eCite Digital Repository

Caves as Anti-Places: Robert Penn Warren's The Cave and Cormac McCarthy's Child of God

Citation

Crane, RJ and Fletcher, LM, Caves as Anti-Places: Robert Penn Warren's The Cave and Cormac McCarthy's Child of God, Reconstruction: studies in contemporary culture, 14, (3) pp. 1-20. ISSN 1547-4348 (2014) [Refereed Article]


Preview
PDF
Restricted - Request a copy
269Kb
  

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 The Author

Official URL: http://reconstruction.eserver.org/Issues/143/Crane...

Abstract

In Robert Penn Warren's poem "Speleology," a young boy turns off his flashlight deep in a cave and knows "darkness and depth and no Time." This poem's powerful imagery of the spatial otherness of caves is the starting point for this article, which argues that analyzing the literary representation of natural subterranean voids requires a careful re-theorisation of the dynamic relations of space and place. The difficult question of how meaning comes to be attached to a particular space, thus transforming it into place, is central to Robert Penn Warren's The Cave and Cormac McCarthy's Child of God, both of which depict male protagonists who retreat underground, albeit for quite different purposes. As Eric Prieto explains, place is a "human relation. There is no set of immanent ontological features adhering to a given site that would allow us to define it as a place." According to the standard definition, a cave is a natural cavity beneath the land large enough to admit a human body, but-as the novels selected for this essay show-caves fascinate and terrify us because they confound human assumptions about our role in assigning meaning to the earth's spaces.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Literature; Caves; Place and Space; Geography; Robert Penn Warren; Cormac McCarthy
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary Studies
Research Field:North American Literature
Objective Division:Cultural Understanding
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Languages and Literature
Author:Crane, RJ (Professor Ralph Crane)
Author:Fletcher, LM (Dr Lisa Fletcher)
ID Code:96554
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Humanities
Deposited On:2014-11-11
Last Modified:2015-04-15
Downloads:0

Repository Staff Only: item control page