November 08, 2002

Pondering Percy
"After the lunch conference I run into my cousin Nell Lovell on the steps of the library - where I go occasionally to read liberal and conservative periodicals. Whenever I feel bad, I go to the library and read controversial periodicals. Though I do not know whether I am a liberal or a conservative, I am nevertheless enlivened by the hatred which one bears the other. In fact, this hatred strikes me as one of the few signs of life remaining in the world. This is another thing about the world which is upsidedown: all the friendly and likable people seem dead to me; only the haters seem alive.

"Down I plunk myself with a liberal weekly at one of the massive tables, read it from cover to cover, nodding to myself whenever the writer scores a point. Damn right, old son, I say, jerking my chair in approval. Pour it on them. Then up and over to the rack for a conservative monthly and down in a fresh cool chair to join the counterattack. Oh ho, say I, and hold fast to the chair arm: that one did it: eviscerated! And then out and away into the sunlight, my neck prickling with satisfaction."
- Walker Percy, The Moviegoer

In a later book Percy has a character comment, "liberals and conseratives need each other...what would they do without the other?" which again implies that "only haters seem alive" and that without the other they would slip into narcoleptic stupor.

On the larger view, imagine a world in which there wasn't a fight between the devil & God, between the angels and demons...hard to imagine. All drama is conflict - where there is no conflict you have no plot...without plot, no stories...without stories....?

"The storyteller is a pale metaphor for God who creates our world and us, falls in love with his creatures, even obsesses over us because we don’t act right, and always reserves the right to say the final word."
- Andrew Greeley

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