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Walker Percy (1916 - 1990)

Nationality: American
Periods: American: 20th Century

author of such works as The Moviegoer and The Last Gentleman

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Our pages on these individual works by Walker Percy

The Second Coming

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Criticism about Walker Percy

Neurobiology and Psychoanalysis in the Work of Walker Percy
"Narrative, then, becomes the central concern of our thinking about both our brains and our minds, indeed it becomes the universal concern of life, even though its universality is still so ignored that the two fields to whom its centrality is so important are still regarded as being completely disparate. All of us are privileged to be spectators of the competition between the dual scenarios of neurobiology and psychoanalysis, the former having to do with the racial drives and the latter having to do with the individual desires."
Contains: Commentary, Criticism
Author: Lewis Lawson
From: Still Following Percy (Jackson: Univ. Press of Mississippi, 1996), pp. 3-13
Percy's Triad: Science, Literature and Religion
"Walker Percy's novels, essays, and interviews express the views of a writer interested in developing an integral vision of what it means to live as a human being in the disordered twentieth century. As a thinker, Percy found himself placed in a world in which ways of knowing--scientific versus poetic, empirical versus intuitive--had come to be seen as separate if not entirely antithetical."
Contains: Commentary, Criticism
Author: John F. Desmond
From: Renascense: Essays on Values in Literature 47.1 (Fall 1994) 3-9
Walker Percy and Southern Literature
"Percy frequently attempted to evade the danger of being labeled a "Southern writer" by stressing the more existentialist aspects of his work, but his fiction nonetheless remains very much a part of the Southern literary heritage. Southern literature, except for Faulkner, has largely been ignored in traditional American literature books and courses which privilege Northeastern American literary history, leading to the fear of being labeled a "Southern writer" that many Southern authors exhibit. Part I of this essay will briefly delineate the history and themes of Southern literature in order to reveal Percy's connections to his native literature in Part II."
Contains: Commentary, Criticism
Author: Veronica Makowsky
Walker Percy's Homeward Journey
"Percy's first essay, published in the Greenville High School newspaper in Mississippi, entitled "My Autobiography," indicates that even as a teen-ager he was intent on looking to his own life as a source of his imaginative writings. Later, as an adult, Percy incorporated autobiographical references into his fiction, though, at the same time, he rarely spoke publicly about himself or his family's long and distinguished history, thought by some in the Percy family to go back to the fiery Harry Hotspur, celebrated by Shakespeare in "Henry IV, Part One." Perhaps Percy's reticence to talk about his family's history had good reason. The house his parents originally lived in, the house of his paternal grandparents and the house belonging to William Alexander Percy, a cousin who adopted him, were all torn down during his lifetime."
Contains: Commentary, Criticism
Author: Patrick H. Samway, S.J.
From: America Vol. 170, No, 17, May 14, 1994, pp. 16-19

Biographical sites about Walker Percy

MWP: Walker Percy (1916-1990)
A short article about Percy's life and works. Also offers information on his publications, and links to Internet resources.
Contains: Pictures, Sketch, Bibliography
Author: Matthew Duffus
From: Mississippi Writers Page
The Study of Consciousness: An Interview with Walker Percy (1981)
"As usual, Percy is honest and straightforward about his present work, and what he hopes to accomplish in the future. He says that if he had it all to do over again, he would study semiotics because he believes that study has the best chance of defining just exactly what it means to be human and to find oneself in predicaments so complex that theology, sociology, and psychiatry have provided, at best, only partial answers to the malaise which besets all of us, and which he has tried, for the last twenty years, to dramatize in his fiction."
Contains: Interview
Author: Linda Whitney Hobson
From: The Georgia Review 35 (Spring 1981), 51-60
Walker Percy (1916-1990)
"At the time of this biography's creation, Walker Percy's writings and ideas are increasingly becoming more esteemed and appreciated, especially since his death in 1990. Known primarily as a "philosophical novelist," Percy has to the credit of his name some six novels, in addition to three works of non-fiction."
Contains: Full Bio
Keywords: life, history, biography
Walker Percy, 1916-1990: Important Dates
This site created by the Walker Percy Project provides a timeline of important dates.
Contains: Timeline
Keywords: life, history, biography
Walker Percy: Pilgrim in the Ruins
This article, the introduction to the book Pilgrim in the Ruins: A Life of Walker Percy, describes conversations with Percy, his physical description, and the impressions of the biographer.
Contains: Commentary, Interview
Author: Jay Tolson
From: Pilgrim in the Ruins: A Life of Walker Percy (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992), Preface, pp. 9-16
Keywords: life, history

Other sites about Walker Percy

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Last Updated Mar 25, 2014