Dr. David Cremean, associate professor of humanities and English at Black Hills State University, recently presented his essay, "Zeitgeist, Incorporated: The Two Chigurhs in the Novel and Film Versions of No Country for Old Men," at the Fall 2008 Western Literature Association (WLA) conference in Boulder, Colo.
His essay argued that the written and filmic versions of No Country provide two meaningfully alternate emphases in portraying the story's villain. The first is Anton Chigurh, as an American "Spirit of the Age" (Zeitgeist), in how he represents the nation's "Culture of Death." McCarthy's use of the character and theme emphasizes the character's monstrous and business/bureaucratic side. In the academy award winning film version, directors Joel and Ethan Coen and actor Javier Bardem, humanize Chigurh in several subtle ways missing in the novel, making him all the more powerful as a character.
Cremean continues to work on adding to and further revising the essay. He hopes to have it accepted for Rick Wallach's revised edition of the McCarthy-focused book Myth, Legend, Dust.
Prior to the conference, Cremean’s 1300 word essay, "Mainstream Environmentalism's Environmental Offenses: Twenty-five Theses for Nailing [to] the Green Door," was published as the "Pointblank" editorial in the October-November Canyon Country Zephyr out of Moab, Utah. In its 20th year, the Zephyr remains an important alternative periodical voice regarding cultural issues in America's West.
The 2009 WLA conference will be held in Spearfish, Sept. 30 through Oct. 3. It will be hosted by Cremean, the organizations president for 2009, and the Holiday Inn Conference Center. This event will bring over 300 attendees to the area. For further information, contact Cremean at 645-8478 or DavidCremean@BHSU.edu.