[percy-l] Announcement: 2nd Walker Percy Weekend Literary Festival in St. Francisville, LA, to be held June 5-7, 2015

Henry Mills wppdirector at gmail.com
Sun Mar 29 08:48:38 EDT 2015

Dear Percy-L:

Information about the 2nd Walker Percy Weekend Literary Festival in St. 
Francisville, LA, (June 5-7, 2015) is available at the following address:


Below is a recent article that appeared in the Baton Rouge Advocate 
about the upcoming event. For those who attend this year's festival, it 
would be wonderful to receive a personal report posted to Percy-L for 
all to enjoy.  Please consider!

Best wishes,

Henry Mills
Percy-L Manager


*Our Views: Walker Percy’s take on Louisiana*

Advocate story
March 21, 2015

Plans are underway for a second Walker Percy Weekend Literary Festival 
in St. Francisville — a welcome development for those of us who cherish 
the late resident of Covington who achieved international fame with 
novels like “The Moviegoer” and “Love in the Ruins.” More information 
about the festival, slated for June 5-7, is available at 
walkerpercyweekend.org <http://www.walkerpercyweekend.org>.

News of the festival made us think about Percy’s deep love of Louisiana, 
a state he wrote about with a fond but critical eye quite often until 
his death in 1990. “As the question goes these days, what’s wrong with 
Louisiana?,” Percy asked in a 1985 newspaper op-ed that still rings true 

“The state is beautiful, unique, and there are no better people 
anywhere,” Percy told readers. “If the United States takes pride in 
being a melting pot, in the sense that many ethnic types tolerate each 
other, that is, generally don’t kill each other as they do in Lebanon, 
here in Louisiana as amazing mix of people not only tolerate each other 
but by and large get along well and have a good time.

“But I don’t like what has happened to this state,” Percy continued. 
“The facts are melancholy and all too familiar. One need not dwell on 
them. Here’s a state richer in mineral resources than any other Southern 
state, the top gas producer in the country, possessed of the largest 
port, endowed with a natural wealth which in its use might have been 
expected to yield manifold benefits for its people. The upshot … its 
marshes plundered, and polluted, one of the highest cancer rates in the 
country, the loss of fifty square miles of wetlands yearly.”

Percy recommended a number of reforms, but his main suggestion was 
improving public education.

“Time will tell,” he concluded. “We either continue our present course 
and become a somewhat comic, albeit slightly sleazy playground for 
tourists and conventioneers — as indeed Louisiana is already perceived 
by much of the country. Or we can realize our unique potential, keep the 
good times, but conserve our natural wealth and that greatest wealth of 
all — our young people. There’s the hope.”

That was Walker Percy, writing in 1985. It’s striking to consider what 
has changed — and what has not — since he made those observations about 

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