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By Walker Percy

Walker Percy's mordantly humorous and entirely unique contribution to the self-help publication craze bargains with the Western mind's tendency towards heavy abstraction. This favourite of Percy enthusiasts keeps to attraction and beguile readers of all tastes and backgrounds. Lost within the Cosmos invitations us to contemplate how we speak with our world.

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22-caliber pistol, and shoots you within the armpit simply as you succeed in to take the newspaper from the paper-tube. The wound will not be deadly. The bullet hits a rib, flattens, ricochets into the substance of your lung, yet with out injuring middle or significant vessel. Your neighbor involves your reduction, calls an ambulance. Feeling faint, you take a seat at the grass of your entrance backyard. you spot a dogwood tree that you planted ten years in the past. it's doing good. within the emergency room of the health facility, you're feeling an odd euphoria. You shaggy dog story with the medical professionals. even if you’re spitting blood and growing to be fainter, your brain works splendidly good. To the amazement of the medical professionals and nurses, you keep in mind a comment of Churchill’s, that you quote: “Nothing makes a guy believe larger than to be shot with out impact. ” is that this prevalence (a) Unrelievedly undesirable information? it's not solid to get shot. it is easy to die of it. (b) Putatively undesirable information yet secretly sturdy? The incident in some way dispenses you. the only irrational act of a madman adjustments the complete nation of your existence in an instant—from that of an apprehensive nervous businessman at risk of wasting a massive account, to that of an blameless sufferer, not just no longer accountable but in addition unfailed, a sufferer who reveals himself not just within the strange position of health facility sufferer with its bizarre prerogatives, that of being the passive and innocent recipient of the specialist prone of hugely informed humans, yet of a undeniable honorific prestige in addition, larger than a enterprise bonus: that of being a type of surrogate sufferer for we all. in spite of everything, it may take place to any folks during this loopy global, and right here it has occurred to you, a hugely revered and profitable member of the neighborhood. You took a around which any folks may have taken. what's extra, you’ll most likely get the account to your firm—which on your anxiousness you have misplaced —without lifting a finger. What company might flip you down? Why did President Reagan believe greater after he used to be shot than he has felt due to the fact that? (CHECK ONE) (5) you're status by means of your paper-tube in Englewood examining the headlines. Your neighbor comes out to get his paper. You examine him sympathetically. you recognize he has been having critical chest pains and is dealing with coronary skip surgical procedure. yet he isn't performing like a cardiac sufferer this morning. Over he jogs in his sweat pants, all smiles. He has triple excellent news. His chest disease became out to be a hiatal hernia, now not critical. He’s acquired a promoting and is relocating to Greenwich, the place he can retain his boat within the water instead of on a trailer. “Great, Charlie! I’m relatively satisfied for you. ” Are you cheerful for him? (a) definite. Unrelievedly excellent news. without doubt it really is excellent news throughout that Charlie is alive and good and never useless or invalided. without doubt, too, it's solid for him and never undesirable for you if he additionally strikes up on the earth, buys a home in Greenwich the place he can retain a 25-foot sloop moored within the Sound instead of a 12-foot Mayflower on a trailer within the storage in Englewood. (b) Putatively excellent news but—but what? however the difficulty is, it's excellent news for Charlie, yet you don’t believe so sturdy.

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