Alex David Groce's Home Page
"But that night, after the bonfire and the fireworks had faded, a wind
grew and blew with gathering violence, blowing away the rain. And in the
morning I found one of the laurelled posts torn off and lying at random on
the rainy ground; while the other stood erect, green and glittering in the
sun. I thought that the pagans would certainly have called it an omen; and
it was one that strangely fitted my own sense of some great work half
fulfilled and half frustrated. And I thought vaguely of that man in
Virgil, who prayed that he might slay his foe and return to his country;
and the gods heard half the prayer, and the other half was scattered to
the winds. For I knew we were right to rejoice; since the tyrant was indeed
slain and his tyranny fallen forever; but I know not when we shall find
our way back to our own land."
- G. K. Chesterton
Rene Magritte: La condition humaine, 1935
Note: I am now an assistant professor at Oregon State University.
Comments and questions to
Interviewer: You've lived a fairly privileged life. Why
Walker Percy: Who says I despair? That is to say, I would reverse
Kierkegaard's aphorism that the worst despair is that despair which is
unconscious of itself as despair, and instead say that the best
despair and the beginning of hope is to be conscious of despair in the
very air we breathe, and to look around for something better. I like
to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?