Walker Percy: From Pen to Print

Exhibition Checklist

This checklist is only a partial record of the exhibition. It includes books, periodicals, and manuscripts that are part of the UNC collections but none of the many photographic reproductions from other sources used to provide a visual complement to the UNC materials. Unless otherwise identified, all printed materials are from the Percy Library or the general holdings of the Rare Book Collection, and all manuscripts are from the Percy Papers in the Manuscripts Department of Wilson Library. The Hobson numbers following many of the entries are from Linda Whitney Hobson's Walker Percy: A Comprehensive Descriptive Bibliography (New Orleans: Faust Publishing Company, 1988).

1. William Alexander Percy. Lanterns on the Levee. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1941. First edition. Walker Percy's copy.

2. Walker Percy. "The Willard Huntington Wright Murder Case." Carolina Magazine 64 (January 1935). The author's first published writing. Hobson, p. 64. From the North Carolina Collection.

3. Walker Percy. "The Movie Magazine: A Low 'Slick.'" Carolina Magazine 64 (March 1935). Hobson, p. 64. From the North Carolina Collection.

Early Materials from the Percy Library

4. Stephen Walter Ranson. The Anatomy of the Nervous System, From the Standpoint of Development and Function. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Co., 1936. Fifth edition, revised. A text from Percy's medical school years. Signed "Walker Percy, Bard Hall [Columbia University], New York, 1937."

5. Ernst Cassirer. An Essay on Man: An Introduction to a Philosophy of Human Culture. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1953. A very worn copy with copious annotations by Percy, many passages underlined and some notes on small sheets of paper inserted loosely.

6. Martin Heidegger. Existence and Being. Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1949. Heavily annotated by Percy (especially the endpapers), many passages underlined, some page corners turned in.

7. Soren Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript. Translated from the Danish by David F. Swenson and Walter Lowrie. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1944. Although a book from Percy's library, the volume also carries a Louisiana State University Library card pocket pasted to the front free endpaper. Percy had placed the book on reserve in the LSU library while he was teaching there in 1974-75. The endpapers have been heavily annotated by Percy, the text moderately so, and the corners of many pages have been turned in.

8. Gabriel Marcel. Being and Having. Translation by Katharine Farrer. Boston: Beacon Press, 1951. The endpapers are heavily annotated by Percy and many passages in the text are underlined.

9. Charles S. Peirce. Philosophical Writings of Peirce. Selected and edited with an introduction by Justus Buchler. New York: Dover, [1955]. Heavily annotated by Percy, many passages underlined, some manuscript notes loosely inserted.

10. Alfred North Whitehead. Science and the Modern World. New York: Macmillan, 1950 (c1925). Twelfth printing. Heavily annotated by Percy, many passages underlined, the corners of several pages turned in.

Early Writings

11. Walker Percy. "Symbol as Need." Thought 29 (Autumn 1954). A long review essay on Susanne Langer's Feeling and Form: A Theory of Art (New York: Scribner, 1953). An offprint of Percy's first published writing since his student efforts while at UNC in Chapel Hill. Hobson, p. 63.

12. Walker Percy. "The Man on the Train: Three Existential Modes." Partisan Review, no. 23 (Fall 1956). Hobson, p. 64.

13. Walker Percy. "The Coming Crisis in Psychiatry." America, January 5, 1957. A second part appeared in the issue of January 12, 1957. Hobson, p. 64.

14. Walker Percy. Typescript of The Gramercy Winner, an unpublished novel dating from the 1950s. With autograph changes by the author.

15. Walker Percy. "Notebook-1951." The author's typed notes concerning The Charterhouse, another unpublished novel. Only pages 1 and 19 through 36 are present. No copy of the text of the novel is known to have survived.

16. Autographed letters, signed, from Caroline Gordon to Walker Percy, addressed from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and dated "Fall" 1951 and December 11, 1951. The first two of a series of letters from Gordon to Percy offering detailed advice on the manuscript of The Charterhouse.

The Moviegoer (1961)

17. Walker Percy. Typescript draft of a short story titled "Confessions of a Moviegoer (From the Diary of the Last Romantic)," identified by Percy as a "short early version" of his subsequent novel.

18. Walker Percy. Typescript draft of the novel, titled "Confessions of a Moviegoer," dating from the late 1950s. Characterized as the "original manuscript" by the author and with his extensive manuscript corrections.

19. Typed letters, signed, from Stanley Kaufmann to Walker Percy, addressed from New York and dated February 5 and September 1, 1960. Kaufmann was Percy's editor and chief supporter at the Alfred Knopf publishing firm. The first letter reveals some of the difficulties Percy encountered in getting The Moviegoer published; the second details Kaufmann's pleasure in the final acceptance of the novel by the publisher.

20. Telegram from Elizabeth Otis to Walker Percy, New York, August 31, 1960. Percy's literary agent in New York announces the final acceptance of The Moviegoer for publication by Knopf.

21. Walker Percy. The Moviegoer. New York: Knopf, 1961. First edition. Hobson A.1.1.

22. Walker Percy. The Moviegoer. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1963. Copy from the author's library with his holograph annotations. Hobson A.1.1.b.

23. Walker Percy. The Moviegoer. New York: Avon, 1982. Ninth printing. See Hobson A.1.1.e. From Walker Percy's library. This copy is inscribed by the author to his young grandson, Robert, offering to give the boy five dollars if he would read the book through to its conclusion and tell Percy the meaning of the ending.

24. Walker Percy. The Moviegoer. A sampling of the numerous translations of the book, beginning with the Danish in 1964, forwarded to Percy by their publishers.

Writings, 1966 to 1975

25. Walker Percy. The Last Gentleman. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1966. First edition of the author's second novel. Hobson A.1.2.

