[percy-l] Lance and Percival

larsonovic at gmail.com larsonovic at gmail.com
Fri Mar 2 13:51:22 EST 2012

David, Interesting take. If Percival is not the main character, he is  
certainly the moving one. Lance is used, I think, as diagnostician for what  
ails the world, though his prescriptions are generally dangerous. It is  
perhaps through Lance's preaching about what is wrong that Percival seems  
to return to his priestly vocation, by which he can administer the  
appropriate remedies. In that sense the book is much preachier than any of  
the other novels, I think, and especially more so than LIR. The reason that  
Lancelot can get away with its overt preachiness is that the sermons come  
from an unstable mind and roll off the tongue of unbelief.

Mike Larson

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> 1. Re: New Member Greeting (Beck, David A)

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> Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 22:12:33 -0500

> From: "Beck, David A" dabeck at iupui.edu>

> Subject: Re: [percy-l] New Member Greeting

> To: percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org

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> Harry,

> Another way of reading Lancelot is to see Fr. John as the main

> character (my students have a hard time at first seeing this). He is

> the one who really changes. He moves from a crisis in faith (not

> wearing his "priest clothes" at the beginning and refusing to pray for

> the the dead, etc.) to redemption (wearing his priest clothes, turning

> from the window and looking at Lance eye-to-eye (intersubjectivity) and

> taking a parish in Alabama).

> Frankly, I don't see that much change in Lance. And, what change I do

> see, isn't good.

> As for someone's comment about LIR being too preachy: I'd like to hear

> in what way. I just re-read it over the summer for the

> I-don't-know-how-many-times and have never seen it (or any of his

> novels) as "preachy." If fact, most my students "miss" the Christianity

> part (I've only taught The Moviegoer, Love in the Ruins, and Lancelot

> (the latter goes over the best)).

> Good to see some discussion again!

> -David

> Quoting Harry Whelchel hhw3h at virginia.edu>:

> > 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.

> >

> > Best,

> >

> > Harry Whelchel

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