[percy-l] Percy-L Digest, Vol 44, Issue 1

Michael Larson Mlarson at SOUTHEASTMN.EDU
Tue Jan 2 22:59:31 EST 2007

I don't know about anyone else on the list, but Rhonda's posts did some funky formatting on my computer, such that I could not read them in email. Once I copied and pasted into a Word document, though, I saw that she had some great things to say. I think it is correct that Lance speaks for Will Percy and the loss of southern stoicism. But he also speaks for Walker. In fact, the changes in the Church are not unlike the changes in the social order. The changes in both are, in many ways, the kindred products of modernity. Lance affords Percy an opportunity to speak (yes, in an amped-up fashion) for both Will and Walker, each bemoaning the loss of something he perceives to be of the utmost importance.

It seems to me that Lance, as a fictional character, might have been the only way that Percy could express such anxiety. He certainly wasn't about to go public straight-up with a disillusioned characterization of the Church. So he did it in fiction, and Lancelot isn't the only place, though it is perhaps the edgiest. As Rhonda says, Percy did not despair ultimately: he hoped; but that hope was in spite of a world gone mad and a church gone soft--not BECAUSE of either one of them.

As far as the jihadists go, yes, they are believers. And yes, there are Catholic believers and Protestant believers, and many other kinds of believers, but it is only the trait of belief that binds each to each. It is not the content of their belief. They do not believe in the same things. Of course there is overlap, but there are mutually exclusive differences as well. Unless religious relativism is true, they simply cannot all be correct. So in being willing at the end of the novel to listen to Fr. John, Lance teaches us a lesson ONLY if Fr. John's version of the truth is the Truth. Clearly this is what Percy is intimating. If the Catholic truth that Fr. John represents is replacable by any (fill in the blank) serious-minded religious figure, then Percy is handing us nothing but relativism. Which he isn't.

As Rhonda says, Percy does indeed speak through Fr. John. That's the beauty of fiction: authorial voice may enter any number of characters at strategic moments, even those (the priest and Lance) who represent ambivalent and dichotomous grapplings with the same reality (the Church).

Regarding Rhonda's other post--a "bad peace" might be one that is based on egalitarianism, indifference, apathy, rather than on truth, true charity, and an acclimation to the real reality (i.e. God's).

Michael Larson

-----Original Message-----
From: percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org on behalf of percy-l-request at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Tue 1/2/2007 12:44 PM
To: percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Percy-L Digest, Vol 44, Issue 1
Send Percy-L mailing list submissions to
	percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
	percy-l-request at lists.ibiblio.org

You can reach the person managing the list at
	percy-l-owner at lists.ibiblio.org

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Percy-L digest..."

Today's Topics:

   1. Re: Lancelot the Jihadist (RHONDA MCDONNELL)
   2. Re: Lancelot, jihadists, and the terror of false peace


Message: 1
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2007 11:30:24 -0700
From: "RHONDA MCDONNELL" <rhonda_mcdonnell at msn.com>
Subject: Re: [percy-l] Lancelot the Jihadist
To: percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org
Message-ID: <BAY116-F11AB0C8F0797752A8A3D96E4BA0 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/percy-l/attachments/20070102/3824dcf5/attachment-0001.htm 


Message: 2
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2007 11:44:01 -0700
From: "RHONDA MCDONNELL" <rhonda_mcdonnell at msn.com>
Subject: Re: [percy-l] Lancelot, jihadists, and the terror of false
To: percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org, jsbaughm at gwm.sc.edu
Message-ID: <BAY116-F11D45BC6708968CE4E7094E4BA0 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/percy-l/attachments/20070102/3d83a627/attachment.htm 


Percy-L mailing list
Percy-L at lists.ibiblio.org

End of Percy-L Digest, Vol 44, Issue 1

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: winmail.dat
Type: application/ms-tnef
Size: 4952 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/percy-l/attachments/20070102/895c382d/attachment.bin>

More information about the Percy-L mailing list