112—Walker Percy’s Angelic-Bestial Future—Jessica Hooten Wilson
This is a listener-supported podcast! Thanks for your help!
“Now in these dread latter days of the old violent beloved U.S.A. and of the Christ-forgetting Christ-haunted death-dealing Western world I came to myself in a grove of young pines and the question came to me: has it happened at last?”
So wonders Dr. Tom More, a descendant of the great English martyr, in the first sentence of Walker Percy’s third novel, Love in the Ruins: The Adventures of a Bad Catholic at Time near the End of the World.
Written in 1971, this prophetic work presents a world startlingly like our own. Today’s guest, literary scholar Jessica Hooten Wilson, joins the show to give a general introduction to Percy and discuss aspects of what is for many his most beloved novel, Love in the Ruins, which she describes as a “panoramic satire” indicating that modernity’s “lost sense of self makes it impossible to live the good life”.
- How Percy’s Southernity informed his fiction
- His keen and ruthless observation of race relations
- His recurring commentary on the modern disjunction between mind and body, what protagonist Tom More calls oscillation between the angelic and the bestial
- His use of apocalyptic themes
- His treatment of love between men and women
- The lasting significance of his work
Walker Percy, Love in the Ruins https://www.amazon.com/Love-Ruins-Walker-Percy/dp/0312243111
Jessica Hooten Wilson https://jessicahootenwilson.com/
JHW, Reading Walker Percy’s Novels https://www.amazon.com/Reading-Walker-Percys-Novels-Jessica/dp/0807168777
JHW, Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence https://www.amazon.com/Dostoevsky-Influence-Literature-Religion-Postsecular/dp/0814213499
Follow this link to join the Online Great Books VIP waiting list and get 25% off your first 3 months: https://hj424.isrefer.com/go/ogbmemberships/tmirus/
Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus. Download the Catholic Culture Podcast soundtrack.
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!