It’s your pal the Rake here to disrupt this delightful huggermugger with yet another Cormac McCarthy-themed post. (Thank me later.) In my experience, your college profs and blogger types seem to favor McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, but down-home Southern writers go for Suttree or Child of God. Here’s an article about the relationship between Mr. McCarthy and East Tennessee (Knoxville in particular):
The trick shop is gone now, its charlatan’s props and trinkets and frivolous parlor games long removed, half-witted relics given over to vulgar oblivion. So too are the pool halls, their beer-varnished countertops and oaken floors and rag-topped pool tables absent, replaced now by a prosaic sprawl of yellow weeds and crab-grass at the corner of Church Avenue and Gay Street. The yellow-green sprinkling of slight foliage, withered, huddles noontime in the muscular shadow of the decidedly modern Centre Square building and its bronze frontispiece, the statue of a lone oarsmen laboring desperately to right his scuttled craft.
There’s a rumor, unconfirmed, that the boatpilot is meant to be Cornelius Suttree, the disinherited blue-blood roustabout who is the hero of the forenamed book.
And gone is the man who would be Gene Harrogate—John Sheddan, scholar, schemer, hustler, melon paramour. He died in recent years, at age 62, purchased by the ravages of his own excess. Gone are the Roxy Theatre and the Gold Sun Cafe and the motley vendors who every weekend peopled Market Square, ghosts of mid-century Knoxville held forever in the attitudes of the living in the pages of Cormac McCarthy’s Suttree.
See also Searching for Suttree.