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Walker Percy : the last Catholic novelist

Autore: Kieran Quinlan
Editore: Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, ©1996.
Serie: Southern literary studies.
Edizione/Formato:   Libro : State or province government publication : EnglishVedi tutte le edizioni e i formati
Banca dati:WorldCat
Sommario:
In this important study, Kieran Quinlan examines the theological principles and religious views that underlay Walker Percy's writing - primarily his belief in the validity and efficacy of the Roman Catholic faith - and offers some new and controversial conclusions. Quinlan grounds the writer's concerns squarely in the context of the intellectual milieu of the 1940s, citing the influence of Jacques Maritain's The  Per saperne di più…
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Dettagli

Genere/forma: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Persona incaricata: Walker Percy; Walker Percy; Walker Percy; Walker Percy; Walker Percy
Tipo materiale: Government publication, State or province government publication
Tipo documento: Book
Tutti gli autori / Collaboratori: Kieran Quinlan
ISBN: 0807120448 9780807120446
Numero OCLC: 33282131
Descrizione: 242 p. ; 24 cm.
Contenuti: Fates of our fathers --
Science, sickness, and salvation --
Novelist or philosopher? --
Philosopher --
The existentialist --
Homo viator --
The rhetoric of faith --
Philosopher redux --
Second comings --
Lost in the cosmos? --
Final exit.
Titolo della serie: Southern literary studies.
Responsabilità: Kieran Quinlan.

Abstract:

In this important study, Kieran Quinlan examines the theological principles and religious views that underlay Walker Percy's writing - primarily his belief in the validity and efficacy of the Roman Catholic faith - and offers some new and controversial conclusions. Quinlan grounds the writer's concerns squarely in the context of the intellectual milieu of the 1940s, citing the influence of Jacques Maritain's The Dream of Descartes and the conversions of prominent contemporaries such as Thomas Merton, Robert Lowell, and Allen Tate. In an illuminating discussion, Quinlan follows the future novelist through the events that would mold his sensibility: his father's suicide in 1929; his rearing by William Alexander Percy, himself a former Catholic, who inculcated the young man with the Stoic philosophy of Marcus Aurelius; and his contraction of tuberculosis and subsequent long convalescence, during which he studied Kierkegaard, Sartre, Camus, and Heidegger - thinkers pivotal in his own development as a Catholic novelist. With a mind keenly attuned to philosophical nuances and an impressive grasp of semiotics and theology, Quinlan deftly presents close readings of the novels, from the muted Catholicism of The Moviegoer to the explicit agendas of The Last Gentleman, Love in the Ruins, and The Thanatos Syndrome. He shows how Percy contrasts Catholicism with Stoicism in Lancelot and The Second Coming. He also sheds light on the dense and often abstruse arguments of the philosophical essays, asserting that Percy, despite his early attention to existentialism, was actually a neo-Thomist rationalist who rejected Kierkegaard's irrational "leap of faith." Lost in the Cosmos, Quinlan demonstrates, is an ambitious work requiring that its readers move beyond the realm of a comfortable skepticism. Critical but respectful, Quinlan points out Percy's confusion and frank lack of knowledge on the topic of linguistics. He also questions many aspects of Percy's philosophical and theological views in light of current thinking in those disciplines, stressing in particular Percy's failure to address the very real problems that an evolutionary view of the universe poses for the traditional revealed religions.

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