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The Walker Percy Project

PRIMARY RESOURCES

Walker Percy's Writings on Language (An Annotated Listing)

A bibliography of his writings on language with short annotations of each of his semiotic writings

The following bibliography covers the period 1954-1991 as represented in each of Percy's three non-fiction books identified in the first section below. The majority of the essays listed are compiled in The Message in the Bottle: How Queer Man Is, How Queer Language Is, and What One Has to Do with the Other (1975).

See Walker Percy's Writings on Language By Original Publication Date for a listing of when they originally appeared in print in journal and book form.

Percy's Non-fiction Books Incorporating Writings On Language

  1. 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).
    Fifteen scholastic essays on the unique nature of mankind, language, and their relationship. Contains Percy's most technical considerations of language and epistemology.
  2. Lost in the Cosmos:The Last-Self Help Book (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1983).
    A general, lay philosophical consideration of the nature of the "self" and its quest for identity. A book in a genre of its own.
  3. Signposts in a Strange Land (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1991).
    Posthumous publication of Percy's uncollected nonfiction works divided into three major sections: "Life in the South"; "Science, Language, and Literature"; and "Morality and Religion."

Specific Writings on Language Within the Preceding Books

1. The Message in the Bottle

Note on Chapters 1-6
Only "The Delta Factor,""Metaphor as Mistake," and "The Message in the Bottle" are directly concerned with a philosophy of language.

Note on Chapters 7-15
Chapters in MB most concerned with a philosophy of language

2. Lost in the Cosmos:The Last-Self Help Book

3. Signposts in a Strange Land
from the section entitled "Science, Language, and Literature"