The following article considers a peculiarity of composition that unites the books of Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy. Its claim is that the narrative world of these texts is made to reflect the reverse order in which the trilogy itself was composed, and that the uncanny foreknowledge the reader encounters in the early story is both a by-product of this composition process and a meditation on its effect on the reality of the narrative world. The result is a kind of reality in which effects are permitted to precede their causes. To make sense of this, I propose a reading of the Border Trilogy that simultaneously considers McCarthy’s supposedly contradictory influences: the scientific and the religious—and, more specifically, quantum entanglement and biblical typology. It is my claim that by examining both of these influences together—something that scholarship on McCarthy has been surprisingly reluctant to do—we arrive at a new picture of the kind of world that the author takes to be possible. In what follows, I offer a close reading of a connection between two scenes, and argue for the reliance of the larger trilogy, in terms of both form and content, on the interdependence of apparent opposites.

You do not currently have access to this content.