Signposts in a Strange Land: Essays

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At his death in 1990, Walker Percy left a considerable legacy of uncollected nonfiction. Assembled in Signposts in a Strange Land, these essays on language, literature, philosophy, religion, psychiatry, morality, and life and letters in the South display the imaginative versatility of an author considered by many to be one the greatest modern American writers.

At the time of his death in 1990, Walker Percy left a considerable legacy of uncollected non-fiction. Now ...

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Overview

At his death in 1990, Walker Percy left a considerable legacy of uncollected nonfiction. Assembled in Signposts in a Strange Land, these essays on language, literature, philosophy, religion, psychiatry, morality, and life and letters in the South display the imaginative versatility of an author considered by many to be one the greatest modern American writers.

At the time of his death in 1990, Walker Percy left a considerable legacy of uncollected non-fiction. Now assembled here, these essays on language, literature, philosophy, religion, psychiatry, morality, and life and letters in the South display the imaginative versatility of this legendary writer.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Bourbon does for me what the piece of cake did for Proust,'' writes Percy in one of his sparkling, fluent essays on the South. Other pieces with Southern themes collected here deal with the Civil War, New Orleans, cemeteries, race relations and why this eminent novelist, who died last May, chose to live in a ``nonplace''--Covington, La. The remainder of these previously uncollected essays range widely over literature, science, morality and religion. Arguing that modern science ``cannot utter a single word'' about what is distinctive in human behavior, art and thought, Percy turns to semiotics for the beginnings of ``a coherent science of man.'' Modern fiction, he contends, serves a diagnostic and cognitive role in revealing us to ourselves in a century of spiritual disorientation. Other selections cover movie magazines, psychiatry, abortion (he opposes it), Eudora Welty and Moby Dick. Samway is literary editor of America and author of a book on Faulkner. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Eminent physician/novelist Percy ( The Moviegoer ) died in 1990. Accumulated here are many uncollected essays, several seeing publication for the first time, grouped under three headings conceptually central to Percy's thought: life in the South; the relationship of science, language, and literature; and morality/religion. Sometimes dense (``Is a Theory of Man Possible?''), sometimes light (``Bourbon''), his nonfiction is always entertaining and enlightening. Percy is justly famous for his efforts to detect meaning in a world growing more meaningless, and many of his ``signposts'' carry a lot of accessible semiotic significance. Lots of small gems, too: for instance, that Melville was trying to ``out-Hawthorne Hawthorne.'' For all serious literature collections.-- Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Booknews
Percy, eminent author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction, including and , died in 1990, and left a legacy of uncollected nonfiction. Here are assembled essays on language, literature, philosophy, religion, psychiatry, morality, and life and letters in the South. The editor has arranged them to best advantage and provides an introduction. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374263911
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 7/1/1991
  • Pages: 428

Meet the Author

Walker Percy wrotes several books, many of them bestsellers, and is considered one of the greatest American writers of our time.

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Table of Contents

Why I Live Where I Live

New Orleans Mon Amour

The City of the Dead

Going Back to Georgia

Mississippi: The Fallen Paradise

Uncle Will

Uncle Will's House

A Better Louisiana

The American War

Red, White, and Blue-Gray

Stoicism in the South

A Southern View

The Southern Moderate

Bourbon

Is a Theory of Man Possible?

Naming and Being

The State of the Novel: Dying Art or New Science?

Novel-Writing in an Apocalyptic Time

How to Be an American Novelist in Spite of Being Southern and Catholic

From Facts to Fiction

Physician as Novelist

Herman Melville

Diagnosing the Modern Malaise

Eudora Welty in Jackson

Foreword to A Confederacy of Dunces

Rediscovering A Canticle for Leibowitz

The Movie Magazine: A Low "Slick"

Accepting the National Book Award for The Moviegoer

Concerning Love in the Ruins

The Coming Crisis in Psychiatry

The Culture Critics

The Fateful Rift: The San Andreas Fault in the Modern Mind

Culture, the Church, and Evangelization

Why Are You a Catholic?

A "Cranky Novelist" Reflects on the Church

The Failure and the Hope

A View of Abortion, with Something to Offend Everybody

Foreword to The New Catholics

If I Had Five Minutes with the Pope

An Unpublished Letter to the Times

Another Message in the Bottle

The Holiness of the Ordinary

An Interview with Zoltan Abadi-Nagi

Questions They Never Asked Me

Bibliography Notes

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