[percy-l] William Styron on Walker Percy

janetcantor37 at yahoo.com janetcantor37 at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 12 08:38:59 EDT 2015

Fascinating. Thanks.
      From: Charles Lowry <lowry.charles at gmail.com>

I have been wandering through the recently published My Generation, a collection of non-fiction prose by William Styron.  Styron was himself a Southern writer, though ultimately a Connecticut resident.  He mentions Percy four times, and I thought that these citations may be of some interest to followers of this list.
p. 132: While Styron objects to Percy's complaints about the Connecticutization of the South, he nevertheless refers to Percy as "a writer for whom my esteem is unsurpassed."
p. 366: Styron talks about Faulkner's influence on Lie Down in Darkness and joins Percy and O'Connor as Southern writers who are apprehensive about working "in the shadow of such a colossus."
p. 396: Styron was one of the judges who helped to compile the infamous Modern Library list of the one hundred greatest novels of the twentieth century.  He notes with approval the competing list, composed some weeks later, by students at Radcliffe College, except that he complains about the omission of The Moviegoer from the Radcliffe list.
p. 450: He discusses Fitzgerald's attitude. "with its implication that the men of his era produced achievements in prose writing that would cause those who followed after to feel like sacred epigones."  In his list of writers of his generation aimed at proving Fitzgerald wrong, he includes Percy.
This is a very rich book, but it comprises 585 pages of text.  As interesting as much of it is, one is reminded of the dictum of the nineteenth century German classics scholar (be kind, I quote from memory, and my German was never that good even when I had to pretend to know it), Fuer mich, ein Buch ohne Index ist keine Buch."
Chuck LowryBrooklyn, NY

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