>mostly wrote generic, violent slop, basically just Hollywood stuff with some vague reflections on human nature

>mostly wrote generic, violent slop, basically just Hollywood stuff with some vague reflections on human nature
>somehow also wrote one of the best novels of the 20th century, one of the best encapsulations of the American spirit ever put to paper
How? Makes absolutely zero sense

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  1. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >one of the best encapsulations of the American spirit ever put to paper
    Being a bunch of brainless savages is the american spirit? Or you mean other book?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      KILLING a bunch of brainless savages IS the american spirit

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I think you missed point of the book.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          the point*

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I mean, just look at what kind of individuals american culture revolves around.

  2. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    South parks America frick yeah song and music video was the best encapsulation of the American spirit ever w24n02made.

  3. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Writing consistently is not easy.

  4. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >mostly wrote generic, violent slop, basically just Hollywood stuff with some vague reflections on human nature
    Literally just one "book" like that. A book that was originally written as a screenplay. There is a reason that even his crowd pleaser (ATPH) bombed as movie. McCarthy thought it was trying too much to be like the book.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      No one gives a frick, moron

  5. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    he had at least four that got literary acclaim

    age 46 -- 1979 Suttree
    >has been compared= to James Joyce's Ulysses and John Steinbeck's Cannery Row, and called "a doomed Huckleberry Finn" by Jerome Charyn.
    >the Times Literary Supplement review which saw the novel as "Faulknerian in its gentle wryness, and a freakish imaginative flair reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor."

    age 52 -- 1985 Blood Meridian
    >McCarthy's magnum opus and one of the greatest American novels of all time. Some have labelled it the Great American Novel.
    >Critic Steven Shaviro wrote: In the entire range of American literature, only Moby-Dick bears comparison to Blood Meridian. Both are epic in scope, cosmically resonant, obsessed with open space and with language, exploring vast uncharted distances with a fanatically patient minuteness. Both manifest a sublime visionary power that is matched only by still more ferocious irony.But if anything, McCarthy writes with a yet more terrible clarity than does Melville.

    age 59 -- 1992 All the Pretty Horses
    >won both the U.S. National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award

    age 73 -- 2006 The Road
    >won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
    >In 2019, the novel was ranked 17th on The Guardian's list of the 100 best books of the 21st century.
    >Entertainment Weekly inamed The Road the best book, fiction or non-fiction, of the past 25 years

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahah

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I didn't know he was that old when he wrote BM. I thought he was like 35 lol

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Suttree and Blood Meridian are so much better than the other two that they shouldn't be mentioned in the same post.

  6. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Penn State publishes an academic journal just one him.
    https://www.psupress.org/journals/jnls_CormacMcCarthy.html

    The Cormac McCarthy Journal is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on the works and influence of Cormac McCarthy.

    >His contributions to literature, and to our lives, have been momentous. McCarthy was one of the most notable authors of his or indeed any generation.

    >He leaves behind an extraordinary body of work

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >peer-reviewed
      Means nothing in the humanities. It’s practically required to call yourself peer-reviewed but no one does it

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        In any case, until sometime no other living writer had a dedicated, university published journal on him/her. I could be wrong but that's how this was sold.

  7. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >the top of the sun rose out of nothing like the head of a great red phallus until it cleared the unseen rim and sat squat and pulsing and malevolent behind them.

    McCarthy was a closeted homosexual who wrote shitty cowboy novels for teenage boys using a fake Irish name. Only Americans are impressed by his pseudointellectual bullshit.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      why was the sun pulsing

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        because it was like a wiener for some reason

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        because it was like a wiener for some reason

        Have you guys ever stared at the sun?

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          uh no that hurts your eyes

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      he does look kind of zesty in that photo

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I've never seen the sun look like a peen tbh

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        It's not the sun. It's the dome of the sun before it clears the horizon. Watch a sunrise, anon.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          What does that have to do with male genitalia?

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            The top of the dick is done shaped and red as the sun. It's imagery.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            can you provide a photo of the solar phenomenon he's describing? I've never seen the sunrise and thought "Penis".

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Imagine the tip-crown of a dick.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I've made the dick slightly clearer for anyone who can't make it out in the original image. If you read enough Cormac McCarthy eventually all sunrises look like this.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            After seeing this, I disagree with the metaphor even more. Somebody tell me it's thematically relevant, and has more substance beyond an inspiring image. Who thinks it? Is it a character? Are there sexual undertones surrounding it? For his sake, I hope so, because so far this is moronic and I'm happy I never wasted my time with this man

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            https://i.imgur.com/3SE2AMH.png

            I've made the dick slightly clearer for anyone who can't make it out in the original image. If you read enough Cormac McCarthy eventually all sunrises look like this.

