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Part of the Tarleton State University Southwestern Studies in the Humanities Series
Georg Guillemin's visionary approach to the work of Western novelist Cormac McCarthy combines an overall survey of McCarthy's eight novels in print with a comprehensive analysis of the author's evolving ecopastoralism. Using in-depth textual interpretations, Guillemin argues that even McCarthy's early work is characterized less by traditional nostalgia for a lost pastoral order than by a radically egalitarian land ethic that prefigures today's ecopastoral tendencies in Western American writing. The study shows that more than any of the other landscapes evoked by McCarthy, the Southwestern desert becomes the stage for his dramatizations of a wild sense of the pastoral. McCarthy's fourth novel, Suttree, which is the only one set in an urban environment, is used in the introductory chapter to discuss the relevant compositional aspects of his fiction and the methodology of the chapters to come. The main part of the study devotes chapters to McCarthy's Southern novels, his keystone work Blood Meridian, and the Western novels known as the Border Trilogy. The concluding chapter discusses the broader context of American pastoralism and suggests that McCarthy's ecopastoralism is animistic rather than environmentalist in character. Increasingly, man ceases to be the dominant focus of narration, so that the shift from an egocentric to an ecocentric sense of self marks both the heroes and the narrators of McCarthy's novels.
|Publication date:||31st August 2004|
|Publisher:||Texas A & M University Press|
|Categories:||Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Literary studies: from c 1900 -,|
Georg Guillemin lives in Berlin and works as a freelance translator, photographer, and writer. He holds a Ph.D. in American literature.More About Georg Guillemin