Embracing Vocation

Embracing Vocation

Cormac McCarthy's Writing Life, 1959-1974

  • Author: Luce, Dianne C.
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
  • ISBN: 9781643363554
  • eISBN Pdf: 9781643363561
  • Place of publication:  South Carolina , United States
  • Year of publication: 2023
  • Year of digital publication: 2023
  • Month: January
  • Pages: 338
  • DDC: 813/.54
  • Language: English

Revelations on craft from a foundational scholar of Cormac McCarthy

Devotees of Cormac McCarthy's novels are legion, and deservedly so. Embracing Vocation, which tells the tale of his journey to become one of America's greatest living writers, will be invaluable to scholars and literary critics—and to the many fans—interested in his work.

Dianne C. Luce, a foundational scholar of McCarthy's writing, through extensive archival research, examines the first fifteen years of his career and his earliest novels. Novel by novel, Luce traces each book's evolution. In the process she unveils McCarthy's working processes as well as his personal, literary, and professional influences, highlighting his ferocious devotion to both his craft and burgeoning art. Luce invites us to see the fascinating evolution of an American author with a unique vision all his own. Until there is a full-on biography, this study, along with Luce's previous, Reading the World: Cormac McCarthy's Tennessee Period, is the finest available portrait of an American genius unfolding.

  • Cover
  • Embracing Vocation
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • Contents
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abbreviations
  • Part One. The Orchard Keeper, 1959–1965
    • Apprentice Work and Biographical Context
    • Drafting The Orchard Keeper: Remnants of the First Draft
    • The “Late Draft”
    • Revision for Lawrence Bensky
    • Working with Albert Erskine
    • Placing Excerpts in Periodicals
    • Compiling the Jacket Copy
    • Awards
    • Reviews and Sales
  • Part Two. Outer Dark, 1962–1968
    • Biographical Context and the Novel’s Genesis
    • The Drafting Process
    • Culla’s Monologues
    • Sins of the Father: The Triune Surfaces
    • The Ferry Scene and Culla’s Psychotic Break
    • Culla’s Dreams
    • The Triune Walk
    • Rinthy’s Evolution
    • The Murder of the Tinker
    • The Child Sacrifice
    • Culla and the Blind Man
    • New Orleans to Knoxville to Europe, 1964–1967
    • The Editing Stage
    • Publication and Reception
    • Subsidiary Rights and Awards
  • Part Three. Child of God, 1966–1973
    • Genesis
    • The Auction
    • The High Sheriff of Sevier County
    • Contrary Oxen and the Unidentified Storytellers
    • The Child and the Frozen Robin
    • The Blacksmith
    • Domestic Life and Writing Life in Tennessee, 1967–1973
    • Representation by the Robert Lantz-Candida Donadio Literary Agency
    • Revising Child of God in the Middle and Late Draft Stages
    • The Editing Stage
    • Publication and Reception
  • Afterword: 1974
  • Notes
  • Works Cited
  • Index


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