Walker Percy Wednesday 45


Suicide considered as consequence of the spirit of abstraction and of transcendence; lewdness as sole portal of reentry into world demoted to immanence; reentry into immanence via orgasm; but post-orgasmic transcendence 7 devils worse than first.

Man who falls victim to transcendence as the spirit of abstraction, i.e., elevates self to posture over and against world which is pari passu demoted to immanence and seen as examplar and specimen and coordinate, and who is not at same time compensated by beauty of motion of method of science, has no choice but to seek reentry into immanent world qua immanence. But since no avenue of reentry remains save genital and since reentry coterminus c orgasm, post-orgasmic despair without remedy. Of my series of four suicides in scientists and technicians, 3 post-coital (spermatozoa at meatus), 2 in hotel room. Hotel room = site of intersection of transcendence and immanence: room itself, a triaxial coordinate ten floors above street; whore who comes up = pure immanence to be entered. But entry doesn’t avail: one skids off into transcendance. There is no reentry from the orbit of transcendence.

Lt. B.: “Maybe they’re so shocked by what they’ve turned loose on the world—” Pandora’s Box theory, etc. “Maybe that’s why he did it,” etc.

I say: “Bullshit, Lt., and on the contrary. This Schadenfreude is what keeps them going,” etc.
What I cannot tell Lt: If R.R. had been a good pornographer, he would not have suicided. His death was due, not to lewdness, but to the failure of lewdness.

I say to Val: Re Sweden: increase in suicides in Sweden due not to increase in lewdness but to decline of lewdness. When Sweden was post-Christian but had not yet forgotten Cx (cira 1850-1914, Swedish lewdness intact and suicides negligible. But when Swedes truly post-Christian (not merely post-Christian but also post-memory of Cx), lewdness declined and suicides rose in inverse relation.

Val to me: Don’t sell Sweden short. (I notice that her language has taken on the deplorable and lapsed slanginess found in many religious, priests and nuns, and in Our Sunday Visitor.) The next great saint must come from Sweden, etc. It is only from desolation of total transcendence of self and total descent of world immanence that a man can come who can recover himself and world under God, etc. Give me suicidal Swede, says she, over Alabama Christian any day, etc.