Walker Percy:

In my last novel, The Thanatos Syndrome, I tried to show how, while truth should prevail, it is a disaster when only one kind of truth prevails at the expense of another. If only one kind of truth prevails, the abstract and technical truth of science, then nothing stands in the way of a demeaning of and a destruction of human life for what would appear to be reasonable short-term goals.

It’s no accident that I think that German science, as great as it was, ended in the destruction of the Holocaust.

The novelist likes to irritate people by pointing this out. It’s his pleasure and vocation to reveal, with his own elusive and indirect way, man’s need of and openings to other than scientific propositions.

The novelist, I think, has a special calling to truth these days. The world into which you are graduating is a deranged world. It is his task to show the derangement.

This excerpt from a speech by the great novelist Walker Percy is highlighted in this post by Rod Dreher, who is amazed to realize that it’s been 20 years since Percy’s death. He’s still so influential, it’s hard to believe he’s been gone that long.

That does it. On my short list of must-reads for the rest of 2010, I’m adding some of the Percy novels I’ve missed.