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Understanding Cormac McCarthy (Understanding Contemporary American Literature)

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Named by Harold Bloom as one of the most significant American novelists of our time, Cormac McCarthy has been honored with the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for All the Pretty Horses, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for The Road, and the coveted MacArthur Fellowship. Steven Frye offers a comprehensive treatment of McCarthys fiction to date, dealing with the authors aesthetic and thematic concerns, his philosophical and religious influences, and his participation in Western literary traditions.

Frye provides extensive readings of each novel, charting the trajectory of McCarthys development as a writer who invigorates literary culture both past and present through a blend of participation, influence, and aesthetic transformation. Understanding Cormac McCarthy explores the early works of the Tennessee period in the context of the romance genre, the southern gothic and grotesque, as well as the carnivalesque. A chapter is devoted to Blood Meridian, a novel that marks McCarthys transition to the West and his full recognition as a major force in American letters. In the final two chapters, Frye explores McCarthys Border Trilogy and his later works-- specifically No Country for Old Men and The Road--addressing the manner in which McCarthys preoccupation with violence and human depravity exists alongside a perpetual search for meaning, purpose, and value.

Frye provides scholars, students, and general readers alike with a clearly argued foundational examination of McCarthys novels in their historical and literary contexts as an ideal roadmap illuminating the authors work as it charts the dark and mythic topography of the American frontier.

Product Details

Author: Steven Frye

Language: English


Binding: Paperback

Publisher: University of South Carolina Press

Release Date: 2011-07-20

Pages: 224

ISBN: 1611170184

ISBN13: 9781611170184