking such a plot of rising action-climax-falling action, substitutes Binx's monolog. I like to think of this style of writing as prose-poetry. What stands out artisticallyf or me is the poetry of Binx describing his life at a philosophical turning point. The half-page passages of eloquent, terse, metaphoric strikes me like a Robert Browning dramatic monolog.
Students may like learning Kierkegaard's three modes of belief: aesthetic, ethical, and religious (Binx pursuing Sharon, Aunt Emily lecturing Binx, and Binx contemplating the search). An earlier post mentioned using in class a few Percy essays. I like that approach, as Percy had huge success as an essayist--one of America's most articulate novelists, both in essay and interview. Percy didn't just blab -- he used essay and interview as artistic modes, in support of his novel-writing.
This is a fruitful string of posts. Moviegoer is a top ten novel in the post WWII era, and we have the opportunity of introducing Moviegoer to a new generation of readers.
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