In episode 14 of Sacred and Profane Love, “Walker Percy on Being Lost in the Cosmos,” I speak with associate professor of Literature, Jessica Hooten Wilson, about Walker Percy’s dystopian, science fiction novel, Love in the Ruins. We discuss the darkly comic adventures of Dr. Tom More as he tries to figure out how to live and love in the ruins of a society that seems eerily familiar to our own. We also discuss Percy’s satirical take on the self-help genre, Lost in the Cosmos. So bring out the Early Times this weekend, settle down on the porch, and enjoy a conversation about one of our greatest Southern writers.
Jessica Hooten Wilson is associate professor of literature at John Brown University. She is the author of three books: Giving the Devil his Due: Flannery O’Connor and the Brothers Karamazov, Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence, and A Guide to Walker Percy’s Novels. Currently, she is preparing Flannery O’Connor’s unfinished novel,Why Do the Heathen Rage? for publication.
Sacred and Profane Love is a podcast in which philosophers, theologians, and literary critics discuss some of their favorite works of literature, and how these works have shaped their own ideas about love, happiness, and meaning in human life. Host Jennifer A. Frey is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina.
This podcast is generously supported by the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America.
Music credits, “Help me Somebody,” by Brian Eno and David Byrne, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.5.
I was in DC yesterday giving a talk on Walker Percy and the Federalist Radio Hour asked me to swing by their recording studio to do an episode with them. It was fun (Ben was an incredible host) and I’m delighted they invited me on the show. In the episode, we discuss Percy’s ideas about the self and self-knowledge, the south, being a southern catholic, despair, sin, sex, women, false transcendence, and how to be alive to your own inevitable catastrophe of self. If you are interested in Percy, you may want to bust out the Early Times, have a listen, and share with all of your friends. You can access the full episode here.