            It seems like Cormac was a bit coom-brained.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            The sun has been symbolical of phalli since the beginning of time you homosexualed lil scabrous cretin. Of course those who haven't a mind for the divine, the mythic, neither the mystical, the esoteric, the semiotic very fundament of language itself are they who squall the loudest when faced with a greater, wiser, intellect. Stay in your lane, stick to Marx.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            He's not talking about symbols. He's talking about the sun ACTUALLY looking like a dick.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Phallocentrism is the straightest thing in the world.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >you will never feel Cormac's squat pulsing phallus inside you

        Same poster btw

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I would understand it if he was joking like these guys are, but cormac seems to be dead serious about his sundick

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          That's even more based. Cormac is a man who has reached the height of manliness: sitting in the middle of a sauna, buck naked, with the family israeliteels on full display. I bet he pisses in the center urinal, too. What a chad.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >I was at the sauna yesterday and there was an elderly balding man sitting there buck naked with a glowing red pulsating micropenis that he kept comparing to the sun

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            You met the father, he told you about his son; if you stuck around long enough, you might have seen the holy spirit.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >you will never feel Cormac's squat pulsing phallus inside you

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      He looks like a 70’s extra from Hee Haw or a gay porno, take your pick but actually it’s both.

  8. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    He obviously has some works written mostly for the purpose of making money and then works he takes seriously as a work of art. If you aren't trying to get at least one of your novels (if you're an aspiring writer) turned into a movie then you're not gonna make it.

  9. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Vereen M. Bell, a professor of English, emeritus, at Vanderbilt University wrote this book on him
    >With detailed readings of McCarthy's first five novels--The Orchard Keeper, Child of God, Outer Dark, Suttree, and Blood Meridian
    >Bell's book established many of the foundational critical frameworks for approaching McCarthy's work

    His books include Robert Lowell: Nihilist as Hero (1983), The Achievement of Cormac McCarthy (1988), and Yeats and the Logic of Formalism (2006)

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      I've read all of those except Outer Dark. Is it good? Incest is kind of icky.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This is a good book. A good analysis of Orchard Keeper (which all other reviewers fall short of) and he had somewhat already figured McCarthy's larger project.

      I've read all of those except Outer Dark. Is it good? Incest is kind of icky.

      No incest is shown. Zero romance whatsoever. It unironically reads like a weird mix of Kafka and Dante with some Faulkner's southern inflections in prose.

  10. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard Divinity School wrote this book on him

    He is the author of two books, Cormac McCarthy and the Signs of Sacrament: Literature, Theology, and the Moral of Stories (Bloomsbury, 2015)

    He has also published scholarly essays in several leading journals and invited essay collections, and he sits on the editorial board of the journal Literature and Theology.

    “Cormac McCarthy and the Signs of Sacrament: Literature, Theology, and the Moral of Stories,” draws on both postmodern theory and Christian theologies of sacrament to analyze McCarthy’s use of religious images and the moral significance of his stories.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      HARVARD GAZETTE: You’ve said that McCarthy’s books are inflected with religion. What’s the role religion plays in his novels?

      POTTS: The novels are adorned with religious images, especially sacramental images, all over the place...when rare moments of tenderness or goodness arise, they do so alongside images or invocations of the Christian sacramental tradition: the sharing of food, baptismal imagery, images of washing, the Eucharist.... his books expose aspects of the sacramental tradition that Christianity sometimes forgets or neglects.

      GAZETTE: What do you think sacraments represent, in the author’s view?

      POTTS: In “The Road,” there is the common notion that a journey is redeemed by its end. That’s the way Christian theology often works, we endure the trying journey of life so we can end up in the sweet hereafter. But that doesn’t happen in “The Road.” Still, in the novel there are moments when the man and boy share bread and care for each other, and these are the moments that give meaning to their journey. The journey is not redeemed by its end, but by being with each other, that is what’s valuable. It’s not the great beyond that redeems the struggle; it’s actually the love for one another in the struggle. In my view, what he’s saying is that we don’t need to believe in the great beyond to believe in goodness.

      GAZETTE: What do you make of the violence and cruelty in McCarthy’s books?

      POTTS: McCarthy creates the worst possible situations to make the point that if goodness still seems worthwhile under those circumstances, then maybe it really is worth the trouble.
      ...
      In his books, there are moments when people risk a difficult thing for the sake of love, and even if they may not be rewarded for it, they do it because it’s the right thing to do. I think when he writes such violent things, what’s he’s doing is asking us to think seriously about what the stakes of goodness are. Just because you’re good doesn’t mean the world is going to be good, just because you do the right thing doesn’t mean all is going to be OK. He makes the world not OK precisely in order to ask the question, “Is this still worth doing?”

