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Online Great Books Podcast

Feb 18, 2021

This week, Scott and Karl read The Moviegoer, Walker Percy's first novel. Awarded the 1962 National Book Award for Fiction, the story follows Binx Bolling, a young New Orleans stockbroker who surveys the world with a removed gaze.

Karl says, “There’s a certain type of person that these novels are going to be good for: the kind of detached person, the observer.”

Binx gives a running commentary on life as it passes before his eyes, almost as if he were watching a movie. Scott says, "Life is a movie for Binx, he's a spectator in life until the end of the book."

The novel focuses on "the search" for authenticity in a scripted, stylized, mediated world. Set in New Orleans, Percy incorporates a sense of place and legacy while grappling with Binx's malaise, as is the tradition of southern writers. 

Tune in to hear about the book that establishes Percy as one of the major voices in Southern literature. Brought to you by