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Max Beerbohm

The author of Zuleika Dobson, or, an Oxford love story born on this day. Had I a daughter, she’d have been named Zuleika. Max BeerbohmOxfordphilosophy and literaturesatireZuleika Dobson

David Madden and Walker Percy

From Black Mountain News In 1968, Madden began 24 years of teaching at Louisiana State University. Living near him in Covington for a while was the writer Walker Percy, author of “Love in the Ruins” and other novels. “He got on the faculty for just a quarter. I think his daughter was going to LSU,” Madden…

Albert Murray (1916 – 2013)

Albert Murray, author, critic and friend to Ralph Ellison and Duke Ellington, dead at 97  . . . foe of Marxists, Freudians, academics, black nationalists and white segregationists; Like Ellison, he believed conflict was a given, that life was not a formula to be solved but a dance to be danced. Albert Murraybluesduke ellingtonmusicphilosophy and…

Mary “Bunt” Townsend Percy

I was curious to find out whether or not “Bunt” Percy was still alive since it was she that nudged her husband Walker into reading Confederacy. As Cory MacLauchlin tells it: Walker said to Bunt, “You read it. Tell me what to do with it.” A few days later, Walker asked Bunt what she thought…

John Kennedy Toole

Speaking of autoscopic doubles (Toole-Ignatius Reilly) I’m working on a review of Cory MacLauchlin’s Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces. Cory reminds us that today marks the death of Toole. It is often said “how can one assess the greatness of the author on one work?”…

Life as Literature

I’ve been thinking a lot about my instinctive predilection for writers whose life and work bleed into each other, an attraction I felt long before I was fully aware of their biographical details. The first was Kafka; the second Rolfe; the third Musil; the fourth Mishima and the fifth, Toole. I’ve come to the conclusion that these philosophical novelists…

Iris Murdoch

This event could be interesting if like me you enjoy the intersection of the philosophical and the literary. Murdoch was of course a paramour of Oakeshott’s (see Bob Grant’s essay) and it is said based the character of Hugo Belfounder from Under the Net on Oakeshott. This is highly contentious and will never be satisfactorily resolved…