  11. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    the chair of the English Dept at California State University, Bakersfield wrote this book about him

    >The values of literary naturalism at play in one of America’s most visionary novelists
    >In his novels and plays, McCarthy engages both explicitly and obliquely with the project of manifest destiny, in the western drama Blood Meridian, the Tennessee Valley Authority-era Tennessee novels, and the atomic frontier of Alamogordo in Cities of the Plain. McCarthy’s concerns are deeply religious and philosophical, drawing on ancient Greek philosophy, Gnosticism, and Nietzsche, among other sources. Frye argues for McCarthy not merely as a naturalist writer but as a naturalist in the most expansive sense. Unguessed Kinships includes biographical and historical context in each chapter

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      he and these other professors had this book on him published by Cambridge
      where they put him in the context of the authors in pic related

      https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/cormac-mccarthy-in-context/8AE80BB74F257C033BA5C58E6B8D50A9

      https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/abs/cormac-mccarthy-in-context/cormac-mccarthy-in-context/0BF1575E6CF1198ED0545116718155B0

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      https://i.imgur.com/HjE56fK.png

      Here's a long piece on him in an academic journal written by Cyril O'Regan, the Catherine F. Huisking Chair in Theology at the University of Notre Dame.

      https://churchlifejournal.nd.edu/articles/authors/cyril-oregan/

      >at the very least, the work of Cormac McCarthy is so cumulatively imposing as to compel his readers to entertain the claim that he is preeminent among American novelists. While he has his detractors, even those commentators and critics disinclined to answer in the affirmative are impressed with the volume of his oeuvre, his virtuosity when it comes to a plurality of styles, which shift between the narrative and symbolic in both minimalist and maximalist linguistic keys,...the giant risks he takes in daring to construct the myth or counter-myth of America, and finally with the construction of characters which, though rarely subtle, haunt the imagination, even as we never truly never get to know them.

      >his oeuvre can be divided into those works published before Blood Meridian (1985) and those that come after. Therefore, the early novels such as Outer Dark (1968), Child of God (1973), and even Suttree (1979) which, even if influenced by Southern Gothic, hold their ground in a narrative that weaves complex and interesting stories in landscapes that are either neutral or not-determinative of human action, can be contrasted with those such as Blood Meridian, the Border Trilogy (1992-1995), No Country for Old Men (2005) and The Road (2006) in which barren landscapes of sand, rock, ice, riven by either heat or cold, both represent and construct the savage heart.

      >This division is not simply one of convenience. There is general agreement among literary commentators that despite the excellence of a novel such as Suttree a critical verdict is predicated on the work that begins with Blood Meridian

      >But McCarthy’s masterpiece is also profoundly generative. Its concentrated focus on violence, its use and transmutation of the Western, set the terms of future work such as the Border Trilogy, No Country for Old Men, and even The Road.

      a bunch of professors worked to write this piece on him the Journal of American Studies

      https://journals.openedition.org/ejas/12252

      >Written by a mixture of first-time as well as long-established McCarthy scholars based in seven different countries across three continents, the essays in this issue testify both to the global interest in McCarthy’s work and to the continued vibrancy of the scholarship dedicated to it.

      >the growing community of McCarthy scholars

      >his status as one of the most significant contemporary voices in American fiction is uncontested.... there is an across-the-board cultural agreement that McCarthy is one of our great writers

      >As is the case with most writers now considered seminal contributors to American literary history, his work seems to have the rare ability to remain interesting and enigmatic no matter how much we critically dissect it—indeed, so fruitful and generative as to accommodate ever new and diversified critical approaches.

      >His work draws on scientific discourse yet resists positivism with every parable or outlandish simile. It challenges exceptionalist narratives of national innocence through its relentless violence but has characters like John Grady Cole in the Border Trilogy and the boy in The Road (2006), who are as innocent as they come

      >The fifteen essays collected here examine Cormac McCarthy’s fiction from a number of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives that shed light on his work in terms of its negotiations of and investments in science, painting, music, theology, philosophy, politics, cinema, anthropology, economics, systems theory, genre fiction, and the novel form itself, to name but some of the approaches represented in this issue.

      from the one written by Christina Bieber Lake (PhD, Emory University), the Clyde S. Kilby professor of English at Wheaton College

      >In this paper I argue that it is Cormac McCarthy’s grappling with theological concepts that best explains The Road’s (2006) haunting power and beauty

      >The Road most closely parallels the book of Job, and thereby foregrounds all of its theological questions regarding personhood, suffering, the existence of God, and the purpose of creation. As a result of this parallel, the novel’s beauty is best explained not by an effort on McCarthy’s part to replace God’s authority with beautiful prose. Instead, like the book of Job itself, the novel must be beautiful to the extent that it is answerable to the essential goodness of man being made in the image of God. The Road is under what Hans urs von Balthasar has called the “demand of the beautiful,” and it pulls its readers—however unwittingly—into answerability to that demand.

