[percy-l] Slow Reading Discussion: The Second Coming - Schedule and Format (discussion to begin next weekend, July 2-3)

Henry Mills wppdirector at gmail.com
Sun Jun 26 15:33:09 EDT 2016

Dear Percy-L:

It looks like the votes have it for The Second Coming.  Seems like a fine
choice for the centenary year of Percy's birth, given the book's sense of
evolving hope and Percy's very playful approach to language throughout it.
Please as a group familiarize yourselves with the following schedule,
discussion format, and topic guidelines to aid us in beginning the read.
Any comments or suggestions in response to this post can be sent to the
entire community for consideration:


I have made an outline of a reading schedule that the group can use as
found at the bottom of this email. I recommend that discussion begin next
weekend, July 2-3, to finish by August 27. This will give folks a chance to
get the book and read the first two  (2) chapters, or 40 pages total before
next weekend.  The breakdown is based on the Picador version, which I
believe is the most recent trade copy available. This breakdown almost
directly follows Percy's chapters, with the exception of chapters 5-6.  The
flow of the book might encourage a faster pace in places, so the group, I
think, can adjust forward as we feel comfortable.  The Picador version of
the book can be purchased through the following link or likely at your
favorite bookstore:


In the spirit of the election year (one further word about that below), I
would like to suggest that, rather than attempting to divide up sections
between individuals who introduce each with
questions/comments/observations, we as a group democratically move forward
in an open manner through the book with the below schedule in mind as a


I suggest that a reader response approach to the book (its themes,
characters, language, etc.) is suitable for discussion, as well as any
biographical or historical commentary and the like.  However, it exactly
being an election year, I would strongly suggest that we leave presidential
politics aside.  We are here to enjoy Percy, not discuss current politics.
True, there was a bit of room for politics in Love in the Ruins. The Second
Coming is such a delightful book that I think there is much to be enjoyed
solely within itself.


   - Slow reading discussion to begin next weekend, July 2-3.
   - The reading schedule is roughly 40 pages per week, following Percy's
   chapter breakdown with flexibility built in as determined by the group.
   - Discussion to complete by August 26 (8 weeks total at the most)
   following the weekly schedule below.
   - The format of the discussion will be open in terms of how each section
   is begun (i.e., no assigned discussion leaders).
   - All discussion topics -- as will lead us to enjoy the book in its
   wonderful charm, art, and spirit -- are welcome, with a special caveat
   restricting the introduction of presidential politics.  Sorry, folks,
   that's another listserv!
   - Any responses to this email are welcome at this time by sending them
   to the Percy-L community as a whole.

The Second Coming is a fine book and, personally, I believe, should give us
all quite an enjoyable read, discussion, and ultimately renewed
appreciation for Percy and his wonderful art and sense of humor as an
uplifting experience this summer.  I look forward to the start of
discussion next weekend, and invite all to join in.

Best wishes,

Henry Mills
Percy-L Administrator



*For July 2* / Chapter 1-2 (pages 3-43)

*For July 9* / Chapter 3 (pages 44-79)

*For July 16* / Chapter 4 (pages 80-121)

*For July 23* /  Chapter 5 to 5.7  (pages 122-171)

*For July 30* / Chapter 5.8 to 6 (pages 171-229)

*For August 6* / Chapter I (pages 233-266)

*For August 13* / Chapter 2-3 (pages 267-305)

*For August 20* / Chapter 4-5 (pages 306-360)
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