Walker Percy, Philosopher


Author: Leslie Marsh
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319779680
Category: Philosophy
Page: 280
View: 6584

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Though Walker Percy is best known as a novelist, he was first and foremost a philosopher. This collection offers a sustained examination of key aspects to his more technical philosophy (primarily semiotics and the philosophy of language) as well as some of his lesser known philosophical interests, including the philosophy of place and dislocation. Contributors expound upon Percy’s multifaceted philosophy, an invitation to literature and theology scholars as well as to philosophers who may not be familiar with the philosophical underpinnings of his work.

Lost in the Cosmos

The Last Self-Help Book
Author: Walker Percy
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453216340
Category: Fiction
Page: 256
View: 3796

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“A mock self-help book designed not to help but to provoke; a chapbook to inveigle us into thinking about who we are and how we got into this mess.” —Los Angeles Times Book ReviewPublished at the height of the 1980s self-help boom, Lost in the Cosmos is Percy’s unforgettable riff on the trend that swept the nation. Filled with quizzes, essays, short stories, and diagrams, Lost in the Cosmos is a laugh-out-loud spin on a familiar genre that also pushes readers to serious contemplation of life’s biggest questions. One part parody and two parts philosophy, Lost in the Cosmos is an enlightening guide to the dilemmas of human existence, and an unrivaled spin on self-help manuals by one of modern America’s greatest literary masters.

The Moviegoer

A Novel
Author: Walker Percy
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453216251
Category: Fiction
Page: 191
View: 6700

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In this National Book Award­–winning novel, a young man, torn between the forces of tradition and change, searches for meaning in postwar America. On the cusp of his thirtieth birthday, Binx Bolling is a lost soul. A stockbroker and member of an established New Orleans family, Binx’s one escape is the movie theater that transports him from the falseness of his life. With Mardi Gras in full swing, Binx, along with his cousin Kate, sets out to find his true purpose amid the excesses of the carnival that surrounds him. Buoyant yet powerful, The Moviegoer is a poignant indictment of modern values, and an unforgettable story of a week that will change two lives forever. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Walker Percy including rare photos from the author’s estate.

Walker Percy and the Politics of the Wayfarer


Author: Brian A. Smith
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 1498537553
Category: Political Science
Page: 230
View: 6840

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Walker Percy and the Politics of the Wayfarer is the first sustained treatment of Percy as a political thinker. The book argues that Percy provides a distinctive approach to politics, one that might allow us to give up the dangerous longing for limitless progress and perfection in our lives.

Signposts in a Strange Land

Essays
Author: Walker Percy
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453216375
Category: Literary Collections
Page: 428
View: 9033

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A captivating collection of writings on Southern life by one of the masters of American literaturePublished just after Walker Percy’s death, Signposts in a Strange Land takes readers through the philosophical, religious, and literary ideas of one of the South’s most profound and unique thinkers. Each essay is laced with wit and insight into the human condition. From race relations and the mysteries of existence, to Catholicism and the joys of drinking bourbon, this collection offers a window into the underpinnings of Percy’s celebrated novels and brings to light the stirring thoughts and voice of a giant of twentieth century literature.

The Message in the Bottle

How Queer Man Is, How Queer Language Is, and What One Has to Do with the Other
Author: Walker Percy
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453216405
Category: Literary Collections
Page: 335
View: 1825

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Profound and passionate essays from one of America’s greatest literary voicesBefore winning the National Book Award for fiction in 1962, Walker Percy was an established scholar of science, philosophy, and language. Presented here are his strongest essays in those subjects, offering what he called a “theory of man for a new age.” Ambitious yet readable, The Message in the Bottle encapsulates the philosophical foundations of his groundbreaking novels, perfect for Percy fans and new readers alike. From discussions on the dislocation of man in the twentieth century to theories on why humans talk while other animals do not, thisis an enlightening collection from one of the South’s most celebrated writers.

