James Dorson

James Dorson

James Dorson is an assistant professor of North American Studies at the John F. Kennedy Institute of Freie Universität Berlin.

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Counternarrative Possibilities

Virgin Land, Homeland, and Cormac McCarthy's Westerns

von James Dorson.

Counternarrative Possibilities reads Cormac McCarthy's Westerns against the backdrop of two formative tropes in American mythology: virgin land (from the 1950s) and homeland (after '9/11' ). Looking at McCarthy's Westerns in the context of American Studies, James Dorson shows how his novels counter the national narratives underlying these tropes and reinvest them with new, potentially transformative meaning. Departing from prevailing accounts of McCarthy that place him in relation to his literary antecedents, Counternarrative Possibilities takes a forwardlooking approach that reads McCarthy's work as a key influence on millennial fiction. Weaving together disciplinary history with longstanding debates over the relationship between aesthetics and politics, this book is at once an exploration of the limits of ideology critique in the twenty-first century and an original reconsideration of McCarthy's work 'after postmodernism'.

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