Horrible Literature: A Panegyric For The Novels Of Cormac McCarthy

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Adam Clay Griffey (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Edwin Arnold

Abstract: This thesis is concerned with two novels of Cormac McCarthy: Blood Meridian and The Road. In each chapter I discuss the attempted initiation of a boy into the violent realities of the world he inhabits. In my discussion of Blood Meridian I concentrate on the victimizers and perpetrators of brutality, and through them I look at the convergence of faith and violence and what that means for the interaction of the judge and the kid. The figure of the judge is McCarthy's most impressive and disturbing figure of absolute evil. The judge's vision of mankind as only ennobled through an embrace of its most depraved aspects finds rhetorical precedent in the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche. Chapter Two focuses on The Road and again examines the instruction of a young boy into the violence of the world around him. I argue that the father/son relationship in The Road is used by McCarthy as a way of discussing the relationship between the author and reader, and I do so with the assistance of the philosophy of Jacques Derrida. In The Road there are scenes just as brutal as those presented in Blood Meridian, but by shifting our focus to those who try to escape these images and situations, McCarthy points towards an aesthetic that demands our recognition of the very worst and very best aspects of human behavior.

Additional Information

Griffey, A. (2008). Horrible Literature: A Panegyric For The Novels Of Cormac McCarthy. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2008
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, The Road, English, literary criticism, literary studies, American Literature

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