Pilgrim in the Ruins


Author: Jay Tolson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781416552093
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 544
View: 3365

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When The Moviegoer, an extraordinary first novel by an unknown Louisiana author, won the National Book Award in 1962, it marked the arrival of an exceptional literary talent. With his five successive novels and his wide-ranging philosophical and occasional essays, Walker Percy shored up his reputation as one of America's greatest writers - an ironic moralist and perhaps the shrewdest chronicler of life in the New South. Yet even by the time of his death in 1990, little was known about this intensely private man. Based on extensive interviews, written with access to Percy's letters and manuscripts, Jay Tolson has fashioned the first major biography of the writer, an authoritative portrait that brings Percy alive as it illuminates his distinguished body of work. We see Percy's life and his brilliant career against the background of the American South, whose colorful and tragic history is rooted deeply in the hearts and minds of its most talented sons and daughters. With a novelist's eye for character and the judgment of an informed critic, Tolson captures the lifelong drama of genius, always attentive to its artistic, psychological and spiritual dimensions. Percy was the scion of a proud, honorable and accomplished family, a clan haunted by a crippling streak of melancholy that issued repeatedly in suicides, including the self-inflicted deaths of Walker Percy's father and grandfather. Tolson depicts the struggle of Percy's life and the heroism with which he battled his family demons (and his own tubercular condition) and worked his way toward a writing career. Here is the young Percy in the days after his father's death, traveling with his brother and his mother (who would soon dieherself, in mysterious circumstances) from his childhood home of Birmingham, Alabama, to Athens, Georgia, and then on to Greenville, Mississippi, and the sprawling house of his Uncle Will. Adopted at 16 by this remarkable "bachelor-poet-lawyer-planter", the most important single influence on the future author's life, Percy came to maturity in what he later described as an "all-male household visited regularly by other poets, politicians, psychiatrists, sociologists, black preachers, folk singers, Civil Rights leaders and itinerant guitar players". We follow Percy as he travels north to New York, where he attended medical school and - with the help of a psychiatrist - began to make sense of his complex family legacy. Tolson details Percy's movement toward the Catholic Church, his first struggles as a writer, his early involvement with the publishing world, the steady support of his friend and fellow writer Shelby Foote, and a demanding apprenticeship under the supervision of the gifted novelist Caroline Gordon and her husband, the late Allen Tate. Percy emerged an altogether distinctive writer: a Catholic artist who, like Flannery O'Connor, worked in a predominantly Protestant culture; an heir to the literary traditions of the Southern Renaissance who adopted the strategies of modern European fiction and philosophy to forge his own narrative art. Tolson guides us through the creation of both the unpublished and published novels - from The Charterhouse through The Thanatos Syndrome - as well as the philosophical works that underlie and complement Percy's fiction. The biographer shows us how the demands of his work were eased by rich friendships, including those with fellow writers ThomasMerton, Eudora Welty and Robert Coles. We learn also about a marriage of abiding strength, and of the love and care that Percy and his wife Bunt gave to the raising of their two daughters, one of them all but deaf from birth. Above all, we see the man in all his shifting moods, "the gracious, easy, almost avuncular manner straining against a powerful, furious intensity, an almost furious energy". Here is the dark tragedy, the humor, and the hard-earned wisdom of a life whose outward calm concealed an internal drama - an unrelenting fight against hopelessness and despair. Percy's story is that of a writer and moralist who made enduring art out of his search for truth.

More Conversations with Walker Percy


Author: Walker Percy
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
ISBN: 9780878056231
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 248
View: 5703

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This collection of interviews supplements Conversations with Walker Percy and occasions an additional two dozen pleasurable encounters with Percy. Primarily from the last ten years of Percy's life, they show how his presence was stimulating thought in much of humanistic America, in literature, linguistics, psychology, and philosophy, and in cultural life in general. Although this acclaimed author of The Moviegoer, Lancelot, and Love in the Ruins never overcame his shyness with interviewers, he continued to grant interviews as long as his health permitted. This act of openness illustrates his humility before his ideas and his desire to help others understand them. Although the questions he was asked almost invariably became predictable, he always managed to add an anecdote, an illustration, a topical reference, that would breathe new life into the responses he was making. The interviews in this collection show him at the height when he knew that his illness would not allow him to write any more books, and that the only way to restate his ideas and offer a valediction to the large audience to whom he had always been kind, patient, and appreciative was to speak out. Percy despised the posture of many modern self-proclaimed intellectuals who delight in cloaking ideas in jargon and abstraction. He always tried to express himself clearly and as free of reservations as possible. These interviews reflect that clarity. With this book readers will welcome yet more close encounters with him.

