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Walker Percy Wednesday 161

We are aware that the effect is achieved by applying the notions of water and scars to lightning, the most unwaterlike or unscarlike thing imaginable. But are these metaphors merely pleasing or shocking or do they discover?—discover an aspect of the thing which had gone unformulated before? Clouds are called variously bars, rafters, prisms, mealy,…

Walker Percy and the Politics of the Wayfarer

One of the contributors to the forthcoming Walker Percy, Philosopher (Palgrave) volume  (“Percy on the Allure of Violence and Destruction”) has himself a new book out on Percy entitled Walker Percy and the Politics of the Wayfarer. brian a. smithexistentialismPhilosophy of LanguagePolitical philosophyWalker Percy

Walker Percy Wednesday 160

An unvarying element in the situation is a pointing at by context. There must occur a preliminary meeting of minds and a mutually intended subject before anything can be said at all. The context may vary all the way from a literal pointing-by-finger and naming in the aboriginal naming act, to the pointing context of…

Walker Percy Wednesday 158

It might be useful to look into the workings of these accidental stumblings into poetic meaning, because they exhibit in a striking fashion that particular feature of metaphor which has most troubled philosophers: that it is “wrong”-it asserts of one thing that it is something else-and further, that its beauty often seems proportionate to its wrongness…

Walker Percy Wednesday 157

A young Falkland Islander walking along a beach and spying a dead dogfish and going to work on it with his jackknife has, in a fashion wholly unprovided in modern educational theory, a great advantage over the Scarsdale high-school pupil who finds the dogfish on his laboratory desk. Similarly the citizen of Huxley’s Brave New…

Walker Percy Wednesday 156

Let us take an example in which the recovery of being is ambiguous, where it may under the same circumstances contain both authentic and unauthentic components. An American couple, we will say, drives down into Mexico. They see the usual sights and have a fair time of it. Yet they are never without the sense…

Walker Percy Wednesday 155

THE LOSS OF THE CREATURE It may be recovered by a dialectical movement which brings one back to the beaten track but at a level above it. For example, after a lifetime of avoiding the beaten track and guided tours, a man may deliberately seek out the most beaten track of all, the most commonplace…