Walker Percy’s Voices

Michael Kobre

A study of the multiple voices and diverse perspectives in Walker Percy’s novels as they reflect the attitudes of a changing South

Reviews

"Michael Kobre's study of Walker Percy's fiction is original, deeply insightful, and well written. . . . This book is most impressive."
—John F. Desmond, author of At the Crossroads: Ethical and Religious Themes in the Writings of Walker Percy

"Walker Percy's Voices is a powerful, convincing, and ground-breaking study of Percy. . . . It is an important addition to Percy scholarship."
—Robert H. Brinkmeyer Jr., author of The Art and Vision of Flannery O'Connor


"Michael Kobre's book on Percy has many fine qualities. Kobre delights in Percy's texts, quoting passages at length and to good effect. And although he refers adequately to the considerable body of Percy scholarship, he does so with a deft touch that leaves the lines of his own argument intact. This book could serve as an excellent introduction to the novels."
—John D. Sykes

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Description
Walker Percy's novels are fraught with characters struggling toward a destiny and purpose in life who must sort through conflicting inner voices and the voices of family, friends, therapists, and mentors until they finally find their own paths. Through trial, error, and retrial, Percy's characters continuously reinvent themselves, struggling until they reach solutions, satisfaction, and maturity.

In this multifaceted work, Michael Kobre analyzes Walker Percy's major fiction works—The Moviegoer, The Last Gentleman, Love in the Ruins, Lancelot, The Second Coming, and The Thanatos Syndrome—in terms of the Russian philosopher and literary scholar Mikhail Bakhtin's critical theory. Kobre begins with an introduction to Percy's view of language and consciousness and a clear, accessible explanation of Bakhtin's ideas. His subsequent discussion of the novels connects each work in turn with Percy's advancing career and explores the deepening conflict in Percy's fiction between his desire to express his own religious and moral beliefs and his commitment to the essential freedom of his art—the play of many voices in his narratives.

Page count: 256 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9

 



Hardcover
List price: $46.95
978-0-8203-2140-0
1/6/2000

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Michael Kobre is a professor of English at Queens College in Charlotte, North Carolina.