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Reading the World

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  7 ratings  ·  2 reviews
In Reading the World, Dianne C. Luce explores the historical and philosophical contexts of Cormac McCarthy's early works, crafted during his Tennessee period from 1959 to 1979, to demonstrate how the writer integrates literary realism with the imagery and myths of Platonic, gnostic, and existentialist philosophies to create his unique vision of the world. "Luce goes well b ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published September 8th 2010 by University of South Carolina Press (first published 2009)
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Mike Puma
Jan 14, 2012 Mike Puma marked it as holding-pattern-over-spi

Review in progress.

Chapter 1: Landscape Memory—The Orchard Keeper: while commenting on an abundance of regional and historical facts, the author points to events in the novel which presuppose those conditions, places, and events; cites numerous oral histories (including one by Lemuel Ownby, a remarkable likeness of Arthur “Ather” Ownby), local histories, and other primary sources; discusses the devastating effects of railroad logging, the creation of the Smoky Mountain National Park, and the TVA

Impressive scholarship from an important McCarthy scholar. She does much in this book and that is perhaps the root of my main concern with it. It doesn't seem to have any central thesis nor does the book itself build towards any cumulative effect. The emphasis on gnosticism is such that a lot feels repetitive in later chapters. Luce says in the introduction that she wants to read what McCarthy has read and use knowledge of his contexts to help provide readings of his early works. She does an adm ...more
Sentimental Surrealist
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