On Walker Percy


On Walker Percy

In an e-mail, one writer had this to say about Walker Percy:

It's been a while since I read it, but I thought that The Second Coming was more cogently Catholic. One of the major themes in the book had to do with how we might expect God to work in our life when we are complacent and lacking in joy, and sprouting out of that, the role of tradition and traditional culture in our lives. I might be losing my mind, but I believe that this is the book in which the main character goes into a cave in order to commit suicide and is prompted to come out by a toothache (God works in not so mysterious ways). (I don't think it was Love in the Ruins.) On the whole, though, I don't think that Percy's books are going to "wear" particularly well, for reasons having to do more with his style than his subject or content.
Thanks to BR for permission to quote.

I find the impression interesting. I don't know that I disagree exactly, its just that I think several different kinds of Catholicism wend their way into Percy's writing. Love in the Ruins is a heady whiff of highly intellectual Catholicism dealing a lot with scholastic theory and practice. For example, the whole question of "angelism" and "bestialism" seems to partake of a deep understanding of Aquinas's theory. The Catholicism of Second Coming seems much more up-front and easier to notice. As to style, the writer may be correct--that's always difficult to tell. I wonder whether the same might not have been said of Flannery O'Connor at one time.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 1, 2002 9:10 PM.

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