[percy-l] The Moviegoer
rhul at gwm.sc.edu
Tue May 16 09:42:06 EDT 2006
I have a new book coming out this month, or early next month, from Fordham University Press. It is called Stanley Cavell's American Dream: Shakespeare, Philosophy, and Hollywood Movies.
About twenty of its pages in the first two chapters discuss The Moviegoer. Both of the last two chapters close with references to the (penultimate) ending of The Moviegoer (just before the Epilogue). One of its two epigraphs quotes that passage:
It is impossible to say why he is here. Is it part and parcel of the complex business of coming up in the world? Or is it because he believes that God himself is present here at the corner of Elysian Fields and Bons Enfants? Or is he here for both reasons: through some dim dazzling trick of grace: coming for the one and receiving the other as God's own importunate bonus?
It is impossible to say.
Walker Percy, The Moviegoer
I say all this because I would like you to know about my book. It certainly reveals how deeply Percy's novel got to me long ago and continues to matter immensely despite ever-changing critical fashions.
Given the fact that I am a college professor and a university press is publishing my book, you might also call it "academic," and I would feel obliged, after a number of disclaimers, reluctantly to concede that point. However, I certainly worked my hardest to write appealing and intelligible prose.
Some of the blurbs on the cover, solicited by FUP, indicate a measure of success in this effort. They describe it as "eloquent and accessible," "rewarding and pleasurable to read, "a generous invitation" that "shows how the interests of an important philosopher are just like anybody else's."
I hope that it is not merely self-promotion that moves me to make this contribution to the current discussion. Rather, the book contains pertinent matter for this listserv exchange and it puts my relevant views as well as I could when I was devoting my energy to that effort.
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
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