Catholic Fine Art

Walker Percy *

Walker Percy is often described as an insightful, if not wry "novelist-of-ideas," yet his contributions to human thought go well beyond the novels he wrote to include a rather substantial body of literary and scholastic commentary as well. Indeed, Percy's non-fiction writings might be said to reveal the elaborate, refined context in which the novelist generated his ideas for his fiction.

Winner of the 1962 National Book Award for his first novel, The Moviegoer, Dr. Percy went on to distinguish himself before his death in 1990 with the publication of five further novels in addition to two non-fiction books (followed by a posthumous third one) dedicated to exploring the peculiar situation that is the human condition. A more formal, philosophical fascination with the nature of language and its relationship to our humanity characterizes his non-fiction writings.

Originally trained as a medical doctor, Percy is perhaps comparable in his breadth of creativity to that of the celebrated 19th-century thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson, though differences certainly abound between the two. The complex matrix Percy weaves between his novels and his philosophical writings almost certainly assures that a careful inspection of his work is worth the effort, whatever direction one approaches it from.

For more insight into the life and work of Walker Percy go to this wikipedia insert: