[percy-l] slow read of The Second Coming
Lauren Stacy Berdy
lauren.stacy.berdy at gmail.com
Sun Jul 17 11:55:15 EDT 2016
I want like to bring the discussion back to our own inner lives
From the beginning I understand Will's pain talking to pain.
We all inside of us have a constant inner dialogue that guides and
drives us ( sometimes crazy)
For myself as I read of the "pied weed at the edge of the rough gave off
a faint acrid smell which rose to his nostrils" He was even then
beginning to re-own his thoughts........the sweet thoughts that come
thru before ego plays its role. I know nothing of the game of golf but I
read once that the best happens when you leave thinking alone.
All of this is to say that Will is beginning to sense that his thoughts
have separated him from his essential nature.
(" rather than a self sucking everything into itself")
He is still telling himself stories of Ethel Rosenbaum and broken subway
tiles and the missing Jews............but that's the pain mind talking.
but he has splendid moments when the shadows clear .........as we all
Lauren Stacy Berdy
(614) 314-4162 cell
Lauren.Stacy.Berdy at gmail.com
LaurenBrdy at aol.com
On 7/17/2016 1:26 AM, RHONDA MCDONNELL wrote:
> Great kick off Jim!!
> I agree about the golf courses. Additionally, golf courses seem
> representative of a "new" South for Percy. Consider the Vaughts,
> embodiment of the new South, live on a golf course. In this sequel the
> golf course is the sort of non-place Percy sees the South as having
> become, spun loose from history. Will, however, in falling onto the
> golf course reconnects to the actual land, and thereby begins the
> process of connecting to his memories. Lying at the heart of those
> memories is suicide, an impulse that continues to haunt him.
> Allie is juxtaposed with him, as she remembers almost nothing.
> On an unrelated note, what do you all make of her androgyny? The
> boyish haircut and clothes?
> Good to see a bit of life on the list!
> Sent from my iPhone
> On Jul 16, 2016, at 9:17 AM, Jim Forest <jhforest at gmail.com
> <mailto:jhforest at gmail.com>> wrote:
>> Just to put a toe in the water in our so-far-silent discussion of
>> “The Second Coming”:
>> We start on a golf course. For Walker Percy, golf courses serve as
>> symbols of an affluent life that has lost an interest in what Percy
>> called “the search” in “The Moviegoer,” his first novel.
>> When Will Barrett falls on the green and sees the world upside down,
>> he focuses on an apocalyptic cumulous cloud that makes him think of
>> And then it crosses his mind to shoot himself.
>> Suicide is one of the novel’s core issues.
>> Will is amazed at the lengths people will go to hide from themselves
>> the fact that their lives are farcical. They play golf, drink,
>> converse, laugh, attend church services, crack jokes and “deceive
>> themselves into believing that things are going well.”
>> By the yardstick of his fellow golfers, Will is as nutty as a
>> fruitcake, though it’s a condition readily forgiven as Will, owner of
>> the local mountain, is on top of the money pile.
>> Lying on the fairway, Will becomes hyper-alert, aware that -- at
>> least at certain moments -- the brain forgets nothing: the smell of
>> chalk dust, the feel of hot corduroy, etc -- it’s all there. Will
>> remembers a wedge-shaped patch of weeds and Ethel Rosenblum in her
>> cheerleader uniform, a girl he wanted so badly he fell down. An
>> earlier fall. In Second Coming, falling is an important state to be in.
>> What would life have been like, Will wonders, with Ethel Rosenblum?
>> “Would he have been better off?” Would he be thinking about shooting
>> himself in the head?
>> All is not well with Will.
>> -- Jim Forest
>> * * *
>> just out:
>> *The Root of War is Fear: Thomas Merton's Advice to Peacemakers:*
>> recent books:
>> *Loving Our Enemies: Reflections on the Hardest Commandment: *
>> *Saint Nicholas and the Nine Gold Coins: *
>> *Books in print*: www.jimandnancyforest.com/books/
>> *Jim & Nancy web site*: www.jimandnancyforest.com
>> *Photo albums*: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimforest/albums
>> *Facebook*: https://www.facebook.com/jim.forest1
>> *Jim & Nancy Forest*
>> Kanisstraat 5 / 1811 GJ Alkmaar / The Netherlands
>> * * *
>> * Percy-L Discussion Archives:
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