Episode 9 Walker Percy: Lost in the Cosmos and the Dilemma of the Self

Doug and Caren talk Walker Percy and the vagaries of the self in our age. We focus our discussion on Percy’s immensely entertaining Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book after an epigraph from his novel The Moviegoer. We touch on what brought about our predicament, a few of Percy’s non-selves, and a glimpse of the way forward. Our discussion includes other novels and his essay “The Loss of the Creature” in passing. Lastly, our Top 10 Ways to Fight Malaise.

We’ll come back to Percy more than once. This episode just gets us started.

Show notes:

Percy’s first published novel, The Moviegoer.

Lost in the Cosmos is a book to keep by the bedside. Read it a little at a time, ponder, and savor.

For more on Percy’s biography and the development of his thought, I highly recommend Jay Tolson’s excellent intellectual biography Pilgrim in the Ruins.

You can read the full text of Percy’s essay “Loss of the Creature” here or you can buy his collection of philosophical and semiotic essays, Message in the Bottle. (I recommend the latter, of course.)

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