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Understanding Cormac McCarthy

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Secret Lives of Men

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Named by Harold Bloom as one of the most significant American novelists of our time, Cormac McCarthy has been honored with the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for All the Pretty Horses, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for The Road, and the coveted MacArthur Fellowship. Steven Frye offers a comprehensive treatment of McCarthy’s fiction to date, dealing with the author’s aesthetic and thematic concerns, his philosophical and religious influences, and his participation in Western literary traditions. Frye provides extensive readings of each novel, charting the trajectory of McCarthy’s development as a writer who invigorates literary culture both past and present through a blend of participation, influence, and aesthetic transformation. Frye provides scholars, students, and general readers alike with a clearly argued foundational examination of McCarthy’s novels in their historical and literary contexts as an ideal roadmap illuminating the author’s work as it charts the dark and mythic topography of the American frontier.

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