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Walker Percy Wednesday – 13

Happy people were worse off in their happiness in museums than anywhere else, he had noticed sometime ago. In here the air was thick as mustard gas with ravenous particles which were stealing the substance from painting and viewer alike. Though the light was technically good, illuminating the paintings in an unexceptionable manner, it nevertheless…

Walker Percy Wednesday – 12

The sun is shining, people live well, go about satisfying their needs and achieving goals, work at creative jobs, attend cultural attractions, participate in interesting groups. This is, by every calculation, as it should be. Yet it was on just such a day as this, an ordinary Wednesday or Thursday, that he felt the deepest…

Walker Percy Wednesday – 11

So thoroughly in fact did he identify with his group companions of the moment, so adept did he become at role-taking, as the social scientists call it, that he all but disappeared into the group. As everyone knows, New York is noted for the number and variety of the groups with which one might associate, so…

Walker Percy Wednesday – 10

But it was worse than this in his case. It was more than being a Southerner. For some years he had had a nervous condition and as a consequence he did not know how to live his life. As a child he had had “spells,” occurrences which were nameless and not to be thought of,…

Walker Percy Wednesday – 9

As for the present young man, the last of the line, he did not know what to think. So he became a watcher and a listener and a wanderer. He could not get enough of watching. Once when he was a boy, a man next door had gone crazy and had sat out in his…

Walker Percy Wednesday – 8

Being of both a scientific and a superstitious turn of mind and therefore always on the lookout for chance happenings which lead to great discoveries, he had to have a last look—much as a man will open a telephone book and read the name at his thumb . . . It did not take him…

Walker Percy Wednesday – 7

As for my search, I have not the inclination to say much on the subject. For one thing, I have not the authority, as the great Danish philosopher declared, to speak of such matters in any way other than the edifying. For another thing, it is not open to me even to be edifying, since…

Walker Percy Wednesday – 6

Now in the thirty-first year of my dark pilgrimage on this earth and knowing less than I ever knew before, having learned only to recognize merde when I see it, having inherited no more from my father than a good nose for merde, for every species of shit that flies—my only talent—smelling merde from every…

Walker Percy Wednesday – 5

I have to admire the St Louisan for his neat and well-ordered life, his gold pencil and his scissors-knife and his way of clipping articles on the convergence of the physical sciences and the social sciences; it comes over me that in the past few days my own life has gone to seed. I no…

Walker Percy Wednesday – 4

In Feliciana we used to speculate on the new messiah, the scientist-philosopher-mystic who would come striding through the ruins with the Gita in one hand and a Geiger counter in the other. Walker Percy, Philosopher existentialismphilosophical literatureWalker Percy