Understanding Cormac McCarthy

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University of South Carolina Press, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 205 pages
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Steven Frye offers a comprehensive treatment of Cormac McCarthy's fiction to date, dealing with the author's 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 McCarthy's development as a writer who invigorates literary culture both past and present through a blend of participation, influence, and aesthetic transformation. He explores the early works of the Tennessee period in the context of the romance genre, the southern gothic, and the grotesque. A chapter is devoted to Blood Meridian, a novel that marks McCarthy's transition to the West and his full recognition as a major force in American letters. Frye also explores McCarthy's Border Trilogy and his later works--specifically No Country for Old Men and The Road--addressing the manner in which McCarthy's preoccupation with violence and human depravity exists alongside a perpetual search for meaning, purpose, and value.

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Review: Understanding Cormac McCarthy

User Review  - CG Fewston - Goodreads

A sharp and detailed account of McCarthy's career and works. Intelligently written and offers deep insight into some pretty complex theories and themes McCarthy has incorporated into his books. A recommend for anyone seeking a better understanding into McCarthy and his works. Read full review

About the author (2011)

President of the Cormac McCarthy Society, Steven Frye is a professor of American literature at California State University, Bakersfield, the author of Historiography and Narrative Design in the American Romance: A Study of Four Authors, and the editor of Critical Insights: Poe's Tales and Critical Insights: Poe's Poetry.

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