[percy-l] LITR July Third
rhonda_mcdonnell at msn.com
Wed Jul 23 12:17:57 EDT 2014
The description of Mr. Ives hit me too, though without your comments, Greg, I wouldn't have connected it to the Scopes trial. Percy claimed he believed in creation through evolution--he said it wasn't an either/or--that science and religion didn't have to be in conflict.
I love the humor in this section. Percy knew how to play to the groundlings. Dr. Bung . . . c'mon, am I the only one that laughs out loud at that? Perhaps, as I am still 12 years old on the inside. Immelman, with his crotch adjusting, hawking, spitting, and sweaty smell--pretty comic as a devil, what with the running around distributing the lapsometers and then justifying it as a pilot. I think (if I remember rightly) Percy's devils are always crotch adjusters, as though when they are embodied, they are a mirror image of humans (like Lauren said about Immelman perhaps being Tom's shadow self), so they look okay until it's something that the mirror flips--best illustrated apparently by the side he "dresses" on. Buddy with his "I see Christmas" statement.
The "piss on Ohioans" and the ruckus that causes, with the Ohioan in the audience getting hot under the collar, and then Max getting stirred up by the mention of Jews, while Colley Wilkes just stays hunkered down was some pretty good social satire. No one bothers to be offended until it gets personal. Say what you want about my neighbor, my colleague, my friend . . . just don't say it about me.
The comments about the students cracked me up, too. Any one who has been a teacher and is honest with him/her self ought to see the truth in those observations. The best thing about the truth is that it is so funny. Perhaps that's why when Kafka read his work aloud to his friends, they would laugh until tears came to their eyes.
Rhonda McDonnellInstitute for Studies in PragmaticismTexas Tech University
"You live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing." ~Walker Percy~
> Mr. Ives: “his monkey eyes snap”—I couldn’t help but chuckle, and wonder about Percy’s word choice here, having spent the weekend not too far from Dayton, Tennessee—home of the Monkey Trial—(which is not too far from Lost Cove, either—if any of you are wondering, which is a real, not fictional place). Both of those locales are fairly close to Sewanee, where Percy's family had property, I'm told, and where he spent some time. Nearly a hundred years later, evolutionary biology is still being debated here (and nationally) and I continue to be fascinated by the constant intersection/conflict of science and faith. Interestingly, of note, here in Tennessee a rebuttal “play/musical” has been written to counterbalance “Inherit The Wind”--entitled "Inherit The Truth" (and the Creation Museum up the road in Kentucky is erecting a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark). At least in my neck of the woods, it seems we need Percy’s voice more than ever…the center cannot hold...
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