Monday, January 23, 2006

For Those Orphaned in the Womb

The only obvious credential of a novelist has to do with his trade. He trafficks in words and meanings. So the chronic misuse of words, especially the fobbing off of rhetoric for information, gets on his nerves. Another possible credential of a novelist peculiar to these times is that he is perhaps more sensitive to the atrocities of the age than most. People get desensitized. Who wants to go about his business being reminded of the six million dead in the holocaust, the 15 million in the Ukraine? Atrocities become banal. But a 20th century novelist should be a nag, an advertiser, a collector, a proclaimer of banal atrocities.

Doc Walker Percy's 1981 op-ed, A View of Abortion with Something to Offend Everybody.

An additional letter was submitted to the NY Times in 1988 upon the fifteenth aniversary of Roe, and left unpublished until his collection of writings titled "Signposts in a Strange Land" was released. It was posted some time back on

Yet another anniversary of Roe v. Wade has passed.

Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we are a profane people.

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