The omnipresent character and possible worlds theory

the case of Judge Holden in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian




possible worlds, storyworld, Cormac McCarthy, omnipresence


Fictional texts might present storyworlds that include both human characters and omnipresent characters. When they share the same ontological plane the specific dynamic occurs between them. Furthermore omnipresent characters may be able to transgress a singular plane, in consequence making the whole storyworld appear more complex, but also seem less coherent. This essay focuses on the case of Judge Holden, the antagonist of Cormac McCarthy’s novel Blood Meridian, in order to dissect the role of an omnipresent character within the fictional world. The introduction contextualizes the figure of an omnipresent character, by explicating its nature on the background of other texts and their characters. Applying the possible worlds theory adapted by literary theorist Marie-Laure Ryan serves as the adequate means of analysis. Her take on possible worlds theory enables to make a clear distinctions between ontological planes that an omnipresent character occupies and define what it means for the reader.


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