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The Loss of the Creature by Walker Percy

            "I do not refer only to the special relation of the layman to the theorist. I refer to the general situation in which sovereignty is surrendered to a class of privileged knowers, whether these be theorist or artists. A reader may surrender sovereignty over that which has been written about" (Percy 304). Walker Percy describes two types of travelers in his essay which are the complex and common tourist. Methods of reading can also be applied in the terms of common and complex. In his essay "The Loss of the Creature" Percy works on a problem, a problem that effects the student and the tourist. The issue he tries to solve is not explained clearly and is left to much interpretation. For that reason, it can be hard to pinpoint the problem and make sense of what Percy is trying to explain. Percy, does however talk a lot about sovereignty and how it is lost by the common tourist. The loss of sovereignty can be the problem he is writing about. The loss of sovereignty can also be applied to the common reader. Sovereignty is lost when a reader subjects their understanding to those that write about the literature. Common and complex readers see Percy's essay in different lights, the light that the common reader sees is the one that causes the loss of sovereignty.
             A common reading of Percy's essay or any literature causes a reader to give up his sovereignty. As someone reads commonly, he or she gives up interpretation of what the writing is about to the expert or the person who knows. Percy explains this in following quote "It is a generalized surrender of the horizon to those experts"(304). Common reading is reading in which you blindly follow to what the expert is saying. To compare this to a common tourist, a common tourist goes through the beaten track. "It may be recovered by leaving the beaten track"(299). He or she is going through all the traditional means of visiting a place such as the Grand Canyon.

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