[percy-l] LITR Slow Read - Chapter 3 - "July Second"

Charles Cowherd charlescowherd at hotmail.com
Sat Jul 12 22:31:36 EDT 2014

(DISCUSSION POINTS for Chapter 3 of Love in the Ruins)
--> I'd be interested in everyone's commentary on the structure of LITR--
specifically the usage of flashbacks and the headings by specific "days".
Why did Percy use this format? How does it advance his main purpose? I have
no easy answers for this (or any of my questions) other to contrast it with
the structure of The Moviegoer (formed around the religious holiday of Lent)
or The Last Gentleman (a travel novel) or The Thanatos Syndrome (a
mystery-adventure thriller). I realize those are all gross simplifications
of Percy's intent but, particularly, with this very brief 3rd chapter of a
novel set in the future the question seems relevant.   
--> Apologies if others have mentioned this previously, but did others catch
the "integrationist Mormon President" as shades of both Romneys, George and
Mitt? The book amazes with its ability to predict, but always with great
--> On a larger note, the "silent" sermon certainly speaks to Percy's
continual fascination with language, signs and the meaning of words. I have
been reading Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club which feature Percy's muse
Charles S. Pierce heavily. I will admit that I understand little philosophy
and less semiotics so any help on that portion would be appreciated.
--> The extended section where More reads the book on World War I is topical
considering the 100 year anniversary of the "Great War." As a history
teacher, I hope that the century mark will allow for increased study of how
that conflict shaped our modern world. Again, Percy seemed to be onto that
reality in a country (the United States, that is) that is overly focused on
the Second World War. 
--> How about a present, overbearing mother figure in a Percy novel? Very
different from his other works (not to mention his life). 

All my best and privileged to be sharing this journey with all of you. 
~ Charles R. Cowherd
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