Collapsing Structures of Life and Death in Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones
Keywords:Mike McCormack, Solar Bones, Irish Contemporary Fiction, Martin Heidegger, collapsing structures
In the present essay I argue that that Mike McCormack’s acclaimed latest novel Solar Bones (Brit. 2016, USA 2017) thematises two impulses: on the one hand, the narrator, Marcus Conway, is seeking an order and structural coherence to his world, an order that throughout assumes a distinctly religious tint; on the other hand, the novel features various images of collapse of structures, ranging from the economic system all the way to actual buildings, all of which thwart his efforts. It is those twin movements, towards order and chaos, that reveal an association with Heidegger’s idea that only by becoming aware of death as one’s sole personal mode of life, does one begin to apprehend the essential structure of life, even if the glimpse of that structure is only ever available in its constant deferral.