The Moviegoer - Walker Percy
This was perhaps the forth time I’ve read this book. Already, I know that I will read The Moviegoeragain. This book possess a strange quality in that it is gripping and yet it it does not stick in the memory. There is an urgency to the plot, and yet it is ephemeral.
One thing that has stuck with me is the way this novel changes with each reading. When I first encountered the book, I was amazed by the way the author was able to confront metaphysical issues. I could not remember an american author straight-up riffing intellectual in a smooth, fluid way.
This time, I was surprised by how clunky all the names were. Percy doesn’t make any apologies for forcing you to grab a piece of scrap paper and draw out the family relationships. This is bold. It’s something I would never have the confidence to do.
She refers to a phenomenon of moviegoing which I have called certification. Nowadays when a person lives somewhere, in a neighborhood, the place is not certified for him. More than likely he will live there sadly and the emptiness which is inside him will expand until it evacuates the entire neighborhood. But if he sees a movie which shows his very neighborhood, it becomes possible for him to live, for a time at least, as a person who is Somewhere and not Anywhere.