The moviegoer : the search for an access to being

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1971

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The primary concern of Walker Percy in his three novels and in many of his articles is man's loss of being. Being has been lost through packaging and through the layman's misunderstanding of scientific theory. Man has mistaken the idea, the principle, and the abstraction for the real, and he has lost his subjectivity, his ability to see through hiw own eyes. Everydayness, like a veil, hides man from being, his own being, and transcendent Being. How is man once again to find access to being? In The Moviegoer the question is more specific. How is Binx Bolling going to find access to being? He must first become aware that there is more than everydayness and this realization comes about through the ordeal of war and by means of his own anxiety which he sees to be the call of the self to the self. Recognizing that he is a castaway and heeding the call of his despair, he begins his search for an access to being. He calls his search the horizontal search, the search for meaning within the dimensions of time and space. For the search to continue he must penetrate the everydayness that hides the real world. Two devices that are helpful in this endeavor are rotation and repetition, but the best possible way to penetrate everydayness and recover the lost world is through communion with another. The search and the struggle against everydayness become for Percy's protagonists a way of life.

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