06 March, 2016

Outer Dark

BY Cormac McCarthy
Book Information1/1/0/US/RH/1968/?  •  ?  •  ? 


This is the first edition of Cormac McCarthy's second book, "Outer Dark", published in 1968 by Random House. The title likely derived from the biblical reference to outer darkness where, according to the gospel of Matthew, worthless servant and improperly attired wedding guest were cast into, and may be interpreted as hell, last judgement or a world devoid of God's presence. That sets the mood for the story, for which the plot is simple: Culla and Rinthy were siblings who had an incestuous child. Culla abandoned the child in the woods, and the child was picked up and taken away by a tinker. Rinthy found out and went in search of the child alone, and Culla, of Rinthy. Culla was trailed by a mysterious trio of murderers who would finally kill the child. In classic McCarthyism, the mood of the writing was macabre. The landscape was decay, and bodies hung from the tree. Events usually happened at night, exuberating the darkness theme. And the mysterious trio accentuated the state of godlessness with their lawless violence. Yet, despite Culla's sin of child abandonment, this trio, serving as some kind of evil judges, opted to kill the child and spare Culla in an allusion to the final judgement. This adjudication is strange, and the ending is continually discussed by fans. I think it is a parable of mortal helplessness against higher power, and a poignant reminder of the vagaries of life.   

This is the first edition first printing with the original dust jacket that is unclipped, reflecting the correct price of $4.95 and does not have the dreadful remainder mark. The book is bound in grey board with blue clothed board at spine, and has blue-green topstain. The copyright page should state "First Printing".

This book is quite rare now and a VG copy can be purchased from eBay or Abebooks from $1,000 onwards. This is a NF copy with a NF dust jacket that suffers only the slightest crease at the top of the back flap and a book is NF that is tight with bright lettering on spine.
















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