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

RHONDA MCDONNELL rhonda_mcdonnell at msn.com
Tue Jul 15 00:01:47 EDT 2014

Charles, list,

Good call on the Romney thing: 

I'm sure you all have seen this photo of the elder Romney, but it was worth the space any way, just in light of Charles comment.

What strikes me structurally in this novel is the compression of time. The headings help keep that in focus with the flashbacks to Tom's hospitalization, his marriage, etc. 

As for the silence, I wonder if Wittgenstein or Max Picard might not be more illuminating to the discussion than Peirce. I'm not an expert on Peirce but I don't recall him doing much with silence as a sign.


Sent from my iPad

> On Jul 12, 2014, at 9:31 PM, "Charles Cowherd" <charlescowherd at hotmail.com> wrote:
> All,
> (DISCUSSION POINTS for Chapter 3 of Love in the Ruins)
> à 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.  
> à 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 subtlety.
> à 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.
> à 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.
> à 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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