The Sporting Club Additional Summary

Thomas McGuane


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Ingram, David. “Thomas McGuane: Nature, Environmentalism, and the American West.” Journal of American Studies 29 (December, 1995): 423-469. Ingram examines McGuane’s focus on the old mythologies of the frontier in the ecology and politics of the modern American West. Ingram concludes that McGuane’s position of these issues is complicated and unclear, alternating between the liberal, radical, and conservative.

McCaffery, Larry, and Sinda Gregory. “The Art of Fiction LXXXIX: Thomas McGuane.” The Paris Review 27 (Fall, 1985): 35-71. Illuminating and immensely readable, this focuses on McGuane’s style, themes, and comic vision.

McClintock, James. “ Unextended Selves’ and Unformed Visions’: Roman Catholicism in Thomas McGuane’s Novels.” Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature 49 (Winter, 1997): 139-152. McClintock examines the Roman Catholic themes in McGuane’s works. McClintock asserts that although McGuane’s works are not Catholic in an orthodox sense, he often investigates Catholic themes, topics, and use of language that specifically refers to Catholic matters.

Morris, Gregory. “How Ambivalence Won the West: Thomas McGuane and the Fiction of the New West.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 32 (Spring, 1991): 180-189. Excellent discussion of McGuane’s use of the “New West.” Argues that while both the language and the action of the novel illuminate Lucien’s attraction to the landscape and to the myths of the Old West, his efforts to find a place for himself in the New West require him to deny acceptance of the old.

Neville, Jill. “Getting Away from It All.” The Times Literary Supplement, May 17, 1985, p. 573. An interesting discussion that focuses not on the disappearance of the Old West but on Lucien’s “odyssey,” as he moves from being the son who refuses to put away childish things to the man who ceases being self-destructive and yearns for “health, emotional stability, and Nature.”

Wallace, Jon. The Politics of Style. Durango, Colo.: Hollowbrook, 1992. Argues that McGuane finds language “an end in itself.” Although McGuane’s characters’ words and thoughts often seem incoherent or meaningless, Wallace claims, the mixed codes in his language reflect their fragmented sense of being and their attempts to bring themselves into being in a world without style or unity. Includes a useful bibliography.