Phi Fic #2 “The Moviegoer” by Walker Percy

Looking for the meaning of life? You and me both, my friend. And so is Binx Bolling, protagonist in The Moviegoer by Walker Percy. Join us as Mary and Daniel praise this story for its examination of the existential crisis presented in beautiful language and Southern charm, and as Nathan salutes Bolling’s view of life’s preciousness. So step away from the dishes to be washed and the beds to be made and listen to Binx explain: “What is the nature of the search? you ask. Really it is very simple; at least for a fellow like me. So simple that it is easily overlooked. The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life.”

Join Nathan Hanks, Cezary Baraniecki, Daniel St. Pierre, Laura Davis, and Mary Claire.

Worth mentioning; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami, The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy, and “My unbelief was invincible from the beginning”–The Moviegoer.

Write us with recommendations or what have you,

Thanks to Christopher Nolen for music.

Hear more Phi Fic discussions at

8 thoughts on “Phi Fic #2 “The Moviegoer” by Walker Percy

  1. When I use the search function on Itunes for “Phi Fi” I get something that is not your stuff–and your stuff does not show up at all.


    1. We’re still in the process of getting the itunes feed uploaded. So sorry for the delay! But it will be up shortly. In the meantime you can download it from the PEL site! –Laura


  2. Hey James,
    So ‘Phi Fi’ (without a ‘-‘) will be up on itunes this week so you can subscribe then.
    Thanks for the comment,


  3. Fascinating, hearing all of you come down on a totally different side of Jack than I had; to me the Aunt-conversation was someone *finally* taking some kind of offense on Jack’s bs; it’s like Holden Caulfield, if Caulfield was an adult backed up by war-and-capitalism-experience and Kierkegaardian theory but still not past his own little solipsistic superiority complex EVERYONE IS SHEEP EVERYONE IS DEAD

    Anyway, I did like the book; the willingness of the prose to go off on tangents of abstraction led (Corman McCarthy-like) to about as many beautiful places as incomprehensible ones, and the book regularly shocked me out of my general hatred of Jack with a phrase or page that just rang so totally true or hilarious.


    1. Thanks for the feedback, Andrew. I’m rethinking Jack along your lines now, and I think there’s some real merit to what you say. I’d come to think of Jack’s delusional side as a kind of romantic/artistic longing, mostly harmless and not entirely under his control. But having read Lord Jim this month has me reflecting back on that character in a new light. Jim’s romanticism vs. Jack’s would make for an interesting essay, if I ever found the time to really think it through. Both characters seem tragic, but perhaps less innocent than I’d like them to be.


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