Sunday, November 16, 2014

Walker Percy: The Scientist and the Self

If you've been following Magnificat this month, I hope that between Friday and Saturday you noticed the latest installment of Great Conversion Stories (beginning on page 190) about the twentieth century American Southern writer Walker Percy. (If you don't already subscribe to Magnificat, let me invite you to get to know more about it by clicking right HERE!)

I really do feel that Percy would have been graciously annoyed at having been included in this series. He would have protested that there was nothing particularly "great" about his conversion. Once an interviewer -- trying to pin Percy down on the standard political-journalistic spectrum of conservative-moderate-liberal -- asked him, "What kind of Catholic are you?" Percy replied, "Bad."

In any case, the details of his journey are such that the story pretty much tells itself, and I have done my best to let it do so. Percy's conversion was the foundation for his perspective in both fiction and nonfiction, and his writing has not lost any of its relevance.

For those who don't subscribe (yet, haha), or who otherwise find it convenient, I provide below a readable reproduction of the essay.