At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

David Horace Harwell, Walker Percy Remembered: A Portrait in the Words of Those Who Knew Him (2006)--This slight collection of reminiscences didn't shed any light on Percy's art or thought, but it did modify the impression I had of the man as aloof to the point of being practically eremetical. I was surprised to discover that he was involved in civil rights activism in his adopted hometown of Covington, LA, even creating a credit union to serve the financial needs of blacks. He was also a member of various social circles--supper clubs and reading groups, for instance. Unfortunately some of the interlocutors spend as much time talking about themselves as about Percy. The most interesting interview is, not surprisingly, that with Shelby Foote, who reveals among other things that he and Percy patronized whorehouses in their youth. For Percy fans only.


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