McCarthy, Cormac

McCarthy, Cormac
orig. Charles McCarthy, Jr.

born July 20, 1933, Providence, R.I., U.S.

U.S. novelist.

He grew up in Tennessee and dropped out of the University of Tennessee to join the Air Force. He began writing in 1959. His novels, known for their natural observation, morbid realism, and violence, are in the Southern gothic tradition. They include The Orchard Keeper (1965), Outer Dark (1968), Blood Meridian (1985), and the widely read Border Trilogy (All the Pretty Little Horses, 1992; The Crossing, 1994; Cities of the Plain, 1999).

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▪ 1999

      With the publication of Cities of the Plain in 1998, American novelist Cormac McCarthy completed his Border Trilogy, the series of metaphysical westerns that began with All the Pretty Horses (1992), winner of the National Book Award. Known for his virtuoso use of language and dense tales suffused with violence and evil, the reclusive McCarthy was the focus of numerous articles, dissertations, and symposia, yet the details of his life remained sketchy. Although McCarthy's earlier books did not sell well and critics once referred to him as "America's best unknown major writer," the Border Trilogy succeeded in finally securing for him a wide readership.

      Born on July 20, 1933, in Providence, R.I., Charles McCarthy, Jr., later adopted the name Cormac, the Gaelic equivalent of "Charles." When he was four, his family moved to Knoxville, Tenn. There he came into contact with the colourful mountain people who would populate much of his fiction. He attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for two years before joining the air force in 1953. While stationed in Alaska he became a voracious reader and began to write. He returned to the University of Tennessee in 1957 but left without graduating. He worked in an auto-parts store in Chicago while writing his first novel, The Orchard Keeper. Published in 1965, the book won him immediate critical acclaim. After receiving a Rockefeller Foundation grant, he traveled throughout Europe (1966-68), beginning what would become a characteristically spartan and nomadic lifestyle.

      Working in the Southern Gothic literary tradition, McCarthy wrote about spiritually troubled characters, outcasts constantly confronted by—and often engaged in—evil. Set primarily in Tennessee, his early novels rendered internal and external landscapes in language that was both evocatively naturalistic and mythopoeic. After The Orchard Keeper, he published Outer Dark (1968) and Child of God (1974). Written over 20 years, Suttree (1979), McCarthy's most autobiographical work, was considered the finest of his Tennessee novels.

      In 1982 McCarthy moved to El Paso, Texas. Abandoning his Southern rhetoric in favour of a leaner, more lucid style, he began to write westerns, in which philosophical themes showed a deepening concern for humankind's struggle with spiritual desolation. Based on extensive historical research, Blood Meridian, set in the U.S. Southwest and Mexico, appeared in 1985. Thereafter McCarthy produced the Border Trilogy; All the Pretty Horses spent 21 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, and The Crossing (1994) and Cities of the Plain received mostly positive reviews.


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▪ American author
byname of  Charles McCarthy, Jr. 
born July 20, 1933, Providence, R.I., U.S.

      American writer in the Southern gothic tradition whose novels about wayward characters in the rural American South and Southwest are noted for their dark violence, dense prose, and stylistic complexity.

      McCarthy attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1953 to 1956. Readers were first introduced to McCarthy's difficult narrative style in the novel The Orchard Keeper (1965), about a Tennessee man and his two mentors. Social outcasts highlight such novels as Outer Dark (1968), about two incestuous siblings; Child of God (1974), about a lonely man's descent into depravity; and Suttree (1979), about a man who overcomes his fixation on death.

      After Blood Meridian (1985), a violent frontier tale, McCarthy achieved popular fame with All the Pretty Horses (1992), winner of the National Book Award. The first volume of The Border Trilogy, it is the coming-of-age story of John Grady Cole, a Texan who travels to Mexico. The second installment, The Crossing (1994), set before and during World War II, follows the picaresque adventures of brothers Billy and Boyd Parham and centres around three round-trip passages that Billy makes from southwestern New Mexico to Mexico. The trilogy concludes with Cities of the Plain (1998), which interweaves the lives of John Grady Cole and Billy Parham through their employment on a ranch in New Mexico.

      McCarthy's later works include No Country for Old Men (2005), a modern, bloody western that opens with a drug deal gone bad. In the postapocalyptic The Road (2006; Pulitzer Prize), a father and son struggle to survive after a disaster, left unspecified, has all but destroyed the United States.

Additional Reading
Books on McCarthy and his works include Harold Bloom (ed.), Cormac McCarthy (2002); James D. Lilley (ed.), Cormac McCarthy: New Directions (2002); and Barcley Owens, Cormac McCarthy's Western Novels (2000).

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Universalium. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • McCarthy, Cormac — orig. Charles McCarthy, Jr. (n. 20 jul. 1933, Providence, R.I., EE.UU.). Novelista estadounidense. Creció en Tennessee y se retiró de la Universidad de Tennessee para unirse a la fuerza aérea. Empezó a escribir en 1959. Sus novelas, conocidas por …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • McCarthy, Cormac —  (1933–) American novelist …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Cormac McCarthy — Nom de naissance Charles McCarthy Activités Romancier, dramaturge Naissance 20 juillet 1933 (1933 07 20) (78 ans) Providence, Rhode Island …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cormac Mac Carthy — Cormac McCarthy Cormac McCarthy Nom de naissance Charles McCarthy Activité(s) Romancier, dramaturge Naissance 20 juillet 1933 Providence (Rhode Island) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cormac Mc Carthy — Cormac McCarthy Cormac McCarthy Nom de naissance Charles McCarthy Activité(s) Romancier, dramaturge Naissance 20 juillet 1933 Providence (Rhode Island) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cormac McCarthy (musician) — Cormac McCarthy Cormac McCarthy is an American folk singer/songwriter. He was born in Ohio but moved to rural New Hampshire at age ten. He was inspired to play music when his sister, visiting home from college, brought records by Joan Baez, Bob… …   Wikipedia

  • McCarthy — (una variante de MacCarthy) es un apellido popular en EEUU, el Reino Unido e Irlanda, de donde es originario. Proviene de Carthach un rey irlandés del siglo X de la dinastía Éogonacht. El hijo de Carthach se llamaba Muireadhach mac Carthaigh… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cormac McCarthy — For the musician, see Cormac McCarthy (musician). Cormac McCarthy Born Charles McCarthy July 20, 1933 (1933 07 20) (age 78) Providence, Rhode Island, U.S. Occupation Novelist, playwright Nationality American …   Wikipedia

  • McCarthy — /meuh kahr thee/, n. 1. Cormac, /kawr mak, meuhk/, born 1933, U.S. novelist. 2. Joseph R(aymond), 1909 57, U.S. politician. 3. Joseph Vincent, 1887 1978, U.S. baseball manager. 4. Mary (Therese), born 1912, U.S. novelist. * * * (as used in… …   Universalium

  • Cormac McCarthy — (eigentlich Charles McCarthy)[1] (* 20. Juli 1933 in Rhode Island) ist ein US amerikanischer Roman Autor. McCarthy wurde unter anderem mit dem Pulitzer Preis und dem National Book Award ausgezeichnet. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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