The Philosophy of Walker Percy’s presented by Walter Isaacson
Jun
1
9:00 AM09:00

The Philosophy of Walker Percy’s presented by Walter Isaacson

  Walter Isaacson will speak on Walker Percy’s philosophy as reflected in his novels.  That includes the idea of “the search” that’s central to The Moviegoer.  Walter is an award-winning historian and the author of many best-selling books, including biographies of Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Kissinger, and most recently Leonardo DaVinci. Walter Isaacson has also written the book American Sketches in which Isaacson reflects on how he became a writer, the lessons he learned from various people he met, and the challenges he sees for journalism in the digital age. He offers loving tributes to his hometown of New Orleans, which both before and after Hurricane Katrina offered many of the ingredients for a creative culture, and to the Louisiana novelist Walker Percy, who was an early mentor.

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Panel Discussion:  "'A 'Little Way' Out Of America's Crisis: A Discussion About Small Town Community with David Brooks, J.D. Vance, and Rod Dreher"
Jun
1
1:30 PM13:30

Panel Discussion: "'A 'Little Way' Out Of America's Crisis: A Discussion About Small Town Community with David Brooks, J.D. Vance, and Rod Dreher"

American culture is in crisis. Many people feel a loss of meaning, purpose, and community. In his 2013 New York Times bestselling memoir 'The Little Way Of Ruthie Leming,' Rod Dreher wrote about the strengths of rural and smalltown culture in West Feliciana Parish, as embodied by his late sister and the community that accompanied her in her terminal struggle with cancer. What lessons can America learn from the way the people of West Feliciana live? Rod Dreher explores them with New York Times columnist David Brooks, whose new book is "The Second Mountain: The Quest For A Moral Life," and J.D. Vance, bestselling author of "Hillbilly Elegy," his memoir of growing up in Appalachian poverty, which will soon be a feature film directed by Ron Howard.

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Presentation:  Found in the Cosmos:  Creating Community One Audience at a Time” presented by Tom Key
Jun
1
4:00 PM16:00

Presentation: Found in the Cosmos: Creating Community One Audience at a Time” presented by Tom Key

TOM KEY is an Atlanta theatre director and playwright who adapted Walker Percy's The Moviegoer and Lost In The Cosmos for the stage. He serves as Artistic Director of downtown Atlanta’s celebrated Theatrical Outfit He will speak on the meaning of Lost In The Cosmos for contemporary American culture, and the role of art -- especially theatre -- in building community in a fragmenting society.

“Recreating comic and dramatic excerpts from his hit stage adaptations in downtown Atlanta’s Theatrical Outfit of Lost in the Cosmos and The Moviegoer, Tom Key reveals what profound community transaction happens when language is center stage, and especially when its Walker Percy’s.  This theatrical art form invites us to recognize what we have in common is far greater than what divides us and that truly we all belong to one another.”   

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Jun
1
to Jun 2

2019 Presentations

2019 Presenters

DAVID BROOKS is a columnist for The New York Times and author of many bestselling books. His next book, "The Second Mountain: The Quest For A Moral Life," will be published in April 2019.

J.D. VANCE is author of Hillbilly Elegy, a bestselling 2016 memoir about growing up poor in Appalachia. The book is soon to become a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard.

WALTER ISAACSON is a journalist and author who has written biographies of Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Henry Kissinger. Mr. Isaacson will talk about walker Percy's Theory of Hurricanes and Everyday Life.

JESSICA HOOTEN WILSON teaches literature and humanities at John Brown University. Over the years she has emerged as one of the most popular presenters at Walker Percy Weekend.

TOM KEY is an Atlanta theatre director and playwright who adapted Walker Percy's The Moviegoer and Lost In The Cosmos for the stage. He serves as Artistic Director of downtown Atlanta’s celebrated Theatrical Outfit He will speak on the meaning of Lost In The Cosmos for contemporary American culture, and the role of art -- especially theatre -- in building community in a fragmenting society.

ROD DREHER is a West Feliciana native and author of two New York Times bestsellers, including The Benedict Option (2017) and his memoir about growing up in West Feliciana, and "The Little Way of Ruthie Leming" (2013).

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Searching for the meaning of life through Percy's correspondence with Psychiatrist Robert Coles. With Lawrence Rhu
Jun
2
1:30 PM13:30

Searching for the meaning of life through Percy's correspondence with Psychiatrist Robert Coles. With Lawrence Rhu

Lawrence Rhu, Emeritus Professor of English, the University of South Carolina, will explore the long friendship between Walker Percy and famed Harvard psychiatrist Robert Coles, with whom he shared a passion for the search for life's meaning. Rhu is the curator of the letters of Coles and Percy and is currently writing a book, entitled "Friendship and the Life of Writing: Walker Percy and Robert Coles."

