Some quotes from Percy’s 1971 novel Love in the Ruins:
A reflection that might apply to today:
Is it that God had at last removed his blessings from the U.S.A . and what we feel now is just the clank of the old historical machinery, the sudden jerking ahead of the roller-coaster cars as the chain catches hold and carries us back into history with its ordinary catastrophes, carries us out and up towards the brink from that felicitous and privileged siding where even unbelievers admitted that if it was not God who had blessed the U.S.A., then at least some great good luck had befallen us, and that now the blessing or the luck is over, the machinery clanks, the chain catches hold, and the cars jerk forward?
A foreshadowing of both the Religious Right of the ’80s and today’s Deplorables:
The old Republican Party had become the Knothead Party, so named during the last Republican convention in Montgomery when a change of name was proposed, the first suggestion being the Christian Conservative Constitutional Party, and campaign buttons were even printed with the letters CCCP before an Eastern-liberal commentator noted the similarity to the initials on the backs of the Soviet cosmonauts and called it the most knotheaded political bungle of the century – which the conservatives, in the best tradition, turned to their own advantage, printing a million more buttons reading “Knotheads for America”.
This definitely applies to today:
The Center did not hold. However, the Gross National Product continues to rise.
Predicting the literary scene of the 1990s:
American literature is not having its finest hour, the Southern Gothic novel having given way to the Jewish Masturbatory novel, which in turn gave way to the WASP homosexual novel, which has nearly run its course… Gore Vidal is now the grand old man of American letters.
Among campus radicals:
“We are organizing a nonviolent demonstration for peace and freedom in Ecuador.”
“Nonviolent?” I ask, looking at the pile of spiked golf balls.
“We practice creative nonviolent violence, that is, violence in the service of nonviolence. It is a matter of intention.”
In conversation with the devil:
“Doc, we operate on a cardinal principle, which we never violate. We never never ‘do’ anything to anybody. We only help people do what they want to do. We facilitate social interaction in order to isolate factors. If people show a tendency to interact a certain way, we facilitate the interaction in order to accumulate reliable data.”
“And if people cut each other’s throats meanwhile, its not your fault.”
“Doc, we’re dedicated to the freedom of the individual to choose his own destiny and develop his own potential.”