26. Walker Percy. The Last Gentleman. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1967. First English edition. The author's copy, with his annotations and markings. Hobson A.1.2.b.

27. Walker Percy. Love in the Ruins: The Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a Time Near the End of the World. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1971. First edition of the author's third novel. Hobson A.1.3.

28. Walker Percy. Love in the Ruins: The Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a Time Near the End of the World. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1971. The author's copy, with his annotations and markings. Hobson A.1.3.a.

29. Walker Percy. The Message in the Bottle: How Queer Man Is, How Queer Language Is, and What One Has to Do with the Other. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1975. First edition of the author's first nonfiction volume, a collection of essays. Hobson A.1.4.

Teaching at LSU, 1974-75 (Further Materials from the Percy Library)

30. James Collins. The Existentialists: A Critical Study. Chicago: Henry Regnery Co., 1952. Heavily annotated by Percy, many passages underlined, manuscript note taped to back endpaper.

31. Albert Camus. The Stranger. Translated from the French by Stuart Gilbert. New York: Vintage, 1946. Heavily annotated by Percy, many page corners turned in, many text passages underlined.

32. Albert Camus. The Fall. Translated by Justin O'Brien. New York: Vintage, 1956. Heavily annotated by Percy, many text passages underlined, many page corners turned in.

33. Jean-Paul Sartre. Nausea. Translated from the French by Lloyd Alexander. Introduction by Hayden Carruth. New York: New Directions, 1964. Ninth printing. Brief notes by Percy on the back endpapers, scattered underlining in text.

34. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. "Notes from Underground," "White Nights," "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man," and Selections from "The House of the Dead." A new translation with an afterword by Andrew R. MacAndrew. New York: Signet Classics, 1961. Fourth printing. Heavily annotated by Percy, many page corners turned in, several manuscript notes tipped in.

35. Ernest Hemingway. The Sun Also Rises. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1970. Heavily annotated by Percy, many page corners turned in.

36. Mark Twain. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Airmont, 1962. Heavily annotated by Percy, many page corners turned in, loose manuscript notes inserted.

37. Jack Kerouac. On the Road. New York: Viking Press, 1959. Front endpapers and titlepage heavily annotated, text moderately annotated throughout, several page corners turned in.

Percy and the Publication of A Confederacy of Dunces

38. John Kennedy Toole. Photocopy of a typescript draft of A Confederacy of Dunces (here titled "Ignatius Reilly"). With scattered pencil markings and a few autograph notations by Percy. This was probably the copy given Percy by Thelma Toole, the author's mother. Also with minor ink corrections to the text in another hand. From the Percy Papers.

39. John Kennedy Toole. A Confederacy of Dunces. Foreword by Walker Percy. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1980. First edition. Hobson, p. 66.

Later Writings, 1977 to 1991

40. Walker Percy. Lancelot. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1977. First edition of the author's fourth novel. Hobson A.1.5.

41. Walker Percy. Lancelot. London: Secker and Warburg, 1977. First English edition. Hobson A.1.5.b.

42. Walker Percy. Going Back to Georgia. Athens: University of Georgia, 1978. The Ferdinand Phinizy Lecture. Hobson A.1.6. Gift of the University of Georgia Library.

43. Walker Percy. Questions They Never Asked Me. Northridge, CA: Lord John Press, 1979. Issued in a deluxe edition of 50 signed copies and a limited edition of 300. This copy is from the deluxe issue. Hobson A.1.7.

44. Walker Percy. The Second Coming. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1980. First edition of the author's fifth novel. Shown are the trade and the signed, limited issues of the first edition. Hobson A.1.9.a.

45. Walker Percy. The Second Coming. London: Secker and Warburg, 1981. First English edition. Hobson A.1.9.c.

46. Walker Percy. Bourbon. Winston-Salem, NC: Palaemon Press, 1979 and 1981. Copies of the two limited editions of this short work. Both are signed by the author. The 1979 (first) edition is number xxvii of 30 "hors commerce" copies set aside for the use of the author or publisher. The 1981 edition is marked "Author's Copy" in pencil on the colophon page. Hobson A.1.8 and A.1.8.a.

47. Walker Percy. Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1983. The author's second major nonfiction volume. Shown are copies of the uncorrected proof, the first trade edition, and the signed limited issue of the first edition. Hobson A.1.10.

48. Walker Percy. How to Be an American Novelist in Spite of Being Southern and Catholic. Lafayette: University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1984. This copy, unsigned, was from the author's library. Hobson A.1.11.

49. Walker Percy. The City of the Dead. Northridge, CA: Lord John Press, 1985. Broadside. One of 100 copies, signed by the author. Hobson A.1.12.

50. Walker Percy. Diagnosing the Modern Malaise. New Orleans: Faust, 1985. Number 93 of 250 numbered copies, signed by the author. Hobson A.1.13.

51. Walker Percy. Novel Writing in an Apocalyptic Time. Afterword by Eudora Welty. New Orleans: Faust, 1986. Number 52 of 300 numbered copies, signed by both Percy and Welty. Hobson A.1.14.

52. Walker Percy. Original holograph manuscript of The Thanatos Syndrome. Written in pencil on lined notepaper and identified by Percy as "First Draft The Thanatos Syndrome (finished July 12, 1985)."

53. Walker Percy. The Thanatos Syndrome. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1987. First edition of the author's sixth and last novel. Hobson A.1.15.

54. Walker Percy. The Thanatos Syndrome. London: Andre Deutsch, 1987. First English edition. Hobson A.1.15.a.

55. Walker Percy. Signposts in a Strange Land. Edited with an introduction by Patrick Samway. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991. First edition. A posthumous collection of Percy's essays.


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Exhibition Checklist