Philosophical Approaches to Cormac McCarthy : Beyond Reckoning book cover
1st Edition

Philosophical Approaches to Cormac McCarthy
Beyond Reckoning

Edited By

Christopher Eagle

ISBN 9780367667870
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
230 Pages

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Book Description

This book is the first edited collection to explore the role of philosophy in the works of Cormac McCarthy, significantly expanding the scope of philosophical inquiry into McCarthy’s writings. There is a strong and growing interest amongst philosophers in the relevance of McCarthy’s writings to key debates in contemporary philosophy, for example, debates on trauma and violence, on the relationship between language and world, and the place of the subject within history, temporality, and borders. To this end, the contributors to this collection focus on how McCarthy’s writings speak to various philosophical themes, including violence, war, nature, history, materiality, and the environment. Emphasizing the form of McCarthy’s texts, the chapters attend to the myriad ways in which his language effects a philosophy of its own, beyond the thematic content of his narratives. Bringing together scholars in contemporary philosophy and McCarthy Studies, and informed by the release of the Cormac McCarthy Papers, the volume reflects on the theoretical relationship between philosophical thinking and literary form. This book will appeal to all scholars working in the rapidly-growing field of McCarthy Studies, Philosophy and Literature, and to philosophers working on a wide range of problems in ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, Philosophy of Nature, and Philosophy of Film across ancient, modern, and contemporary philosophy.

Table of Contents


1: Editor’s Introduction: Beyond Reckoning

Chris Eagle

2: "Cloaca Maxima": Conceptualizing Matter in Cormac McCarthy’s Southern Fiction

Julius Greve

3: The Cave of Oblivion: Platonic Mythology in Child of God

Dianne C. Luce

4: "The Ruined Shack": Language and Being-at-Home in Heidegger and McCarthy’s Outer Dark

Robert Metcalf

5: Literature and Death: McCarthy, Blanchot, and Suttree’s Mortal Belonging

Patrick O’Connor

6: Heraclitus and the Metaphysics of War in Blood Meridian

Ian Alexander Moore

7: Borders, Landscapes, and the Earth: Eco-Phenomenology and All the Pretty Horses

Zachary Tavlin

8: "The Lighted Display Case": A Nietzschean Reading of Cormac McCarthy’s Border Fiction1

Linda Woodson

9: "For the other only." The radical existentialism of the Priest’s Tale in The Crossing

Jenny Bryant and Robert Bernasconi

10: Narrative Disruption as Animal Agency in Cormac McCarthy’s The Crossing

Raymond Malewitz

11: Fantasy and the Expiration of Nature: The Road as Film

Ryan Drake

12: Seeing Nothing: Making Phenomenological Sense of the Counterspectacle in McCarthy’s The Road

Yuliya Tsutserova

13: Nowhere between river and road: A Nagelian reading of Suttree and The Road

Alberto L. Siani

Notes on Contributors


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Chris Eagle is a Senior Lecturer in the Center for the Study of Human Health at Emory University.