      >The novel’s situation and subsequent soul-searching thus evoke the biblical book most known for asking why the world is full of suffering and evil.

      > The man and his son have long been abandoned by the suicide of their wife and mother, a woman whose only answer, like that of Job’s wife, had been to curse God and die. Their isolation is near total. To read their story is to follow a small, flickering flame moving slowly in a field of utter darkness.

      >It centers around the same question: we are here, we are suffering, and where is God in all of this? When the man addresses God, he also shakes his fist and pleads with God to show himself:

      He descended into a gryke in the stone and there he crouched coughing and he coughed for a long time. Then he just knelt in the ashes. He raised his face to the paling day. Are you there? he whispered. Will I see you at the last? Have you a neck by which to throttle you? Have you a heart? Damn you eternally have you a soul? Oh God, he whispered. Oh God. (11-12)

      >In The Road, the man audibly asks God if he exists, and then, like Job, shakes his fist at him in anger.

      >The longest conversation in the book is between the man and an old man they meet on the road who calls himself Ely. Like Job’s Eliphaz, he talks incessantly, but his message is more like that of Job’s wife—to curse God and die.

      >Both Job and the man in The Road see themselves as cursed by God. But it is also true that the main thing they have in common is that neither one of them chooses to curse God in return, either by behaving like an animal or by taking his own life.

      > As Job had lamented, “Oh that my deeds were written down,” McCarthy attends to the man and the son by telling their tale in a dignified way, a way that values their experience and calls it beautiful. As a storyteller he is a witness, and as readers so are we.

      > McCarthy’s final paragraph, emerging after the appearance of God in the loving faces and voices of the good family,

      from the one by professor of English at Centre College (liberal arts school with $50,550/year tuition)

      >The boy’s mother chose to commit suicide rather than wait to suffer what she thought was inevitable: their capture, rape, murder, and consumption by the wandering bands of cannibals desperate for any kind of food. The man endures in order to protect his son, whom he loves completely and sees as a kind of divine light in an otherwise dark world: “He sat beside him and stroked his pale and tangled hair. Golden chalice, good to house a god” (75). McCarthy titled an early draft of the book “The Grail,”2 likely referring, as that and other passages suggest, to the son. But though the son is unquestionably a source of goodness and light for the father, the father’s belief in an externally divine source of guidance is vexed at best: “He raised his face to the paling day. Are you there? he whispered. Will I see you at the last? Have you a neck by which to throttle you? Have you a heart? Damn you eternally have you a soul? Oh God, he whispered. Oh God” (11–12).

      >In all this darkness, however, the father’s love for his son is an illuminating force. He may shake his fist at an absent God, but the father does see a divine goodness in his son, calling him “the word of God” and “God’s own firedrake,” and sees him “glowing in that waste like a tabernacle” (5, 31, 273).

      >“You’re not the one who has to worry about everything,” the father reminds the boy. “Yes I am,” the boy corrects him. “I am the one” (259). The father worries about their survival, but the boy worries about their morality, their goodness. “I am the one,” he says, a Christlike statement that is appropriate considering his advocacy of mercy and forgiveness.

      >Allen Josephs has argued, for instance, that one can make “a textual case for God, or more specifically, a Christ-like figure in the boy” [137]

      >Whatever the source of the boy’s goodness, it wins over the father in the end. ... The boy’s apocalypse story ends with a validation of his faith in the existence of good in the world and the ability to find that good in other people.

      >In The Road the boy is a character whose personality—and perhaps even his divinity—is defined by his belief that some people can be trusted, by his daring to reach out in even the bleakest of circumstances. McCarthy celebrates this quality even as he delimits it—the boy will probably not save all of mankind, like the protagonists of so many apocalypse films

      Behead all academics.

