[percy-l] New Member Greeting

Gray, Rich RGray at montreat.edu
Thu Mar 1 08:16:33 EST 2012

Harry Whelchel,


I have been fascinated by connections between O'Connor and Percy.  Their
careers barely overlapped, running mainly end-to-end.  They met once at
a conference at Loyola, New Orleans.  Percy alluded often to O'Connor as
successfully bridging to a broad, religiously skeptical readership, and
Percy claimed-correctly I believe-that he had drawn from O'Connor's
poetics.  You might look at Rich Gray, "Walker Percy's Appeal to
Searchers: The Last Gentleman and The Second Coming," by Rich Gray,
Christian Scholars Review, 41:1 (fall 2011) 15-34.


You have tackled a complex novel in Lancelot.  It stands apart from
Percy's other work, in that Lance's 200 page harangue reveals his
spiritual lostness, without much interest in Christianity or religious
faith of any sort.  The artful conclusion can support your thesis, with
references to Percy's essays.  Percy's interviews should also shed
light: Lewis Lawson and Victor Kramer, eds., Conversations with Walker
Percy (Jackson: U. Mississippi Press, 1985), and More Conversations with
Walker Percy, same editors and publisher, 1993.


From: percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:percy-l-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Harry Whelchel
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2012 12:53 AM
To: percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [percy-l] New Member Greeting


My name is Harry Whelchel and I am a 4th year at the University of
Virginia majoring in Religious Studies and Economics. I am currently
taking a class in our Religious Studies department taught by Prof. Bill
Wilson and Prof. Vigen Guroian on the subject of Walker Percy and
Flannery O'Connor. So far we have read The Loss of the Creature,
Metaphor as Mistake, The Message in the Bottle, and Lancelot by Percy.
We have read essays from O'Connor's Mystery and Manners as well as her
first novel Wise Blood. 


I am interested in Percy to learn more about his works of fiction,
philosophy, and the conversation surrounding him. Recently I wrote a
paper on Lancelot detailing how the process itself of sharing his story
with Percival allows Lancelot to apprehend narrative's power to convey
sovereign experience. I then argued this apprehension changes the world
view Lancelot had developed and leads Lancelot to be open to the
possibility of God's existence (yet Percy leaves the reader uncertain as
to whether Lancelot will accept or reject God's existence).


The exercise of writing on Lancelot, a difficult work that I am sure I
still do not fully grasp, led me to search for more academic resources
on Percy. So I decided to join this listserv.




Harry Whelchel

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