Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Over at ISI’s blog, Jennifer Hooten ranks Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer as #3 on her Five Books Every American Should Read list. Her summary of the novel runs through themes discussed at this blog e.g. homelessness, social selves.

Like The Moviegoer, Percy’s Love in the Ruins has the hero undergo a similar character development.  Both novels also have secondary characters which are human signposts (Binx’s brother, More’s daughter) for the main characters .  These human signposts or saints are absent in the later novels.   Is Percy getting darker or is this a development of his ‘Indirect Communication’?   He writes: “My theory (like Flannery’s) is that the times are such that the language of religion is so exhausted, de trop, that the tactic of the apologist must be indirect, perhaps even devious. More devious even than S[oren] K[ierkegaard]”

Percy and O’Connnor’s method has certainly made them amenable to Sophisticated or Secular Americans today, but it also makes them vulnerable to misinterpretation as well. Flannery O’Connor had to write a Note to the 2 nd edition of Wise Blood in order to clarify its meaning.  Their fictional worlds are strange lands so without a point in the right direction, the reader is likely to get lost.


00 Days
00 Hours
00 Minutes
00 Seconds
Dear Reader,

Your charitable support for First Things is urgently needed before the clock above hits zero.

First Things is proud to be a reader-supported enterprise, and the Spring Campaign is one of only two major reader giving drives each year. It ends on June 30 at 11:59 p.m.

Your gift will fortify First Things to speak boldly on behalf of religious voices in the public square ahead of a pivotal season for our nation and the church.

Please give now.

Make My Gift
More on: Books

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles