Cormac Mccarthy

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Posted by pompos 03/11/2009 @ 16:16

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Cormac McCarthy archive goes on display in Texas - guardian.co.uk
Those keen for a glimpse into the writing life of the notoriously reclusive author Cormac McCarthy may just have to plan a trip to Texas. McCarthy's entire writing career, from his debut The Orchard Keeper to an unfinished novel The Passenger,...
Cormac McCarthy - ReelzChannel.com
Dimension Films has just released a new trailer for The Road, starring Viggo Mortenson and Charlize Theron and based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men). The trailer makes the movie look like a bad combination of Danny Boyle's 28...
What Michael Pollan taught me about George Orwell - Baltimore Sun
The same can be said of Cormac McCarthy and Charles Dickens. I just can't stand the idea of living in worlds with that much despair, and that many characters whom I just hate. So thank you, Michael Pollan, for freeing me. The next time I can't finish a...
First Trailer for 'The Road' Misses The Mark - Screen Rant
One of my favorite books of the last few years has to be Cormac McCarthy's The Road, the story of a father and son's harrowing journey across the ruins of post-apocalyptic America. The novel was a big hit last year, dubbed by many to be an...
Cormac McCarthy wins lifetime achievement award - guardian.co.uk
Cormac McCarthy, author of The Road and All the Pretty Horses, has won a lifetime achievement award from writers' organisation PEN. The $25000 (£16500) PEN/Saul Bellow award, established in conjunction with the estate of Bellow, goes to an American...
Scarier: The Roads in DC or The Road by Cormac McCarthy? - DCist.com
"Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it," author McCarthy writes. DC roads: Frakin' one-third of roads in DC are in a godawful state of disrepair. It's $458 a year motorists spend every year on extra vehicle expenses...
'The Road': Could it really be the most important movie of 2009? - Entertainment Weekly
So, apparently Esquire has seen The Road -- the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning and Oprah-endorsed apocalyptic novel -- and has labeled it the most important movie of the year. A bit early for such a grandiose proclamation,...
A Little Push - Thoughts on the Hollywood Machine 05.16.09 - 411mania.com
Hot off the presses, here's the full trailer for the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning 2006 novel of the same name. Take a looksie and we'll discuss afterwards… The Push has a somewhat complicated history with the novel The Road....
Ulster Bank chief executive Cormac McCarthy said property loans ... - Irish Independent
Cormac McCarthy, chief executive of Ulster Bank, said property loans accounted for the biggest chunk of impairments at the Irish arm; but Mr McCarthy added it was difficult to predict the extent to which additional impairments would be required in the...
Outage Fever: Netflix Streaming Was Down Last Night - NewTeeVee
Is it coincidence that around the same time that the trailer for the movie adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's apocalyptic The Road comes out that Google and Netflix experience their own breakdowns? You can check out Stacey's coverage of #googlefail over...

Cormac McCarthy

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Cormac McCarthy, born Charles McCarthy (born July 20, 1933 in Providence, Rhode Island), is an American novelist and playwright. He has written ten novels in the Southern Gothic, western, and post-apocalyptic genres, and has also written plays and screenplays. He received the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for The Road, and his 2005 novel No Country for Old Men was adapted as a 2007 film of the same name, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. He received a National Book Award in 1992 for All the Pretty Horses.

His earlier Blood Meridian (1985) was among Time Magazine's poll of 100 best English-language books published between 1925 and 2005 and he placed joint runner-up for a similar title in a poll taken in 2006 by The New York Times of the best American fiction published in the last 25 years. Literary critic Harold Bloom named him as one of the four major American novelists of his time, along with Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo and Philip Roth. He is frequently compared by modern reviewers to William Faulkner.

Cormac McCarthy was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on July 20, 1933, and moved with his family to Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1937. He is the third of six children, with three sisters and two brothers. In Knoxville, he attended Knoxville Catholic High School. His father was a successful lawyer for the Tennessee Valley Authority from 1934 to 1967.

McCarthy entered the University of Tennessee in 1951-1952 and was a liberal arts major. In 1953, he joined the United States Air Force for four years, two of which he spent in Alaska, where he hosted a radio show. In 1957, he returned to the University of Tennessee. During this time in college, he published two stories in a student paper and won awards from the Ingram Merrill Foundation in 1959 and 1960. In 1961, he and fellow university student Lee Holleman were married and had their son Cullen. He left school without earning a degree and moved with his family to Chicago where he wrote his first novel. He returned to Sevier County, Tennessee, and his marriage to Lee Holleman ended.

McCarthy's first novel, The Orchard Keeper, was published by Random House in 1965. He decided to send the manuscript to Random House because "it was the only publisher had heard of." At Random House, the manuscript found its way to Albert Erskine, who was William Faulkner's editor until Faulkner's death in 1962. Erskine continued to edit McCarthy for the next twenty years.

In the summer of 1965, using a Traveling Fellowship award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, McCarthy shipped out aboard the liner Sylvania, hoping to visit Ireland. While on the ship, he met Anne DeLisle, who was working on the ship as a singer. In 1966, they were married in England. Also in 1966, McCarthy received a Rockefeller Foundation Grant, which he used to travel around Southern Europe before landing in Ibiza, where he wrote his second novel, Outer Dark. Afterward he returned to America with his wife, and Outer Dark was published in 1968 to generally favorable reviews.

In 1969, McCarthy and his wife moved to Louisville, Tennessee, and purchased a barn, which McCarthy renovated, even doing the stonework himself. Here he wrote his next book, Child of God, based on actual events. Child of God was published in 1973. Like Outer Dark before it, Child of God was set in southern Appalachia. In 1976, McCarthy separated from Anne DeLisle and moved to El Paso, Texas. In 1979, his novel Suttree was finally published. He had been writing Suttree on and off for twenty years.

Supporting himself with the money from his 1981 MacArthur Fellowship, he wrote his next novel, Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West, which was published in 1985. The book has grown appreciably in stature in literary circles. In a 2006 poll of authors and publishers conducted by The New York Times Magazine to list the greatest American novels of the previous quarter-century, Blood Meridian placed third, behind only Toni Morrison's Beloved and Don DeLillo's Underworld.

McCarthy finally received widespread recognition in 1992 with the publication of All the Pretty Horses, which won the National Book Award and was followed by The Crossing and Cities of the Plain, the two subsequent books in a Western trilogy. In the midst of this trilogy came The Stonemason, which was McCarthy's second dramatic work. He had previously written a film for PBS in the 1970s, The Gardener's Son. McCarthy's next book, 2005's No Country for Old Men, stayed with the western setting and themes yet moved to a more contemporary period. It was adapted into a film of the same name by the Coen Brothers; the film won four Academy Awards and more than 75 film awards globally. McCarthy's latest book, The Road, was published in 2006 and won international acclaim and the Pulitzer Prize for literature. That same year, McCarthy published another work, a play entitled The Sunset Limited (2006).

McCarthy now lives in the Tesuque, New Mexico, area, north of Santa Fe, with his wife, Jennifer Winkley, and their son, John. He guards his privacy. In one of his few interviews (with The New York Times), McCarthy is described as a "gregarious loner" and reveals that he is not a fan of authors that do not "deal with issues of life and death," citing Henry James and Marcel Proust as examples. "I don't understand them," he said. "To me, that's not literature. A lot of writers who are considered good I consider strange.". McCarthy remains active in the academic community of Santa Fe and spends much of his time at the Santa Fe Institute, which was founded by his friend, physicist Murray Gell-Mann.

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey chose McCarthy's 2006 novel The Road as the April 2007 selection for her Book Club. As a result, McCarthy agreed to sit down for his first television interview, which aired on The Oprah Winfrey Show on June 5, 2007. The interview took place in the library of the Santa Fe Institute; McCarthy told Winfrey that he does not know any writers and much prefers the company of scientists. During the interview he related several stories illustrating the degree of outright poverty he has endured at times during his career as a writer. He also spoke about the experience of fathering a child at an advanced age, and how his now eight-year-old son was the inspiration for The Road.

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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 Dylan, and Eric Anderson, and he traded his clarinet for a guitar. He was college roommates with Bill Morrissey, who encouraged him to perform his music in public, and co-wrote the song "Marigold Hall" with Morrissey. He currently lives in southern Maine.

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The Road

The Road is a 2006 novel by American writer Cormac McCarthy. It is a post-apocalyptic tale describing a journey taken by a father and his young son over a period of several months, across a landscape blasted years before by an unnamed cataclysm that destroyed civilization and, apparently, most life on earth. The novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2006 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction.

McCarthy said the inspiration for The Road came during a 2003 visit to El Paso, Texas, with his young son. Imagining what the city might look like in the future, he pictured "fires on the hill" and thought about his son. He took some initial notes but did not return to the idea until a few years later, while in Ireland. Then, the novel came to him quickly, and he dedicated it to his son, John Francis McCarthy.

The Road follows a man and a boy, father and son, journeying together for many months across a desolate, post-apocalyptic landscape, some years – the period of time almost the same as the age of the boy – after a great, unexplained cataclysm. Civilization has been destroyed, and most species have become extinct. The sun is obscured by deep, dark clouds, and the climate has been altered radically. Plants do not grow. Humanity consists largely of bands of cannibals, their food-source captives, and refugee-travelers who scavenge for food.

Ash covers everything; it is in the atmosphere, it obscures the sun and moon, and the two travelers breathe through improvised masks. Plants and animals are apparently virtually all dead (dead wood for fires is plentiful), and the rivers and oceans are seemingly empty of life. Very rarely do the man and boy encounter any sign of non-human life.

The boy's mother, pregnant with him at the time of the cataclysm, was overwhelmed by the desperate and apparently hopeless situation and has committed suicide some time before the story begins. Her rationalization, offered by her as a pragmatic view was that they all would be raped, killed and eaten, and that there was no hope left for a different fate. The father is literate, skilled with firearms, well-traveled, and knowledgeable about machinery, woodcraft, and human biology. He is alert, attentive and aware, and applies all he knows to anticipating and overcoming the challenges he knows are ever-present. He realizes that he and his young son cannot survive another winter in their present location, so the two set out across what was once the Southeastern United States, largely following the highways. They aim to reach warmer southern climates and the sea in particular. Along the way, threats to the duo's survival create an atmosphere of sustained terror and tension.

The father coughs blood every morning and knows he is dying. He struggles to protect his son from the constant threats of attack, exposure, and starvation, as well as from what he sees as the boy's innocently well-meaning but dangerous desire to help the other wanderers they meet. They carry a pistol with two bullets, meant for suicide should it become necessary; the father has told the son to kill himself rather than be captured. The father struggles in times of extreme danger with the fear that he will have to kill his son to prevent him from suffering a more horrific fate, examples of which include: chained catamites held captive by a marauding band; the discovery of captives locked in a basement, their limbs gradually harvested by their captors for meat; and a decapitated human infant being roasted on a spit.

In the end, having brought the boy south after extreme hardship but without finding the salvation he had hoped for, the father succumbs to his illness and dies, leaving the boy alone on the road. Three days later, however, the grieving boy encounters a man who has been tracking the father and son. This man, who has a wife and two children of his own, invites the boy to join his family. The passing mention of one child being a daughter implies that an eventual adolescent pairing for the boy is possible, the first and only ray of hope given in the storyline regarding the future of humanity. The narrative's close also suggests that the wife is a God-fearing and compassionate woman, who treats the boy well, a resolution that vindicates the dead father's determination to stay alive and keep moving as long as possible.

Throughout the story McCarthy uses a basic, rough style of writing, which some critics have called Biblical in its cadences and rhythms. The use of typical punctuation such as commas, apostrophes and quotation marks is heavily restricted. The story also lacks typical dialogue styles; conversations lack quotations, and individual speakers are not indentified. In addition, the novel has no chapters, and the main characters are referred to merely as "the man" and "the boy". Some of McCarthy's other work also uses stripped-down grammar and nameless protagonists (such as in "the kid" in Blood Meridian).

The Road has received numerous positive reviews and honors since its September 26, 2006 release. The review aggregator Metacritic reported the book had an average score of 90 out of 100, based on 31 reviews. Critics have deemed it "heartbreaking," "haunting," and "emotionally shattering." The Village Voice referred to it as "McCarthy's purest fable yet." In a New York Review of Books article, author Michael Chabon heralded the novel. Discussing the novel's relation to established genres, Chabon insists The Road is not science fiction: although "the adventure story in both its modern and epic forms ... structures the narrative," Chabon says, "ultimately it is as a lyrical epic of horror that The Road is best understood." Entertainment Weekly in June 2008 named The Road the best book, fiction or non-fiction, of the past 25 years, ahead of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Toni Morrison's Beloved.

On April 16, 2007, the novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It also won the 2006 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction, and was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.

On March 28, 2007, the selection of The Road as the next novel in Oprah Winfrey's Book Club was announced. A televised interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show was conducted on June 5, 2007 and it was McCarthy's first, though he had been interviewed in print before. The announcement of McCarthy's television appearance surprised those who follow him. "Wait a minute until I can pick my jaw up off the floor," said John Wegner, an English professor at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas, and editor of the Cormac McCarthy Journal, when told of the interview.

A film adaptation of the novel is currently in post-production. It is directed by John Hillcoat and written by Joe Penhall. The film stars Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as the Man and the Boy, respectively. Production has taken place in Louisiana, Oregon, and several locations in Pennsylvania including Presque Isle State Park and the Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike. It is due for release in 2009.

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Beloved (novel)

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Beloved (1987) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. The novel, her fifth, is loosely based on the life and legal case of the slave Margaret Garner, about whom Morrison later wrote in the opera Margaret Garner (2005). The book's epigraph reads: "Sixty Million and more," by which Morrison refers to the estimated number of slaves who died in the slave trade.

In 1998 the novel was adapted into a film of the same name starring Oprah Winfrey.

A survey of writers and literary critics conducted by The New York Times found Beloved the best work of American fiction of the past 25 years; it garnered 15 of 125 votes, finishing ahead of Don DeLillo's Underworld (11 votes), Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian (8) and John Updike's Rabbit series (8). The results appeared in The New York Times Book Review on May 21, 2006.

Time Magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.

In this novel, Morrison paints a somber picture of the brutal effects of slavery. It examines both the mental and physical trauma caused by slavery as well as its effect on survivors. The book follows the story of Sethe (pronounced "Seth-uh") and her daughter Denver as they try to rebuild their lives after having escaped from slavery.

124 Bluestone, the house they inhabit, is apparently haunted; poltergeist events occur there with an alarming regularity. Because of this, Sethe's youngest daughter, Denver, has no friends and is extremely shy. Howard and Buglar, Sethe's sons, run away from home by the time they are thirteen. Their primary reason was the fear of being killed by their own mother. They do not understand why Sethe murdered Beloved and believe that whatever triggered the infanticide may happen again. Shortly after, Baby Suggs, the mother of Sethe's husband Halle, dies in her bed.

Paul D, one of the slaves from the Sweet Home, the plantation where Baby Suggs, Sethe, Halle, he, and many other slaves had worked in and either been freed or run away from, arrive at 124. He tries to bring a sense of reality into the house. He also tries to make the family move forward in time and leave the past behind. In doing so, he forces the ghost of Beloved out. At first, he seems to be successful, because he leads the family to a carnival, out of the house in years. However, on their way back, they encounter a young woman sitting in front of the house. She has distinct features of a baby and calls herself Beloved. Denver recognizes that she must be a reincarnation of her sister Beloved right away. Paul D, suspicious of her, warns Sethe, but attracted to the young woman, Sethe ignores him. Paul D ends up getting kicked out of the house because Beloved forcefully has sex with him and then uses that as a reason. Without Paul D, the sense of reality and moving time disappears.

