By Walker Percy
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The Moviegoer by Walker Percy ranked # 60 on The Modern Library's Top 100 Novels list as selected by its Board Members.
The Moviegoer is a 1961 novel by Walker Percy. It won a National Book Award in 1962.
The Moviegoer recounts the story of Binx Bolling, an alienated, anxious young stockbroker, who seeks meaning for his existence by embarking upon a "search." During a firefight in the Korean War, Binx was wounded. He said that, as he lay upon the battlefield, he saw, as if for the first time, a dung beetle. Because
he actually saw this insect, it became "present" to him, he explains, more so than any other aspect of his environment, and he felt truly alive for that instant of his life. The incident marked his search for a meaningful existence in which the world, in all its fullness, is present to him and he is likewise present to it.
Percy refers explicitly to the philosopher Kierkegaard during the book, and the book's themes show the strong influence of Kierkegaard's writings, particularly with regards to the theme of "repetition."
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