The Correspondence of Shelby Foote and Walker Percy


Author: Shelby Foote,Walker Percy,Jay Tolson
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393317688
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 310
View: 9543

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Collected letters offer a glimpse into a lifelong friendship--recording ambitions, artistic doubts, and personal problems

Walker Percy's The Moviegoer at Fifty

New Takes on an Iconic American Novel
Author: Jennifer Levasseur,Mary A. McCay
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 0807162752
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 200
View: 7898

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More than fifty years after its publication, Walker Percy's National Book Award Winner, The Moviegoer, still confronts, comforts, and enlightens generations of readers. This collection of twelve new essays, edited and introduced by Jennifer Levasseur and Mary A. McCay, emphasize the evolving significance of this seminal, New Orleans novel. Authors' consider the text with diverse perspectives, drawing from philosophy, theology, disability theory, contemporary music and literature, social media, and film studies. Jay Tolson opens the volume with reflections on rereading the novel on a Kindle decades after writing his important biography of Percy. H. Collin Messer, Montserrat Gins, Jessica Hooten Wilson, and Brian Jobe follow with illuminating essays analyzing Percy's influences, from St. Augustine and Cervantes to Heidegger and Dostoevsky. Jonathan Potter and Read Mercer Schuchardt, Mary A. McCay, Matthew Luter, and Dorian Speed delve into the novel's significance to cinema, including an exhaustive guide to its film references, a meditation on Binx Bolling as a director of his existence, and the semiotics of celebrity. Brent Walter Cline and Robert Bolton, Michael Kobre, and L. Lamar Nisly present a roadmap for Bolling's inward journey, exploring a variety of elements from the role of the broken body to the spiritual connection to Bruce Springsteen lyrics. Walker Percy's The Moviegoer at Fifty is the first critical work devoted solely to the author's debut novel. Coinciding with the centenary of Percy's birth, this collection invites both new and veteran readers to enjoy The Moviegoer with fresh perspectives that underscore its lasting relevance.

Walker Percy

novelist and philosopher
Author: Jan Nordby Gretlund,Karl-Heinz Westarp
Publisher: Univ Pr of Mississippi
ISBN: N.A
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 256
View: 7559

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A Political Companion to Walker Percy


Author: Peter Augustine Lawler,Brian A. Smith
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813141907
Category: Political Science
Page: 272
View: 2276

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In 1962, Walker Percy (1916--1990) made a dramatic entrance onto the American literary scene when he won the National Book Award for fiction with his first novel, The Moviegoer. A physician, philosopher, and devout Catholic, Percy dedicated his life to understanding the mixed and somewhat contradictory foundations of American life as a situation faced by the wandering and won-dering human soul. His controversial works combined existential questioning, scientific investigation, the insight of the southern stoic, and authentic religious faith to produce a singular view of humanity's place in the cosmos that ranks among the best American political thinking. An authoritative guide to the political thought of this celebrated yet complex American author, A Political Companion to Walker Percy includes seminal essays by Ralph C. Wood, Richard Reinsch II, and James V. Schall, S.J., as well as new analyses of Percy's view of Thomistic realism and his reaction to the American pursuit of happiness. Editors Peter Augustine Lawler and Brian A. Smith have assembled scholars of diverse perspectives who provide a necessary lens for interpreting Percy's works. This comprehensive introduction to Percy's "American Thomism" is an indispensable resource for students of American literature, culture, and politics.

Lancelot

A Novel
Author: Walker Percy
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453216170
Category: Fiction
Page: 241
View: 8795

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“A modern knight-errant on a quest after evil; grotesque, convincing and chilling.” —The New York Times Book ReviewFed up with the excesses of the 1970s, Lancelot Andrews Lamar, a liberal lawyer and distinguished member of the New Orleans gentry, is determined to stop the modern world’s ethical collapse. His quest begins with his wife—an actress who he suspects has been cheating on him for years. Though he initially plans only to gather proof of her infidelity, Lancelot quickly descends into a fog of obsession. And as he crosses the line from sanity into madness, he will try once and for all to purify the world or destroy it in the attempt. Mesmerizing and unforgettable, Lancelot is a masterful story of one man’s collision with the follies of modern culture, and a thought-provoking look at the nature of good and evil.

