Tag Archives: Walker Percy

Percy’s Love in the Ruins Like a Coal Mine Canary

Ralph C. Wood writes that Walker Percy’s Love in the Ruins is darn prescient, if that’s something one can say.

“A serious novel about the destruction of the United States and the end of the world,” Percy declared, “should perform the function of prophecy in reverse. The novelist writes about the coming end in order to warn against present ills and so avert the end.” He isn’t writing as a biblical prophet, but neither can he deny that his allegiances are fundamentally Christian. His own vision of reality is confessedly “incarnational, historical, predicamental.” In an increasingly pagan and hostile age, Percy doubted the efficacy of a serene Christian humanism. Better to serve as the canary in the coal mine, so as to detect the asphyxiating gas that sickens unto death.

Wood offers no quick blog post on Percy’s novel. He gets into some of its heavy criticism, which, if you not read the book yet, may run it into the ground. (via Prufrock News)

“Literature,” writes Caleb Griego, an editor for The Heights, the student newspaper of Boston College, “seems to soothe the discontents of the mind. Reading allows for us to come away from our own loneliness and relish in the solidarity of it with another. Our alienation is both the cause of anguish and the remedy to it.”

How, Exactly, Should We Tell the Truth?

Jason Morgan asks, “Should you be telling the truth like Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, or Dewey Short?

Let us say you are in a large lecture hall. The teacher begins to compare Scott Walker to Hitler. (Would that this were only a hypothetical case, but Sara Goldrick-Rab, a sociology professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, recently took to Twitter to do just that.) Your hand goes up, perhaps against your better judgment. The professor looks up and acknowledges you. Now what?