Edited By Wojciech Kalaga, Marzena Kubisz and Jacek Mydla
PART III. CHALLENGING REPETITION
PART III CHALLENGING REPETITION Hanna Boguta-Marchel “Memories are uncertain and the past that was differs little from the past that was not”: Some Reflections on the Repetitiveness and Originality of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian Blood Meridian, a novel that can be provisionally designated as a quasi-Western, was published in 1985. Its author, Cormac McCarthy, is presently considered to be one of the most renowned American novelists, though probably still more appreciated by literary critics than by the broader reading public. There is an ongoing dispute, which has roughly divided his critics into two camps, about whether McCarthy's writing is closer to the darkly metaphysical yet altogether affirmative and redemptive tradition of the American South (associated with such figures as William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor) or to the philosophically broader and more open but at the same time more bitter and “disillusioned” tradition of the West with antecedents in world literature and philosophy (such as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Dostoevsky, or Conrad). 1 Some, therefore, are inclined towards referring to him as a South-Western writer, 2 and Blood Meridian is certainly one of McCarthy’s most “South-Western” books. The novel is set on the borderlands between Mexico and the United States, its action beginning directly after the end of the Mexican-American war. It recounts the bloody passage of the – historically factual – Glanton gang of grimly brutish and inhumanly violent outlaws and scalp-hunters who have a contract with local governors to provide Mexicans with the scalps of the daunting Apache who terrorize isolated borderland villages...
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