Sethe comes to believe that the girl is the daughter whom Sethe murdered by slitting her throat with a handsaw when the child was only two years old, and whose tombstone reads only "Beloved". Beloved's presence consumes Sethe's life to the point where she becomes depleted and even sacrifices her own need for eating, while Beloved grows bigger and bigger. In the climax of the novel Denver, the youngest daughter, reaches out and searches for help from the black community. The black community arrives at 124 to exorcize Beloved. However, while Sethe is confused and has a rememory of the schoolteacher coming again, Beloved disappears.

The novel follows in the tradition of slave narratives, but also confronts the more painful and taboo aspects of slavery, such as sexual abuse and violence, which Morrison pushes to the edge of questioning the idea of being human and of being a mother. She explores the effects on the characters, Paul D and Sethe, of trying to repress—and then coming to terms with—the painful memories of their past.

At the outset, the reader is led to assume Beloved is a supernatural, incarnate form of Sethe's murdered daughter. Later, Stamp Paid reveals the story of "a girl locked up by a white man over by Deer Creek. Found him dead last summer and the girl gone. Maybe that's her". Both are supportable by the text. The possibility that Beloved is the murdered child is supported by the fact that she sings a song known only to Sethe and her children; elsewhere, she speaks of Sethe's earrings without having seen them. However, the characters have a psychological need for Beloved to be that dead child returned: Sethe can assuage her guilt over the death of her child, and Denver has a sister/playmate. Toni Morrison's intention (revealed in interviews) was to compel the reader to become active rather than passive and work to discover what is going on.

The former slaves try to integrate themselves into a present in which they are not welcomed. They feel subordinate to the white race and need unity to empower and inspire themselves to become autonomous, powerful individuals, able to acknowledge their own self worth. Morrison offers, “Nobody could make it alone… You could be lost forever, if there wasn’t nobody to show you the way.” (159). Denver is one example of this. Isolated in 124 her whole life, Beloved’s presence finally necessitates that she leaves the house and assimilate into the community. Upon doing so, she embarks upon the process of individuation, in which she establishes a sense of self and ultimately becomes a woman. While this process takes place individually, it requires the bonds of womanhood and encouragement of the community. Similarly, Sethe lacks a sense of individuality until the end of the novel. She lives in isolation, both physically from the community and psychologically from acknowledging any role other than that of mother. Morrison shows the painful, detrimental side of motherhood and its ability to stunt or even eliminate a woman’s individuation. Slavery denied Sethe the natural cycles of maternal bonding, causing her to take her role as mother to an extreme, even grotesque length. Sethe constructs the idea that her children are her best parts and it is from that idea that she creates her identity. Without the help of the community, Paul D, and finally Stamp Paid, Sethe would never be able to recognize herself as an entity separate from her children or acknowledge that her sole purpose in life was not to be a mother. At the end of the novel, Paul D tells Sethe, “'You your best thing Sethe, You are.'” (322). Morrison shows that one’s identity is crucial to her success and happiness in life and a person can only conceptualize herself as a separate entity through both collective and individual efforts.

The concept of motherhood within Beloved is as an overarching and overwhelming love that can conquer all, strongly typified within the novel by the character Sethe, whose very name is the feminine of "Seth"- the Biblical 'father of the world'. This can also be seen within Morrison's other works and has led to her sometimes being cited as a feminist writer. Further, Sethe's escape from the slave plantation (ironically named 'Sweet Home') stems from her desire to keep the "mother of her children alive" and not from any personal survival instinct. Sethe's maternal instincts almost lead to her own destruction. Readers can assume the interpretation that Beloved is a wrathful character looking to wreak revenge on Sethe for killing her, despite the fact that the murder was, in Sethe's mind, an entirely loving act. Sethe's guilt at Beloved's death means that she is willing to "give up her life, every minute, hour and second of it, to take back just one of Beloved's tears". The strength of her love leads her almost to the point of death as she allows Beloved complete freedom to destroy her household and relationships; the roles of mother and daughter are completely reversed. "Was it past bedtime, the light no good for sewing? Beloved didn't move, said, 'Do it', and Sethe complied".

