Shreds of Matter

Cormac McCarthy and the Concept of Nature

Julius Greve

Shreds of Matter

Julius Greve

Distributed for Dartmouth College Press

360 pages | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
Paper $45.00 ISBN: 9781512603408 Published November 2018
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781512603392 Published November 2018
Shreds of Matter: Cormac McCarthy and the Concept of Nature offers a nuanced and innovative take on McCarthy’s ostensible localism and, along with it, the ecocentric perspective on the world that is assumed by most critics. In opposing the standard interpretations of McCarthy’s novels as critical either of persisting American ideologies—such as manifest destiny and imperialism—or of the ways in which humanity has laid waste to planet Earth, Greve instead emphasizes the author’s interest both in the history of science and in the mythographical developments of religious discourse. Greve aims to counter traditional interpretations of McCarthy’s work and at the same time acknowledge their partial truth, taking into account the work of Friedrich W. J. Schelling and Lorenz Oken, contemporary speculative realism, and Bertrand Westphal’s geocriticism. Further, newly discovered archival material sheds light on McCarthy’s immersion in the metaphysical question par excellence: What is nature?
Contents
Acknowledgments • List of Abbreviations • Introduction: Cormac McCarthy’s Concept of Nature • “Trailing the Cord”: Literary Descent and the Ethos of Ecology • “Shreds of Matter”: Physiocentrism and Transnational Speculation • “Cloaca Maxima”: Ontological Decay, or the Decomposition of Nature • “Another Kind of Clay”: Physiophilosophy and War • “Malignant Life”: Indifference, Identity, and Narrative Extainment • “The Ashes of Its Ruin”: Writing Nature between Orphism and Prometheanism • Conclusion: Naturphilosophie and the Literature of Nature • Notes • Bibliography • Index
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