 

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Reading Walker Percy's Novels & The Last Gentleman: A book discussion with Jessica Hooten Wilson
Jun
2
11:30 AM11:30

Reading Walker Percy's Novels & The Last Gentleman: A book discussion with Jessica Hooten Wilson

  • Jackson Hall, Grace Episcopal Church (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Jessica Hooten Wilson (Associate Professor of Creative Writing, John Brown University) makes her THIRD festival appearance, this time presenting her new book Reading Walker Percy's Novels (LSU Press May 2018). Jessica will lead a lunchtime, book club-style discussion of Percy's The Last Gentleman

* A gourmet, brown bag picnic lunch will be available to Book Club attendees at additional cost. Box lunch reservations must be made before Friday, June 1 at 6 pm. Sign up at registration or click [HERE] if you want in on this. 

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The Fragmenting of American Life as seen through the lens of Love in the Ruins presented by H. Collin Messer
Jun
2
9:00 AM09:00

The Fragmenting of American Life as seen through the lens of Love in the Ruins presented by H. Collin Messer

Collin Messer (Grove City College) will analyze the fragmenting of American life through the lens of Percy's novel Love In The Ruins. The alienation Percy wrote about in his 1971 novel has intensified in recent years. How shall we -- liberals, conservatives, and everybody else -- live as "wayfarers" in our American Babylon without losing sight of the goodness of God in the everyday? 

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Walker Percy, Race and Confederate Memory  presented by Patrick Connelly
Jun
2
9:00 AM09:00

Walker Percy, Race and Confederate Memory presented by Patrick Connelly

Patrick Connelly (Mississippi College) returns to the festival to speak on Walker Percy, race, and Confederate memory. Percy's unique perspective was shaped by his upbringing in the segregated South, his deep familiarity with Civil War history and Lost Cause mythology, and his post-conversion support for the Civil Rights movement. What does Percy have to teach us about contemporary racial concerns and debates over historical remembrance?

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Walker Percy's Blues: Suffering And Self- Discovery In Love in the Ruins.
Jun
3
2:00 PM14:00

Walker Percy's Blues: Suffering And Self- Discovery In Love in the Ruins.

Percy's fiction and personal life are filled with experiences of melancholy, and various complex and searching responses to it. Not least among these is a concern with the sense of Self, and the Self's relations with others. Psychoanalyst Ralph Beaumont explores some philosophical, psychological, and spiritual paradoxes related to this theme as it is manifest in Percy's third novel, Love in the Ruins. Dr. Beaumont will also raise questions about how these issues may correspond to aspects of Percy's own life and development.                  Presented by Dr. Ralph Beaumont

* Times subject to change.

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The Devil Went Down To Georgia: Flannery O'Connor And The Religion Of Me, Myself, And I.
Jun
3
2:00 PM14:00

The Devil Went Down To Georgia: Flannery O'Connor And The Religion Of Me, Myself, And I.

The modern age is one of self-worship, says Jessica Hooten Wilson, putting us in thrall to a false idol and a pseudo-religious vision that leaves us blind to the human condition. In her fiction, Flannery O'Connor, the self-described "Hillbilly Thomist," fought hard for the Real and the True. Wilson explores O'Connor's anti-modern iconoclasm, and the lessons O'Connor has to teach readers struggling to make sense of contemporary problems.                              Presented by Jessica Hooten Wilson.

* Times subject to change, please check back near event date.

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Walker Percy and the Burden of History.
Jun
3
9:00 AM09:00

Walker Percy and the Burden of History.

One of the most famous lines in Southern literature comes from William Faulkner’s Requiem for a Nun: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Walker Percy’s essays and novels acknowledge the enduring power of the ever-present past, but, argues Patrick Connelly, the burden of history does not lead him to fatalism or despair. Drawing on personal biography, the saga of Southern history, the American narrative, and world-historical themes rooted in religious and philosophical convictions, Percy presents the burden of history not simply as the crushing weight of the past but in terms of the responsibilities we share as creatures of hope and history.            Presented by Patrick Connelly

* Times subject to change

 

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Walker Percy And The Benedict Option: Confronting The Culture Of Death
Jun
3
9:00 AM09:00

Walker Percy And The Benedict Option: Confronting The Culture Of Death

In his prophetic mode, Percy said we are living through the birth of a post-Christian order that worships technology and the will to power, and that thus devalues life's sacredness. Drawing on Percy's scorching estimate of contemporary American life—in his novels and essays as well as his involvement in the Civil Rights struggle—Wood explains why Percy’s diagnosis may find its healing remedy in Rod Dreher's Benedict Option. For Percy and BenOppers alike, we need new countercultural movements to defend and preserve what is uniquely human.                   Presented by Ralph Wood

 

* Times subject to change, please check back just prior to event date.