Toni Morrison wrote Beloved on a foundation of historical events. The most significant event within the novel--the "Misery", or Sethe's murder of Beloved--is based on the 1856 murder by Margaret Garner of her children to prevent them from being recaptured and taken back into slavery with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Morrison admits to "an obsession" with this account after she discovered it while helping edit a scrapbook on black history. The novel itself can be seen as the reworking of fact into something with a very emotional central message. History is woven throughout the novel. The Middle Passage is referenced along with the Underground Railway in many parts of the novel; the 'Sixty Million and More' to whom Morrison dedicates the novel may refer to the many who died during the Middle Passage. The entire concept of slavery described in the novel i.e. Paul D's confinement in Georgia, ideas such as the "bit" and the legislature described are all based on history. This gives the novel a powerful impact.

Beloved's appearance reawakens memories of slavery among the other characters, and they are forced to deal with their pasts instead of trying to repress their memories. Reincarnation and rebirth are also themes in this novel.

The maternal bonds that connect Sethe to her children inhibit her own individuation and prevent the development of her self. Sethe develops a dangerous maternal passion that results in the murder of one daughter, her own “best self,” and the estrangement of the surviving daughter from the black community, both in an attempt to salvage her “fantasy of the future,” her children, from a life in slavery. However, Sethe fails to recognize her daughter Denver’s need for interaction with this community in order to enter into womanhood. Denver finally succeeds at the end of the novel in establishing her own self and embarking on her individuation with the help of Beloved. Contrary to Denver, Sethe only reaches individuation after Beloved’s exorcism, at which point Sethe can fully accept the first relationship that is completely “for her,” her relationship with Paul D. This relationship relieves Sethe from the ensuing destruction of her self that resulted from the maternal bonds controlling her life. Beloved and Sethe are both very much emotionally impaired as a result of Sethe’s previous enslavement. Slavery creates a situation where a mother is separated from her child, which has devastating consequences for both parties. Often, mothers do not know themselves to be anything except a mother, so when they are unable to provide maternal care for their children, or their children are taken away from them, they feel a lost sense of self. Similarly, when a child is separated from his or her mother, he or she loses the familial identity associated with mother-child relationships. Sethe was never able to see her mother’s true face (because her smile was distorted from having spent too much time “with the bit”) so she wasn’t able to connect with her own mother, and therefore does not know how to connect to her own children, even though she longs to. Furthermore, the earliest need a child has is related to the mother: the baby needs milk from the mother. Sethe is traumatized by the experience of having her milk stolen because it means she cannot form the symbolic bond between herself and her daughter.

Because of the painful nature of the experiences of slavery, most slaves repressed these memories in an attempt to leave behind a horrific past. This repression and dissociation from the past causes a fragmentation of the self and a loss of true identity. Sethe, Paul D. and Denver all experience this loss of self, which could only be remedied by the acceptance of the past and the memory of their original identities. In a way Beloved serves to open these characters up to their repressed memories, eventually causing the reintegration of their selves. Slavery splits a person into a fragmented figure. The identity, consisting of painful memories and unspeakable past, denied and kept at bay, becomes a ‘self that is no self.’ To heal and humanise, one must constitute it in a language, reorganize the painful events and retell the painful memories. As a result of suffering, the ‘self’, subject to a violent practice of making and unmaking, once acknowledged by an audience becomes real. Sethe, Paul D, and Baby Suggs who all fall short of such realization, are unable to ‘remake’ their ‘selves’ by trying to keep their pasts at bay. The 'self' is located in a word, defined by others. Paul D's identity shifts from a Sweet Home Man to a slave when the schoolteacher takes over the plantation. The power lies in the audience, or more precisely, in the word - once the word changes, so does the identity. All of the characters in Beloved face the challenge of an unmade 'self', composed of their 'rememories' and defined by perceptions and language. The barrier that keeps them from 'remaking' of the 'self' is the desire for an 'uncomplicated past' and the fear that remembering will lead them to 'a place they couldn't get back from'.

