Percy is to us what Virgil was to Dante, but cannot fulfill that role straightforwardly because of our hostility to anyone who claims moral authority. But maybe a sardonic, foul-mouthed, bourbon-drinking Catholic Virgil is the one we both need and deserve.
Alan Jacobs writing in Christianity Today. Excellent longish essay well worth the read.
When they write the history of Korrektiv Press, the Kollektiv’s involvement with the Walker Percy Center will surely occupy a pivotal position. From the never-written memoir of our visit to the opening of the Center, to our grand entrance upon the Percy landscape at the Center’s first conference, to what really ought to be the Kollektiv’s first-ever universal convocation, the fortunes of the one have been rather fancifully intertwined with those of the other. Gerasene ’13 in New Orleans. Rally, Kollektiv, rally!
With sly humor he shows us our strategies for solidifying and shoring up these tenuous Selves. We can, for example, seek status (my Self is better than yours). We can quiet the self’s discomfort through connoisseurship, associating the Self with what it owns: a Stella McCartney dress, a $2500 fixed-gear bike. These moves are nothing more than attempts to give the Self an illusion of reality. Seeing through it is the real “help” Percy offers.
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.