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Week 7: Cormac McCarthy and the American West

Novel: All the Pretty Horses

Film: All the Pretty Horses (starring Matt Damon and Penelope Cruz)

General Reading

Edwin T. Arnold, ‘Naming, Knowing and Nothingness: McCarthy’s Moral Parables’ in Edwin T. Arnold and Dianne C. Luce (eds), Perspectives on Cormac McCarthy (Jackson, 1999), pp. 45-70.

Glen David Young, ‘Review: The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy’, The English Journal, 84:7 (1995), pp. 99-100. Available online via JSTOR

Stephen Tatum, All the Pretty Horses: A Reader’s Guide (New York and London, 2002).

The Cormac McCarthy Society, ‘Biography’, The Official Website of the Cormac McCarthy Society, 2009). http://www.cormacmccarthy.com/Biography.htm

Edwin T. Arnold and Dianne C. Luce, ‘Introduction’ in Edwin T. Arnold and Dianne C. Luce (eds), Perspectives on Cormac McCarthy (Jackson, 1999), pp. 1-16.

Wade Hall and Rick Wallach (eds), Sacred Violence (2 vols, El Paso, 2002). Vol 2: Articles by Raymond Todd and Diane Luce

 

Topics to be considered and further reading: the frontier, American nature, individualism, the West, modernism and post-modernism

 

1. The West, Nature and the American Self

Alan Bourassa, ‘Riders of the Virtual Sage: Zane Grey, Cormac McCarthy and the Transformation of the Popular Western’, Criticism, 48:4 (2006), pp. 433-52. Available online via MUSE

Ashley Bourne, ‘ “Plenty of Signs and Wonders to Make a Landscape”: Space, Place and Identity in Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy’, Western American Literature, 44:2 (2009), pp. 108-125. Available online via MUSE.

Mark Busby, ‘Into the Darkening Land, the World to Come: Cormac McCarthy’s Border Crossings’ in Rick Wallach (ed.), Myth, Legend, Dust: Critical Responses to Cormac McCarthy (Manchester, 2000), pp. 227-48.

Mark Eaton, ‘Dis(re)membered Bodies: Cormac McCarthy’s Border Fiction’, Contemporary Literature, 49:1 (2003), pp. 155-180. Available online via MUSE.

David Holloway, The Late Modernism of Cormac McCarthy (with foreword by Rick Wallach, Westport and London, 2002). Chapter 4.

Robert Jarrett, Cormac McCarthy (New York, 1997) Chapter 5.

James Lilley, ‘ “The Hands of Yet Other Puppets”: Figuring Freedom and Reading Repetition in All the Pretty Horses’ in Rick Wallach (ed.), Myth, Legend, Dust: Critical Responses to Cormac McCarthy (Manchester, 2000), pp.272-87.

José Limón, ‘Tex-Sex-Mex: American Identities, Lone Stars and the Politics of Racialized Sexuality’, American Literary History, 9:3 (1997), pp. 598-616. Available online via JSTOR.

Gail Moore Morrison, ‘All the Pretty Horses: John Grady Cole’s Expulsion from Paradise’ in Edwin T. Arnold and Dianne C. Luce (eds), Perspectives on Cormac McCarthy (Jackson, 1999), pp. 175-94.

Henry Nash Smith, Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth (New York, 1950). Available online via library website.

John Vanderheide, ‘The Process of Elimination: Tracing the Prodigal’s Irrevocable Passage through Cormac McCarthy’s Southern and Western Novels’ in Rick Wallach (ed.), Myth, Legend, Dust: Critical Responses to Cormac McCarthy (Manchester, 2000), pp. 177-182.

Margaret Walsh, The American West: Visions and Revisions (Cambridge and New York, 2005).

 

2. The (Changing) Literary Style of Cormac McCarthy

Vince Brewton, ‘The Changing Landscape of Violence in Cormac McCarthy’s Early Novels and the Border Trilogy’, The Southern Literary Journal, 31:1 (2004), pp. 121-43. Available online via MUSE

David Holloway, The Late Modernism of Cormac McCarthy (with foreword by Rick Wallach, Westport and London, 2002).

Robert Jarrett, Cormac McCarthy (New York, 1997) Chapters 1 and 6

Rick Wallach, ‘Cormac McCarthy’s canon as accidental artifact’ in Rick Wallach (ed.), Myth, Legend, Dust: Critical Responses to Cormac McCarthy (Manchester, 2000), pp. xiv-xvi.

Linda Townley Woodson, ‘De los herejes y huérfanos: The Sound and Sense of Cormac McCarthy’s Border Fiction’ in Rick Wallach (ed.), Myth, Legend, Dust: Critical Responses to Cormac McCarthy (Manchester, 2000), pp. 201-208

 

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