An American Apocalypse
Studies in Violence, Mimesis & Culture
Published by: Michigan State University Press
Imprint: Michigan State University Press
Sales Date: 2024-02-01
This definitive assessment of Cormac McCarthy’s novels captures the interactions among the literary and mythic elements, the social dynamics of violence, and the natural world in The Orchard Keeper, Child of God, Outer Dark, Blood Meridian, and The Road. Elegantly written and deeply engaged with previous scholarship as well as interviews with the novelist, this study provides a comprehensive introduction to McCarthy’s work while offering an insightful new analysis. Drawing on René Girard’s mimetic theory, mythography, thermodynamics, and information science, Markus Wierschem identifies a literary apocalypse at the center of McCarthy’s work, one that unveils another buried deep within the history, religion, and myths of American and Western culture.
Elegantly written, circumspect, and capacious in its research of all the regions of thought that McCarthy's fiction engages, this book is a marvel of perspicuous interpretation. Every aspect, stylistic and cognitive, of the novelist's astonishing work is deeply and deftly explored here; it will remain an indispensable reference, indeed a treasure trove, for McCarthy enthusiasts. —Andrew J. McKenna is professor emeritus in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Loyola University Chicago