Reading Journal

What I'm reading

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy

This was a good book, though in my opinion it wasn't as funny as Love in the Ruins. It's called The Moviegoer because to the main character, a place doesn't feel real unless he's seen that same place in a movie. Then it has that special "something" normal places lack.

Good quotes:
"Whenever I feel bad, I go to the library and read controversial periodicals. Though I do not know whether I am a liberal or a conservative, I am nevertheless enlivened by the hatred which one bears the other. In fact, this hatred strikes me as one of the few signs of life remaining in the world."

"Tonight's subject is a playwright who transmits this very quality of niceness in his plays. He begins:
I believe in people. I believe in tolerance and understanding between people. I believe in the uniqueness and the dignity of the individual --
Everyone on This I Believe believes in the uniqueness and the dignity of the individual. I have noticed, however, that the believers are far from unique themselves, are in fact alike as peas in a pod.
I believe in music. I believe in a child's smile. I believe in love. I also believe in hate.
This is true. I have known a couple of these believers, humanists and lady psychologists who come to my aunt's house. On This I Believe they like everyone. But when it comes down to this or that particular person, I have noticed that they usually hate his guts."

"What a sickness it is, Rory, this latter-day post-Christian sex.... But to be neither pagan nor Christian but this: oh this is a sickness, Rory. For it to be longed after and dreamed of the first twenty years of one's life, not practicied but not quite prohibited; simply longed after, longed after as a fruit not really forbidden but mock-forbidden and therefore secretly prized, prized first last and always by the cult of the naughty nice wherein everyone is nicer than Christians and naughtier than pagans."

"Now in the thirty-first year of my dark pilgrimage on this earth and knowing less than I ever knew before, having learned only to recognize merde when I see it, having inherited no more from my father than a good nose for merde, for every species of s**t that flies -- my only talent -- smelling merde from every quarter, living in fact in the very century of merde, the great s**thouse of scientific humanism where needs are satisfied, everyone becomes an anyone, a warm and creative person, and prospers like a dung beetle, and one hundred percent of people are humanists and ninety-eight percent believe in God, and men are dead, dead, dead; and the malaise has settled like a fall-out and what people really fear is not that the bomb will fall but that the bomb will not fall -- on this my thirtieth birthday, I know nothing and there is nothing to do but fall prey to desire."


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