Literary Relationships of Robert Coles and Walker Percy. An American Search for Meaning

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The literary relationship of physicians Robert Coles and Walker Percy may be one of the most important connections in the history of modern American letters. This book not only captures a friendship or union of like minds, but it synthesizes approaches pointing to a new science of “thirdness,” one accounting for the triadic nature of human beings as sign maker-receivers. The book advances both man’s quest to locate a science capable of uniting fields of knowledge and reconciling Cartesian dualism. And understanding how their orientations toward language and being combined to provide the blueprint for constructing a science of semiotic, or sign making, subsuming all science.


“Professor Francisco’s pages is a take on life edging us, as Dr. Percy insisted, away from ‘high falutin’ talk toward everyday experiences: hopes and dreams and memories turned into a kind of reflection…Walker Percy the doctor became the storyteller who shared his mind’s various searchings and his soul’s yearnings with readers who had experienced ever so needy pursuit.”
Dr. Robert Coles, MD,
Pulitzer Prize Author

“Dr. Francisco’s book describes in detail the transformative process of men of privilege sent to document men of poverty…[it] proceeds in a scholarly manner to reveal the workings of great minds toward an understanding of the intersubjective experience of humans in their relationship development whether deliberate as in psychotherapy to work toward human healing or as discovered in the process of documenting human survival. The area of intersubjective concern has often been the province of psychoanalytic thinkers but can now with the proper tools such as the author proposes be expanded to the understanding of any area of inquiry that involves human relatedness for any purposes whether teaching, working, or therapy.”
Dr. William M. Hogan, MD,
Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association

Table of Contents

Foreword by Robert Coles
Chapter 1: The Moviegoer and a Meeting of Minds
Chapter 2: Semiotics and a Theory of Human Beings
Chapter 3: Percy’s Novels and the Anti-hero’s Quest
Chapter 4: Doing Documentary Work and the Scientific Method
Chapter 5: Musings on Percy and Coles’ Investigation of Semiotics and the Role of Storytelling
Chapter 6: The Mind’s Fate
Chapter 7: Lost in the Cosmos
Chapter 8: Walker Percy: An American Search
Chapter 9: Walker Percy, Semiotics, and an Emerging Science of Thirdness
Work Cited

Other Literature - American Books