Friday, June 14, 2024

Pg. 99: D. Marcel DeCoste's "Professing Darkness"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Professing Darkness: Cormac McCarthy's Catholic Critique of American Enlightenment by D. Marcel DeCoste.

About the book, from the publisher:
Professing Darkness confirms the centrality of Catholic thought, imagery, and sacrament to the spiritual and ethical outlook of the work of Cormac McCarthy and, more specifically, its consistent assessment of Enlightenment values and their often-catastrophic realization in American history. D. Marcel DeCoste surveys McCarthy’s fiction from both his Tennessee and Southwest periods, with chapters devoted to eight of his published novels—from Outer Dark to The Road—and a conclusion that examines the writer’s screenplay for The Counselor and the duology of The Passenger and Stella Maris.

DeCoste’s attentive, wide-ranging interpretations demonstrate that McCarthy’s work mounts a sustained critique of core Enlightenment ideals and their devastating results in the American context, especially for Indigenous peoples, the environment, the viability of community, and the integrity of a self irreducible to the status of a commodity. Professing Darkness shows that Roman Catholic understandings of Penance and Eucharist, along with specific Catholic teachings—such as those regarding the goodness of Creation, the nature of evil, the insufficiency of the self, and the radical invitation to conversion—enable McCarthy’s revelatory engagement with American Enlightenment.

An important contribution to the ever-expanding critical literature on a towering contemporary author, Professing Darkness offers an innovative reading of both the spiritual and political valences of McCarthy’s writing.
Learn more about Professing Darkness at the LSU Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Professing Darkness.

--Marshal Zeringue