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Percy’s classic novel grapples self-consciously with the complexities of its relation to a sense of place and its setting in mid-twentieth-century New Orleans. Percy himself was ambivalent about New Orleans, just as the protagonist of his novel is, and chose to live on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain to avoid the distractions of the city, and his deliberate dislocation vis-à-vis the famous city undergirds his deeply philosophic inquiry into the meaning of place, an inquiry tha, for the main character in the novel is tied to the posttraumatic stress disorder that followed his wounding in the Korean War.
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