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Walker Percy (1916–1990)

Auteur de Le Cinéphile

29+ oeuvres 12,440 utilisateurs 165 critiques 68 Favoris

A propos de l'auteur

Walker Percy, May 28, 1916 - May 10, 1990 Walker Percy, born in Alabama, raised in Mississippi, and a former resident of Louisiana, was a member of a prominent Southern family who lost his parents at an early age and grew up as the foster son of his father's cousin. Percy graduated from the afficher plus University of North Carolina and received his M.D. from Columbia, but was a nonpracticing physician who devoted much of his life to his writing. Percy's first novel, The Moviegoer (1961), won the 1962 National Book Award, but Charles Poore considers The Last Gentleman (1966) "an even better book." Love in the Ruins (1971) marks a sharp change in method and subject from the first two novels. A doomsday story set "at the end of the Auto Age," it exposes many foibles and abuses in contemporary life through sharp satire and extravagant fantasy. Whereas Love in the Ruins is funny, Percy's next novel, Lancelot (1977) is the rather bleak and pessimistic story of a deranged man who blows up his home when he finds proof of his wife's infidelities and then tells his story in an asylum for the mentally disturbed. Its apocalyptic vision is expressed in a more positive and affirmative way in The Second Coming (1980), which takes its title from the fact that it resurrects the character of Will Barret from The Last Gentleman and locates him, a quarter-century older, finding love and meaning in a cave. (Bowker Author Biography) afficher moins


Œuvres de Walker Percy

Le Cinéphile (1961) 4,661 exemplaires
L'amour parmi les ruines (1971) 1,305 exemplaires
Le syndrome de Thanatos (1987) 1,102 exemplaires
The Second Coming (1980) 1,044 exemplaires
Lancelot (1977) 991 exemplaires
The Last Gentleman: A Novel (1966) 905 exemplaires
Signposts in a Strange Land (1991) 448 exemplaires
Conversations With Walker Percy (1985) 69 exemplaires

Oeuvres associées

La conjuration des imbéciles (1980) — Avant-propos, quelques éditions21,271 exemplaires
Lanterns on the Levee: Recollections of a Planter's Son (1941) — Introduction, quelques éditions286 exemplaires
An American Album: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Harper's Magazine (2000) — Contributeur — 131 exemplaires
The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology (1997) — Contributeur — 98 exemplaires
Voices in Our Blood: America's Best on the Civil Rights Movement (2001) — Contributeur — 91 exemplaires
Mississippi Writers: An Anthology (1991) — Contributeur — 14 exemplaires
A Portrait of Southern Writers: Photographs (2000) — Contributeur — 13 exemplaires
Walker Percy: A Comprehensive Descriptive Bibliography (1988) — Introduction — 12 exemplaires


Partage des connaissances



Note from Walker Percy à Deep South (Avril 2013)
Novel about guy who loves the cinema à Name that Book (Septembre 2011)


Like a heaping plate of comfort food for me. Also contains one of my favorite quotes in a novel: “Whenever I feel bad, I go to the library and read controversial periodicals.” Hell yeah. But wait, there’s more.

Binx Bolling doesn’t seem to be having a bad time of it, a young man successfully managing an office of the family brokerage firm in 1959/1960 New Orleans, having a series of dalliances with his secretaries, and going to a lot of movies. Only unlike most of us, he has the knowledge that such things are merely an effort to keep the existential despair at bay at the forefront of his mind. He instinctually feels the quote from Kierkegaard that is the novel’s epigraph: “the specific character of despair is precisely this: it is unaware of being despair”. Now he knows he is in despair and thus he is a bit better off by Kierkegaard’s reckoning, a step closer to the solution to it, but he is still a long way off a grounding of himself in religious faith. The forms and husk of religion are all around him of course, being plenty thick in the “Christ-haunted” but not “Christ-centered” South, as Flannery O’Connor memorably phrased it, but Kierkegaard too would have recognized the deadness of them. The best Binx can do is an awareness of “wonder” and a rejection of that which he feels too grossly ignores or obscures the wonder.

His state of despair and inadequate search for resolution to it are best recognized for what they are by his step-cousin Kate, who is often in the grip of a strong depression, who seems possibly bipolar. Like recognizes like, in a manner. She tells him, “You remind me of a prisoner in the death house who takes a wry pleasure in doing things like registering to vote. Come to think of it, all your gaiety and good spirits have the same death house quality. No thanks. I’ve had enough of your death house pranks”. She tells him, “It is possible, you know, that you are overlooking something, the most obvious thing of all. And you would not know it if you fell over it.” Not that she knows what it is either, rather she’s given up the possible search: “Don’t you worry. I’m not going to swallow all the pills at once. Losing hope is not so bad. There’s something worse: losing hope and hiding it from yourself.”

Binx, like Kate and Kierkegaard, understands the commonplace human tendency to hide our despair from ourselves, what he calls “sinking into everydayness”, even if the three of them (in the novel’s current moment at least) exist in pretty different places after similarly escaping it. Kierkegaard thinks he knows the answer. Kate thinks there is no answer. Binx, as befits a more modern day literary fiction hero, embraces uncertainty. Watching an apparently materially successful African-American man exiting church on Ash Wednesday, the ending day of the novel, ashes marked on forehead, he thinks
I watch him closely in the rear-view mirror. It is impossible to say why he is here. Is it part and parcel of the complex business of coming up in the world? Or is it because he believes that God himself is present here at the corner of Elysian Fields and Bons Enfants? Or is he here for both reasons: through some dim dazzling trick of grace, coming for the one and receiving the other as God’s own importunate bonus? It is impossible to say.
… (plus d'informations)
lelandleslie | 92 autres critiques | Feb 24, 2024 |
My favorite Walker Percy novel. Been through it three times. It's deep, moving, funny, and short. Everything I need. I mostly loved the characters. Wanted to give both of them a big hug.
MickeyMole | 9 autres critiques | Oct 2, 2023 |
One of those rare books one can return to over and over. I highlighted a lot of paragraphs. Two great writers and thinkers share their friendship and knowledge. This is a beautiful book and must-read for lovers of literature.
MickeyMole | 4 autres critiques | Oct 2, 2023 |
The correspondents were friends from their teenage years in Greenville, Mississippi and began corresponding in the 1940s: Percy, an award-winning novelist, and Foote a historian of the US Civil War.
PendleHillLibrary | 4 autres critiques | Jun 19, 2023 |


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