Saturday, June 4, 2011

McCarthy, Metaphysics, and the Moral Structure of the World

Cormac McCarthy is a philosophical novelist, even if he might not apply such a label to himself. He combines a subtle portrayal of the complexities of human nature and moral judgments with metaphysical ruminations on the deep structure of the world. He does this without explicitly invoking philosophers or having his characters engage in much lofty dialogue. His characters, with few exceptions, do not contemplate deep questions. And yet, those deep questions pervade his works and form the logical structure under which events unfold in his narratives.