Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.A. in English

First Advisor

Jay Watson

Second Advisor

Robert Cummings

Third Advisor

Ann Fisher-Wirth

Abstract

Cormac McCarthy's novels are thought experiments in what it might mean to write posthuman works of fiction. In a close reading of three of his novels, Child of God, The Crossing, and The Road , this project reveals how McCarthy's stories paradoxically unravel the dangerous human desire to make of our world a story. His characters, Lester Ballard, Billy Parham, and the boy, become posthuman as they live increasingly outside of narrative. Their existences extend beyond the page, in a radical intimacy with the world, evident in the haunting and elusive presences, and absences, of wolves, hawks, trout, and even the sun itself in these novels. McCarthy demonstrates how the reality of the world is "another world entire" from the written page and the humanist project. At the end of his novels, McCarthy would point us to an existence beyond the novel.

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