Inese Vičaka


The notion of belonging has often been examined from the perspective of location and the politics of relations to space and culture. The paper explores, how Cormac McCarthy’s novel “Child of God” (1973) maps out and interrogates the notion of belonging – the protagonist Lester Ballard’s belonging to his nation, community and the limits imposed or the labels attached to Lester Ballard and the rest of the Appalachian community. The paper also dwells on the issue of borders expressed in C. McCarthy’s text: the border of territorial and national identity, the border of Lester Ballard as the victim’s personal identity and the border of his physical place – the Appalachian region within an existential realm of conflicting political system and cultural context in the 20th century. It is possible to draw parallels with Latgale region in Latvia, which had struggled for maintenance of its territorial and national identity for years, especially in the 20th century, when Latvia intelligentsia was unwilling to accept the identity and culture of Latgale region. For many years, it had been a periphery of periphery, marked by isolation and dominated by internal and external forces and struggles against the ongoing oppression of its distinct, regionally and historically rooted identity and language. The paper as well examines “Child of God” text from an ecocritical angle, unveiling the metaphorical and symbolic level, on which relationship with the nonhuman and human world is conveyed.


ecocriticism; culture; nature; human; industrialization

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17770/latg2014.6.1668


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