Love in the Ruins

The Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a Time Near the End of the World
Author: Walker Percy
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453216200
Category: Fiction
Page: 379
View: 3348

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A “brilliant and hilarious” novel of the end times in America and one psychiatrist’s quest to save mankind, from a New York Times–bestselling author (Dallas Morning News). The United States seems to be on the brink of catastrophe. From the abandoned cars littering the highways (no one remembers how to fix them) to the endless hours spent on the golf course (now open twenty-four hours for those who can’t bother to wait until daylight to putt) to the starkly polarized political and religious factions dividing the country (which are increasingly difficult to tell apart), it is startlingly evident that the great experiment of the American Dream has failed. The only problem is that no one has noticed. No one, that is, except Dr. Thomas More. Dr. More, an alcoholic, womanizing, lapsed-Catholic psychiatrist, has invented the lapsometer: a machine capable of diagnosing and curing the spiritual afflictions that are speeding society toward its inevitable collapse. If used correctly, the lapsometer could make anxiety, depression, alienation, and racism things of the past. But, in the wrong hands, it could propel the nation even more quickly into chaos. Hailed as “vividly entertaining” by the Los Angeles Times and “profoundly moving” by the Milwaukee Journal, Love in the Ruins is a towering, mind-bending work of satirical speculative fiction by the National Book Award–winning author of The Moviegoer.

Walker Percy's Search for Community


Author: John F. Desmond
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 9780820325880
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 271
View: 9054

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In this criticism of Percy, John F. Desmond traces the writer's enduring concerns with community. These concerns, Desmond argues, were grounded in the realism of such Scholastics as Aquinas and Duns Scotus.

A Confederacy of Dunces


Author: John Kennedy Toole
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 9780802197627
Category: Fiction
Page: 416
View: 8829

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A Confederacy of Dunces is an American comic masterpiece. John Kennedy Toole's hero, one Ignatius J. Reilly, is "huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter. His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans' lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures" (Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times).

Walker Percy's Sacramental Landscapes

The Search in the Desert
Author: Allen Pridgen
Publisher: Susquehanna University Press
ISBN: 9781575910406
Category: Fiction
Page: 258
View: 2150

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This book maintains that a Catholic sacramental understanding of the self and the world is at the center of Percy's imaginative and philosophical vision. In close textual analysis of The Last Gentleman, The Second Coming, Love in the Ruins, and The Thanatos Syndrome, the author shows bow these works present Percy's sacramental worldview. The imagery and symbolism in these novels point out how the novels' existential wayfarers make their journeys toward a new way of seeing. This reading of the novels reveals precisely how Percy uses his fiction to dramatize the sometimes abstruse philosophical and religious ideas developed in these works.

The Second Coming

A Novel
Author: Walker Percy
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453216286
Category: Fiction
Page: 328
View: 6271

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A successful man’s midlife crisis may just provide a twisted path to happiness in this New York Times–bestselling novel by the author of The Last Gentleman. Now in his late forties, Will Barrett lives a life other men only dream of. Wealthy from a successful career on Wall Street and from the inheritance of his deceased wife’s estate, Will is universally admired at the club where he spends his days golfing in the North Carolina sun. But everything begins to unravel when, without warning, Will’s golf shots begin landing in the rough, and he is struck with bouts of losing his balance and falling over. Just when Will appears doomed to share the fate of his father—whose suicide has haunted him his whole life—a mental hospital escapee named Allison might prove to be the only one who can save him. Original and profound, The Second Coming is a moving love story of two damaged souls who find peace with each other.

The Last Gentleman

A Novel
Author: Walker Percy
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453216235
Category: Fiction
Page: 319
View: 5648

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National Book Award Finalist: A lonely Southerner forges a surprising bond with a New York family in this “brilliant” novel by the author of The Moviegoer (Time). Will Barrett has never felt at peace. After moving from his native South to New York City, Will’s most meaningful human connections come through the lens of a telescope in Central Park, from which he views the comings and goings of the eccentric Vaught family. But Will’s days as a spectator end when he meets the Vaught patriarch and accepts a job in the Mississippi Delta as caretaker for the family’s ailing son, Jamie. Once there, he is confronted not only by his personal demons, but also his growing love for Jamie’s sister, Kitty, and a deepening relationship with the Vaught family that will teach him the true meaning of home.