[percy-l] inquiry P 119 LITR

janetcantor37 at yahoo.com janetcantor37 at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 14 12:13:13 EDT 2014

I also commented on this paragraph and I think it is important. Percy has a habit of discussing vines invading, birds flying in formations, and negroes secretly having a meeting or some silliness going on in the sex clinic that everyone is taking deadly serious, except the reader, and then he will insert a big idea in the middle of the chaos and go on to more of the chaos.

This paragraph offers a key idea, I think. 
It is not the violence that shocks us much as the fact that it came out of a good man. I believe there is an admonition to the reader to please recognize there is a potential for evil in all of us and the only way to keep it at bay is to understand that it is possible so that we can tamp it down. If we assume we could never do bad things, then we are not on our guard to be ready to recognize our potential for evil. That is what I think Percy wants us to understand.

In The Thanatos Syndrome Percy uses Father Smith big time. Father Smith says a line repeatedly, (a variant of an idea from Flannery O'Connor) "All tenderness leads to the gas chambers." This is related to the paragraph you quote, I believe.
Janet Cantor

 From: Lauren Stacy Berdy <lauren.stacy.berdy at gmail.com>
Sent: Monday, July 14, 2014 11:38 AM
Subject: [percy-l] inquiry P 119 LITR

I apologize for not responding to the specificexcellent inquires that have been placed into out laps . I am looking forward  to reading the responses.  
If I can I will add something into the pot. ( perhaps I am not
    playing by the rules? I am sure......... someone will let me know)

I am re reading the book  electronically. 

I don't know how to find the specific chapter. Yes, it is a sad
    commentary on my technical skills. I have all the other books save
    for LITR which I lent out long ago.......
All of this is to say that I might be a head of the reading group 
again, I am sure someone will let me know.

Recently I came upon a paragraph in LITR  P 119 
 I  wanted to explore with others?
 I am not sure how to understand it?
However, I believe that it is important in understanding and not
    only Dr. More as well as his creator Dr. Percy . 

We are in the " the little Napoleon" with Leroy and the Tom.( again
    in my version page 119)

and I quote
"Where did the terror come from? Not from the violence; violence
    gives release from terror. Not from Leroy's wrongness, for if he
    were altogether wrong , an evil man,the matter would be simple and
    no cause for terror. No, it came from Leroy's goodness, that he is a
    decent, sweet natured man who would help you if you needed help. go
    out of his way and bind up a strangers wounds. No, the terror comes
    from the goodness and what lies beneath, some fault in the soul's
    terrain so deep that all is well on top, evil grins like good, but
    something shears and tears deep down and the very ground stirs
    beneath one's feet."

I haven't formed a question although a few are quietly bubbling up.
    Don Giovanni is about evil and Dr. More knows many of the arias. 
I believe this is part of the scented trail that Percy is leading us
    on away from the  settled campsite of how we see the very ground
    that we walk on?

Once again thank you for this exploration



Lauren Stacy Berdy 
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