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Jun
4
2:00 PM14:00

Dostoevsky and Percy: presented by Jessica Hooten Wilson & Ralph Wood

Dostoevsky and Percy:

Ralph Wood and Jessica Hooten Wilson explore the connections between the two novelists -- one Southern Catholic, the other Russian Orthodox -- both of whom had penetrating insights on what it meant to live meaningfully amid the disorders of the modern age.

(Actual event time announced closer to event date)

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Jun
4
9:00 AM09:00

Walker Percy & Catholicism & The South

Walker Percy's moral and philosophical vision was formed by his Roman Catholicism, which he embraced as an adult convert. He went on to become one of America's greatest Catholic literary voices of the 20th century. Jason Berry, the noted New Orleans writer and Catholic journalist, leads a discussion about Percy's faith, his fiction, and the prophetic insight it gave him into the disorders of our time. Patrick Samway, the Jesuit priest and Percy biographer, joins Berry for this panel, as well as Philip Thompson, executive director of Emory University's Aquinas Center for Theology. 

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Jun
4
9:00 AM09:00

The Moviegoer at 50

Essayists including H. Collin Messer, Michael Kobre and Jessica Hooten Wilson reflect on the prophetic insights of Percy's 1961 National Book Award-winning novel. More than fifty years after its publication, The Moviegoer still confronts, comforts, and enlightens generations of readers. The contributors to Walker Percy's The Moviegoer at Fifty have built on decades of research--through diverse perspectives that draw on philosophy, theology, disability theory, contemporary music and literature, social media, and film studies--to read the novel with fresh understanding and admiration.   These panelists will bring fresh understanding and admiration of the novel. 

 

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From Gone With the Wind to “Garden & Gun”: Walker Percy at the Crossroads between the Old South and the New
Jun
6
2:00 PM14:00

From Gone With the Wind to “Garden & Gun”: Walker Percy at the Crossroads between the Old South and the New

Walker Percy was raised in the last age of the aristocratic Old South culture, epitomized by his Uncle Will. He wrote in, and of, the New South -- the emerging South of the middle class, commerce, and suburbia. How and why did the changes come about? And how has the South changed further since Percy’s death 25 years ago?

Peter Augustine Lawler & Patrick Connelly
$10

$10 ticket good for admission to any (or all) panels

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Lost in the Cosmos, Interstellar, and Changing Perspectives on Our Place in the Universe
Jun
6
11:00 AM11:00

Lost in the Cosmos, Interstellar, and Changing Perspectives on Our Place in the Universe

  • Jackson Hall at Grace Episcopal Church (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Peter Augustine Lawler, a political philosopher who serves as Dana Professor of Government at Berry College in Georgia. He is a former member of the President's Council on Bioethics, and author of fifteen books.

Peter Augustine Lawler

$10 ticket good for admission to any (or all) panels

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Catholics in the Christ-Haunted South
Jun
6
9:00 AM09:00

Catholics in the Christ-Haunted South

Roman Catholicism—historically an outsider form of Christianity in the heavily Protestant South—informed the moral vision of Percy and Flannery O’Connor, two of the modern South’s best writers and most observant social critics. What did their Catholicism reveal to them about Southern culture? What did their Southern roots and Christian faith reveal to them about the discontents of contemporary America in an increasingly secular age?

Ralph Wood & Peter Augustine Lawler

 

$10 ticket good for admission to any (or all) panels

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Losing It At The Movies
Jun
6
9:00 AM09:00

Losing It At The Movies

The late novelist David Foster Wallace once asked a very Walker Percy-like question: “Why are we – and by 'we' I mean people like you and me: mostly white, upper middle class or upper class, obscenely well educated, doing really interesting jobs, sitting in really expensive chairs, watching the best, you know, watching the most sophisticated electronic equipment money can buy – why do we feel so empty and unhappy?” Panelists will discuss the answers both novelists answered this question, with special focus on each writer’s insights into how modern people evade the question by immersing themselves in film and mass media.

Ari Schulman, Ben Bergholtz, & Robbie Howell

$10 ticket good for admission to any (or all) panels

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Art in the Ruins
Jun
5
7:00 PM19:00

Art in the Ruins

Hailing from the birthplace of Walker Percy, Birmingham, musicians Preston Lovinggood and Joel Scott Davis will be joined by visual artist Jared Ragland in presenting an evening of songs and images inspired by Percy’s life and literature. Original music and covers of familiar classics will be paired with photographs and found images from Ragland’s forthcoming book Everything Is Going To Be All Right for a multimedia pilgrimage in search of meaning, community, and place.

Preston Lovinggood, Joel Scott Davis & Jared Ragland

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