[percy-l] Lancelot

RHONDA MCDONNELL rhonda_mcdonnell at msn.com
Thu Feb 25 21:55:34 EST 2010

I agree--particularly Elie's.  Here's two more for everyone to chew on:  Cormac McCarthy and Toni Morrison.  I'm thinking of McCarthy's Border trilogy in the use of rotation and repetition, as well as that pervasive sense of being at loose ends in the modern world.  Come to think of it, it'd be interesting to do a comparative study of John Grady Cole and Will Barrett (in The Last Gentleman, of course, since we never see  John Grady as a mature man).  And I know you might be thinking Toni Morrison is a stretch, but I'm thinking particularly of Song of Solomon and the whole anti-consumerism motif. The fact that you can't buy an authentic identity is something that she explores tragically, while, in The Moviegoer (and Lost in the Cosmos) Percy explores the same thing satirically. Remember Binx saying something to the effect of his armpits not stinking now that he uses the "right" deodorant? Makes me laugh just thinking about it.


"You live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing."
                                    Walker Percy

From: karey1 at charter.net
To: percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org
Date: Thu, 25 Feb 2010 14:31:29 -0500
Subject: Re: [percy-l] Lancelot

Now that I think of it,
there were two really great books out in this century comparing Percy to other


Paul Elie’s “The
Life You Save May be Your Own:  An
American Pilgrimage” discusses Percy, O’Connor, Merton, and Dorothy


Lamar Nisley’s “Impossible
to Say:  Representing Religious
Mystery in Fiction by Malamud, Percy, Ozick and O’Connor”


Both good.




From: percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Charles Lowry

Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2010 1:29 PM

To: Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion

Subject: Re: [percy-l] lancelot


I am neither professional nor expert, but here are a couple


The first writer that comes to mind for me as similar to
Percy is Richard Ford.  It is interesting that the first two novels
in his trilogy both show remarkable indebetness to The Moviegoer.  In the
first, The Sportswriter, the similarities are verbal and situational.  In
the second, Independence Day, the similarity is thematic, that alienation is
addressed through the search.


Regarding the O'Connor-Percy question, I am reading now a
book by John D. Sykes Jr.: Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and the Aesthetic
of Revelation.  He makes the point that Percy and O'Connor are both
writing in the post-Faulkner, post-Lost Great Cause era of Southern literature,
and to replace that ideal, they turn to a literature of community and religion,
but turn to it in different ways.  O'Connor aims toward a build-up, toward
a "climactic image" intended to effect contemplation, not
conversation.  Percy preferred the way of search and dialogue, internal
and external, to engage his readers.

Thoughts from a very snowy Brooklyn.


Chuck Lowry


On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 1:08 PM, Graham Culbertson <gw.culbertson at gmail.com> wrote:

Rizwana,  I've found John
Barth's first two novels (The Floating Opera and The End of the Road) to have a
great many similarities to Percy's novels.  An essay that links them
negatively, which I haven't actually had a chance to read, is:

Bradbury, John M. "Absurd Insurrection: The Barth-Percy Affair."
South Atlantic Quarterly 68 (Summer 1969): 319-29

Graham Culbertson


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