Last week, Sr Margaret Christopher; and I went with my mom and aunt to a screening of a documentary on the New Orleans writer Walker Percy. My dad had been a kind of fan (mainly, I suspect, because Percy was a famous local who brought his Catholicism to the fore in so many ways). I've read three of Percy's works: The Moviegoer (his first and most lauded),Love in the Ruins and The Thanatos Syndrome. I didn't really "get" The Moviegoer, but the other two really worked for me. I see them as "Theology of the Body" novels. (Maybe one day I will do a TOB presentation on that! I'll have to re-read them a few times, though...)
Anyway, the movie.
The screening was at Loyola, where the Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing has its home. The writer/director gave a few words of introduction, and there was the promise of a panel discussion following the film. Alas, we were too tired to stay for that. I was almost too tired to stay awake for the whole movie. (Truth to tell, they didn't really need the full hour for the content. Or maybe I just didn't know what people were saying when they talked about how existential The Moviegoer was.) Be that as it may, I did find some wonderfully stimulating insights in the movie. I especially enjoyed the snippets of interviews with Robert Coles, one of my favorite writers. (I wish he would do a biography of Carryl Houselander; he does such marvelous studies of Catholic-type mystics.) In the end I brought home a copy of the DVD (thanks, Mom!). (One of the sisters in Boston is a huge Percy fan; she is the type who knows just how existential The Moviegoer is.)
Are you (or could you become) a Walker Percy fan? Want to know more about this influential Catholic novelist? Here's the movie site.
And here's a link to Coles' biography of Percy. Factoid: The Thanatos Syndrome is dedicated to Coles!