Korrektiv 101 Winding Down

Although our Korrektiv Summer Reading Klub seminar on Lost in the Cosmos may seem like one of those dreams where you find yourself at the end of the term and panicking to realize you’ve forgotten to attend class since day one — or one of those real life seminars where the professor has been phoning in from never-never land and all you have to do is appear to be breathing and you’ll get an A — in fact I suspect it has been quite a reading adventure for the vast silent majority of readers. If you have been reading, or long since finished the book and moved on, please drop a note in the comments here and let us know how you did and what grade you think you deserve. We’ve still got the Space Odysseys to consider, and we will, but in the meantime, here’s an old link from Prof. Finnegan to bring us a little further along.


  1. angelmeg says

    My 18 year old daughter has been picking up my copy and nosing through it the last week or so. I think she may just read it if I don’t push it on her.

    She is High Functioning Autistic, talks and writes like a college professor but has a lot of trouble interacting with others. She especially has difficulty with idiomatic speach and discerning when someone is using sarcasm.

    I think reading LITC would be a great exercise for her. I may direct her to Korrektiv as an aide along the way. If she does read it I will tell her to leave comments as she sees fit.

    Peace to all. I would leave a comment about the book but I can think of nothing except Aristotle and the demise of tragedy and Plato and perspectivalism (neither of which I understand but both of which I have to write on page essays about in the next few weeks. Oh the joy of learning).

  2. Bill Jenkins says

    Lost in the Cosmos is helpful in gaining insight into Percy’s fiction and other writings because in it one can find corrections of various intellectual and artistic problems that tended to weaken Percy’s previous fiction and essays. The book also reveals a layperson’s attempt to depart from the standard versions of academic semiotics.

    One result of Lost in the Cosmos is the creation of Percy’s “short stories.” These short, parabolic vignettes make use of the satire one may find in the novels. From this concentrated look at satire the reader may turn to the novels and find a powerful critique of modern American Christianity. Following the comments on the devaluation of language in Lost in the Cosmos one can see how the novels lampoon and lament the Church when it becomes dominated by the surrounding culture.

    This culture of well-being is criticized in other ways. Percy, especially in his novel The Thanatos Syndrome, parallels much in the thought of the French Sociologist Jacques Ellul. Both specify how the ascendency of life as a problem instead of a mystery has diminished the lives of countless people. Both also share a tenuous hope that genuine religious commitment may deflect some of the damage done.

    One of the areas of human life that has suffered from the problems Percy and Ellul write about is sexuality. One especially important example of essay writing and fiction is Chapter Eighteen of Lost in the Cosmos. The concerns presented there, based on Soren Kierkegaard’s thoughts about the “Musical-Erotic,” are compared to the concerns of two other writers, Denis de Rougemont and W. H. Auden.

  3. Repetitive, desultory, obsessed, exasperating, brilliant, comic, passionate, illuminating, and finally compelling.

  4. Hutchison says

    A work of true innovation.

  5. Margaret Manning says

    Percy lives as if inside the shell of a walnut in a place where no one knows, except Percy, what they are looking for or at. Yet he is a stranger in this world, and so are the “heroes” of his novels. Anyone who has read them will want to see this book. I simply wish it could all have been like the midsection and dropped the fun and games.

  6. Anatole Broyard says

    It should be said right at the beginning that Mr. Percy may be too pessimistic, that he may give too much influence to technology while underestimating the resources of the self. Though it is almost an occupational disease for serious writers to think this way, something in the reader protests against an irony and an insistence on tragedy that both appear to be too pat. Sometimes Mr. Percy’s irony, which is his favorite mode, is almost as mechanical as the technology he decries.

    He’s such a charming writer that it’s often hard to tell whether he is being merely whimsical or slyly profound. When he makes a statement that seems rather obvious, we tend to look for another meaning behind, above, or inside it – and often it is there. His turn of mind is attractive. He has a way of looking at things as if they’ve never been seen before, yet he rarely falls into the trap of the faux-naif.

  7. Candy Caruthers says

    I am sorry but i must say again how hard it is to blog 1500 words. I have completely answer this question but I am still short 100 words, not 50 , not 25, not 10 but I am short 100 words. What can I do to creatively use up 100 words without making it seem like I am copy and pasting? This is why the 1500 word requirement is just a bit to harsh but since I’ve met it on all weeks, I should be garunteed at least a B. And since I really typed real words on the blogs, I should get an A. I know this semester has been very stressful for all involve we will all enjoy this break.

  8. Melissa Meelers says

    Have you ever received a completely unfair grade that you wanted to appeal? Don’t bother.

    The Korrektiv Academic Senate Committee is supposed to provide students with a process for contesting unjust grades. In actuality, rather than providing a process, this committee seems to be nothing but a defunct mirage of justice.

    Fall quarter I took an online existentialism honors thesis seminar with Professor Henri Young. Young gave me a C- in the course. The other eight students in my class, who had read everything that I had submitted unanimously agreed that a C- was completely undeserved.

    I have never asked for a free handout of a high grade in any class. But, when I have put forth a complete effort and produced quality work, an unjust grade must be redressed.

  9. Anonymous says

    A student is suing a Massachusetts university over what he says is an unfair grade in a philosophy course, saying it could kill his chances of entering law school.

  10. I finished the book, loved it, and figure I’ll need to read it again, skimming over the Donahue and Sagan references, to fully get it.

  11. Deep Furrows says
  12. Deep Furrows says

    Eek! you already had the Garver link.

    You can give me feedback at Rate your students. com

  13. Rufus McCain says

    I hate to say it, DF, but the Kreeft link, as well, was one of the first things I posted as home work. Not paying attention in class!

  14. Deep Furrows says

    Oh, no. I really suck at this student thing. That is really sad. ~Fred

  15. Rufus McCain says

    Fred and angelmeg: you are co-validictorians (sp?) of the Korrektiv class of ’07. Congradulations.

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