In 1998, the novel was made into a film directed by Jonathan Demme and produced by and starring Oprah Winfrey.

Beloved received the Frederic G. Melcher Book Award, which is named for an editor of Publishers Weekly. In accepting the award on October 12, 1988, Morrison observed that “there is no suitable memorial or plaque or wreath or wall or park or skyscraper lobby” honoring the memory of the human beings forced into slavery and brought to the United States. “There’s no small bench by the road,” she continued. “And because such a place doesn’t exist (that I know of), the book had to.” Inspired by her remarks, the Toni Morrison Society has now begun to install benches at significant sites in the history of slavery in America. The New York Times reported July 28, 2008, that the first “bench by the road” was dedicated July 26 on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, which served as the point of entry for approximately 40 percent of the enslaved Africans brought to the United States.

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Outer Dark

1st edition (Random House)

Outer Dark is U.S. novelist Cormac McCarthy's second novel, published in 1968. The time and setting are nebulous, but can be assumed to be somewhere in the Southern United States, sometime around the turn of the twentieth century. The novel tells of a woman (Rinthy) who bears her brother's baby. The brother, Culla, leaves the nameless infant in the woods to die, but he tells his sister that the newborn died of natural causes and had to be buried. Rinthy discovers this lie, and decides to set out and find the baby for herself.

Meanwhile, the baby has been discovered in the woods and taken by a nameless Tinker.

Culla strikes out aimlessly across the country attempting to escape the circumstances that have enshrouded him and forget his sins. Rinthy, despite her post-labor state, tries in vain to track down the Tinker. The siblings' personalities and modes of behavior are very similar but their experiences differ greatly.

After abandoning his sister upon her discovery of the fake grave he created in the woods, Culla sets off walking from town to town looking for work. The attitudes of the country people he encounters are wary and suspicious. When calamity strikes a community all eyes turn to him, no matter how remote the chances are that he was involved in any way. Citizens and strangers accuse him of theft, murder, trespassing, and even inciting a herd of hogs to riot. No matter where he journeys or who he interacts with it ends tragically. It seems he cannot outdistance the punishment for his original sin.

Rinthy is taken in and helped by nearly everyone she meets. She usually asks for mere cups of water and winds up with room and board and invitations to stay as long as she pleases. Although her demeanor and style of communicating are similar to her brother's, she is able to evade the few instances of trouble presented her. Only when she catches up to the Tinker and he learns the truth about her pregnancy does she receive cruel treatment.

McCarthy colors his language in dark tones, utilizing archaic language and biblical imagery to give the reader a feeling of ever present danger and impending punishment. In between the narratives of Culla and Rinthy, three characters stalk the countrside. These three outlaws are depicted in the italicized sections of the novel. These three men kill people and dig up graves. One of the killers wears a suit taken from a corpse that has been dug up. The outlaws include a "bearded one," who is apparently the ringleader, a mute man who is apparently mentally impaired in some way, and a man named Harmon.]]At first their killing seems aimless, but further into the novel a pattern emerges that reveals the victims are those that have come across Culla's path. The three men kill the squire (the one that Culla Holme stole a pair of boots from), disembowel the old hermit who gives Culla water, hang the tinker, and the bearded one slits the baby's throat. Rinthy never runs into them physically but sees the leftovers of their campsite, which includes the burnt remains of the tinker's cart and the ribcage of her baby in a dead fire.]] Culla Holme enters the shadowy realm of their campfire twice, and each time there is a tangible feeling that his death is close at hand, but each time they leave him to his own ends.

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Source : Wikipedia