Added: January 7, 2017 – Last updated: January 7, 2017


Author: Lydia R. Cooper

Title: Masculinities in Literature of the American West

Subtitle: -

Place: New York, NY

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Year: 2016

Pages: xiii + 197pp.

Series: Global Masculinities

ISBN-13: 9781349566006 (print) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781137564771 (online) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History | Representations: Literary Texts / Cormac McCarthy



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Author: Lydia Cooper, Department of English, Creighton University

Abstract of Chapter 1: »The inimitable Harold Bloom claims that Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian: Or, the Evening Redness in the West (1985) is “the ultimate Western, not to be surpassed” (1). It makes sense, then, to commence an analysis of contemporary literary Westerns with the book widely considered to be the consummate literary Western of the twentieth century (Bowers 8). Yet there are two crucial problems facing a study of masculinity in Blood Meridian. First, there are no heroes, manly or otherwise, in this blood-drenched novel. And second, the brutality that seeps from the pages—Richard Woodward famously calls it the “bloodiest book since The Iliad” (7)—is fixated on sexual violence, rape, and genital mutilation. If anything, the novel seems antagonistic to men, as it is to all humans, to a degree rarely seen outside of Quentin Tarantino films. Yet a closer analysis demonstrates the significance of the sexual aspect of that brutality.« (Source: SpringerLink)


  List of Figures (p. ix)
  Note from the Series Editors (p. xi)
  Acknowledgments (p. xiii)
  Introduction     "My American heart": How Contemporary Westerns Reimagine Masculinity (p. 1)
  1     The Death of a Cross-Dressing Bear: Sexual Violence and Male Rape on the Frontier of Blood Meridian (p. 23)
  2     Of Fertility and Sterility: Feminine Masculinity and the Western in Ceremony (p. 47)
  3     Outlaw Geography: Place and Masculinity in Desperadoes and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (p. 69)
  4     Savages and Citizens: Revisions of the Captivity Narrative in Gardens in the Dunes and The Heartsong of Charging Elk (p. 95)
  5     The Unpunishing of Anton Chigurh: Fraternity as the Final Frontier in No Country for Old Men (p. 127)
  6     Martial Masculinity and the Ethics of Heroism in Fools Crow (p. 147)
  Notes (p. 181)
  Bibliography (p. 187)
  Index (p. 195)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States | Literature: American literature | 20th-century American writers: Cormac McCarthy / Blood Meridian