walkerpercy   17

Bourbon, Neat / by Walker Percy (Claremont Review of Books, Vol. II, Number 1 - Fall 2001)
“This is not written by a connoisseur of bourbon. Ninety-nine percent of bourbon drinkers know more about bourbon than I do. It is about the aesthetic of bourbon drinking in general and in particular of knocking it back neat.”
Bourbon  WalkerPercy 
may 2018 by cbearden
Soulcraft, Indirectly: Reading Walker Percy's Lost in the Cosmos - Law & Liberty
To say words are worn out is another way of saying that direct attempts to persuade people of the truth of any given point of theology or morality or taste often don’t quite work the way we intend them.

If you want to move your audience when it comes to the deepest things in life, what can you do? You involve them in a conversation.
The questions that follow this opening offer a sustained engagement with the many, many ways human beings find ourselves to be in a predicament we can’t quite explain with the terms readily available in culture. And even more, Percy’s questions catalogue the ways we evade fundamentally peculiar parts of our everyday experience. Why, he rightly asks, do so many forms of popular entertainment turn to amnesia as a plot device? What explains our horror of public speaking or of meeting new people?

The reader, in turn, might legitimately wonder what amnesia, nothingness, fashion, whether we identify with a place, being “found out,” shyness, being out of place, promiscuity, envy, boredom, depression, and spiritual impoverishment might have to do with one another. At first glance, this looks like a chaotic mishmash of ideas, yet Percy sets up his audience to assess our characteristic responses to common desires, and the ways we either justify them, deny them, or evade them.
Percy argues that minimally, any workable theories of the human person need to account for the difference between what he labels dyadic and triadic events...This is not true when we use dyadic analysis to theorize about human life. The symbols human beings use to communicate and shape our world are of an altogether different order of complexity. Using dyadic analysis here forces us to reduce the human person to a lower order of complexity than is actually adequate to describe consciousness and language.
What’s crucial about this is that human beings create worlds of ideas, filled with images and concepts only partially captured by the words we use to describe them. In other words, there’s a big difference between responding to an environment as an animal does, and the way people do. Where an environment is an entirely objective thing governed only by laws of nature, worlds are partially shaped by the language we use to describe them, and never quite fully capture our experiences. This is the basis for the beauty of poetry; for Percy, it’s also a significant reason for our alienation.
may 2018 by jbertsche
Walker Percy and the Politics of Deranged Times
Percy said that what interests the novelist, “what they are mainly good for, is not such large topics as God, man, and the world, but rather what he perceives as fault lines in the terrain, small clues that something strange is going on, a telltale sign here and there. Sign of what? A sign that things have gotten very queer without anyone seeming to notice it….”

At the same time, we relentlessly pursue comfort and pleasure in the way we consume an ever-increasing variety of goods and services. But it isn’t just our “stuff” we accumulate or experiences that we purchase that count here. Percy thought we consume people and places, too. We go on vacation and do “vacation things,” that help us to escape our troubled selves, filling them with hours and hours of activities. Rather than engaging in rest, it seems like our days on vacation need to be occupied by doing something. What are we trying to avoid? Ourselves.

Percy uses a few days in More’s life to remind us that all the technological and medical fixes for our alienation evade what we really need from our family life, our community, and our churches – places of rest that give us the capacity to live well.

Percy predicted that the great dangers of our world might come from the effort to eliminate politics entirely, which we see played out every time crowds left and right stifle free speech, every time politicians speak of debates being entirely settled, and whenever experts seek to evade the messiness of political compromise in favor of administrative power. Without this sort of awareness, these deranged times can’t be seen for how they really are.
WalkerPercy  Prufrock  politics  anxiety 
november 2017 by jbertsche
A View of Abortion, With Something to Offend Everybody
"Please indulge the novelist if he thinks in novelistic terms. Picture the scene. A Galileo trial in reverse. The Supreme Court is cross-examining a high school biology teacher and admonishing him that of course it is only his personal opinion that the fertilized human ovum is an individual human life. He is enjoined not to teach his private beliefs at a public school. Like Galileo he caves in, submits, but in turning away is heard to murmur, "But it's still alive!"

To pro-abortionists: According to the opinion polls, it looks as if you may get your way. But you're not going to have it both ways. You're going to be told what you're doing."
walkerpercy  abortion  nytimes 
january 2014 by lsouzek
Amazon.com: Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book (9780312253998): Walker Percy: Books
Walker Percy's mordantly funny and wholly original contribution to the self-help book craze deals with the Western mind's tendency toward heavy abstraction. This favorite of Percy fans continues to charm and beguile readers of all tastes and backgrounds. Lost in the Cosmos invites us to think about how we communicate with our world.
One of the five subtitles of this impossibly good book reads: "How it is possible for the man who designed Voyager 19, which arrived at Titania, a satellite of Uranus, three seconds off schedule and a hundred yards off course after a flight of six years, to be one of the most screwed-up creatures in California-or the Cosmos"

This book defies description. Dr. Percy is unrelenting in forcing the reader to examine the disasters visited upon man through our almost universal refusal to acknowledge our nature, despite the high level of "self-awareness" present in what Percy describes as "the flaky euphoria of the late twentieth century." Although this "self
Culture  Thinking  Semiotics  Psychology  ToRead  SelfHelp  Funny  Books  WalkerPercy 
april 2012 by n_m
Walker Percy, Bourbon, and the Holy Ghost | First Things
"Will Barrett, the protagonist of Walker Percy’s novel The Last Gentleman, complains that he cannot figure out “how to live from one minute to the next on a Wednesday afternoon.” Even Christians, with a solid theological and philosophical grounding, can find the question troubling. So you believe in God, and you believe the Second Person of the Trinity became incarnate and died for your sins. You’ve been baptized. You’ve been saved. Now what?"
walkerpercy  catholic  existential  firstthings  michaelbaruzzini 
december 2011 by lsouzek
You’ve got the sickness, I’ve got the medicine « Snarkmarket
"These two blockquotes, curated by Andrew Simone and Alan Jacobs respectively, arrived in my RSS reader within moments of each other. I liked Jacobs’s adjective, which applies to Simone’s selection, too: “Kierkegaardian.”"
boredom  jimrossignol  timcarmody  alanjacobs  andrewsimone  walkerpercy  tv  television  2010  kierkegaard  idleness  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco

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