Friday, May 28, 2010

Coming Across Mr. Percy

So it was that a writer whose writing I've not yet read, a condition soon to be remedied, was born on another 28th of May, in 1916, a scant six years before my old man was born. Walker Percy. How have I missed him? How'd I get to be this blasted old without having read any of this man's books? According to, Mr. Percy once said or wrote that a person could get "all A's and still flunk life." Man oh man oh man, here's a fellow I don't want to miss. Here's another: "You live in a deranged age, more deranged that usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing." I'm going to hi myself to the library as soon as I get done typing here and see if they've a copy of Mr. Percy's Love in the Ruins. Why? Because the good robots at Amazon were so good as to reveal the book's opening page which begins thus: "Now in these dread latter days of the old violent beloved U.S.A. and of the Christ-forgetting, Christ-haunted death-dealing Western world I came to myself in a grove of young pines and the question came to me: has it happened at last?"
Isn't it extraordinary how we stumble upon writers? I was about to say 'discovered,' but that'd be like the numberless accounts of some European discovering something the locals had always known. It'd been there all the time. A chance conversation. A check to see who got born today. In any case, Mr. Percy got his ticket punched maybe 20 years ago and met his deadline. I've still got a few this side of the Big River so I must get after them. Let me direct your attention, whoever you are, to this article:

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