Was Walker Percy an Ecofeminist?

Dissertation topic. The case could be made. I’m serious.


  1. Matthew Lickona says

    Are you thinking of the end of Lancelot?
    Or his stuff at the end of Lost in the Cosmos?
    Or what?

  2. Quin Finnegan says

    I think the prefatory remarks for Thanatos Syndrome would help him score a few eco points, and in the same novel Lucy might help him out with the feminists. As well as the young woman rapping the map with her pointer for the weather news (although that’s pretty satirical).

    Generally speaking, a lot of passages reveal him as fairly well attuned to environment, if not environmental politics. Lancelot, sure, the ivory-billed woodpecker in LitR. Maybe Alison in Second Coming helps out with both.

    That’s my two cents.

  3. Jonathan Potter says

    Well, it’s a semi-facetious statement, not entirely unserious though. I like the idea of someone writing such a dissertation. Partly because it would be absurd, partly because maybe in fact there is some significant acreage of common ground between large areas of Percy’s thought and large areas of what could pass for ecofeminist thought.

    This came into my head while I was serving on the orals committee of a grad student who wrote a thesis grounding an ESL pedagogy (of all things) within an ecofeminist framework. She (the grad student) did a bang up job of it — I was quite impressed. (And it didn’t hurt that she was quite charming and attractive to the patriarchal male eye.)

    I was thinking mostly of stuff in Message in the Bottle: rejection of Cartesian dualism, loss of creature, loss of personal sovereignty, deconstruction of educational packaging, etc.; but what you two are sniffing out would certainly contribute to this hypothetical dissertation as well. If you could get an ecofeminist to read Percy, I could imagine some of her simplistic rhetoric about hierarchy and patriarchy and white male oppression just evaporating and a slight course correction occurring that would lead to the Incarnation, the sacraments and the Roman Catholic Church.

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  5. Rufus McCain says

    Write me up a dissertation, and step on it!

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