Chapter

Walker Percy: The Making of a Southern Novelist

Bertram Wyatt-Brown

in The House of Percy

Published in print October 1996 | ISBN: 9780195109825
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854240 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195109825.003.0018
Walker Percy: The Making of a Southern Novelist

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The translation of disturbing recollections into fiction can be a formidable task. Despite the difficulties, the process makes possible a sense of distance from the immediacy of personal pain. Walker Percy possessed the talent, self-possession, and persistence to achieve a successful degree of objectivity, and they account for his impact on readers. His novels especially move those who recognize their own situations and moments of despair in his presentation of characters and plot. He could be exactly who he wanted to be, and no one could gainsay his choice. Moreover, the postwar climate of intellectual expansiveness washed away the repressive atmosphere in which Will Percy had functioned. Instead, Walker Percy felt no social impediments about what he wrote. Even had he so wished, Will Percy could not have dealt frankly with matters about which most men and women in Greenville of his social class spoke only in whispers.

Keywords: novel writing; Bunt Percy; Will Percy; The Chatterhouse

Chapter.  11051 words. 

Subjects: Local and Family History

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