  12. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Here's a long piece on him in an academic journal written by Cyril O'Regan, the Catherine F. Huisking Chair in Theology at the University of Notre Dame.

    https://churchlifejournal.nd.edu/articles/authors/cyril-oregan/

    >at the very least, the work of Cormac McCarthy is so cumulatively imposing as to compel his readers to entertain the claim that he is preeminent among American novelists. While he has his detractors, even those commentators and critics disinclined to answer in the affirmative are impressed with the volume of his oeuvre, his virtuosity when it comes to a plurality of styles, which shift between the narrative and symbolic in both minimalist and maximalist linguistic keys,...the giant risks he takes in daring to construct the myth or counter-myth of America, and finally with the construction of characters which, though rarely subtle, haunt the imagination, even as we never truly never get to know them.

    >his oeuvre can be divided into those works published before Blood Meridian (1985) and those that come after. Therefore, the early novels such as Outer Dark (1968), Child of God (1973), and even Suttree (1979) which, even if influenced by Southern Gothic, hold their ground in a narrative that weaves complex and interesting stories in landscapes that are either neutral or not-determinative of human action, can be contrasted with those such as Blood Meridian, the Border Trilogy (1992-1995), No Country for Old Men (2005) and The Road (2006) in which barren landscapes of sand, rock, ice, riven by either heat or cold, both represent and construct the savage heart.

    >This division is not simply one of convenience. There is general agreement among literary commentators that despite the excellence of a novel such as Suttree a critical verdict is predicated on the work that begins with Blood Meridian

    >But McCarthy’s masterpiece is also profoundly generative. Its concentrated focus on violence, its use and transmutation of the Western, set the terms of future work such as the Border Trilogy, No Country for Old Men, and even The Road.

  13. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    this book on him is by Dr. Julius Greve of the Institute for English and American Studies, University of Oldenburg, Germany

    >Greve takes into account the work of Friedrich W. J. Schelling and Lorenz Oken, contemporary speculative realism, and Bertrand Westphal’s geocriticism. Further, newly discovered archival material sheds light on McCarthy’s immersion in the metaphysical question par excellence: What is nature?

    here's the schools he went to

    Education

    01|2013 – 07|2016 Universität zu Köln (doctoral studies in English; esp. American Literature and Critical Theory, fully funded by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes); Doctoral thesis: “Shreds of Matter: Cormac McCarthy and the Persistence of Speculation”; submitted February 2016 | defended July 2016) Grade: summa cum laude 0,0; Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Hanjo Berressem, Prof. Dr. Bernd Herzogenrath

    10|2006 – 01|2012 Universität zu Köln (M.A. studies in English, History, Ethnomusicology; majored in English | American Studies); Grade: 1,0 with distinction; Thesis: “Metacommentary as an Artistic Practice in the Work of Mark Z. Danielewski”

    09|2009 – 03|2010 Cardiff University (M.A. studies in Critical and Cultural Theory, Ethnomusicology)

  14. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    a bunch of professors worked to write this piece on him the Journal of American Studies

    https://journals.openedition.org/ejas/12252

    >Written by a mixture of first-time as well as long-established McCarthy scholars based in seven different countries across three continents, the essays in this issue testify both to the global interest in McCarthy’s work and to the continued vibrancy of the scholarship dedicated to it.

    >the growing community of McCarthy scholars

    >his status as one of the most significant contemporary voices in American fiction is uncontested.... there is an across-the-board cultural agreement that McCarthy is one of our great writers

    >As is the case with most writers now considered seminal contributors to American literary history, his work seems to have the rare ability to remain interesting and enigmatic no matter how much we critically dissect it—indeed, so fruitful and generative as to accommodate ever new and diversified critical approaches.

    >His work draws on scientific discourse yet resists positivism with every parable or outlandish simile. It challenges exceptionalist narratives of national innocence through its relentless violence but has characters like John Grady Cole in the Border Trilogy and the boy in The Road (2006), who are as innocent as they come

    >The fifteen essays collected here examine Cormac McCarthy’s fiction from a number of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives that shed light on his work in terms of its negotiations of and investments in science, painting, music, theology, philosophy, politics, cinema, anthropology, economics, systems theory, genre fiction, and the novel form itself, to name but some of the approaches represented in this issue.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      from the one written by Christina Bieber Lake (PhD, Emory University), the Clyde S. Kilby professor of English at Wheaton College

      >In this paper I argue that it is Cormac McCarthy’s grappling with theological concepts that best explains The Road’s (2006) haunting power and beauty

      >The Road most closely parallels the book of Job, and thereby foregrounds all of its theological questions regarding personhood, suffering, the existence of God, and the purpose of creation. As a result of this parallel, the novel’s beauty is best explained not by an effort on McCarthy’s part to replace God’s authority with beautiful prose. Instead, like the book of Job itself, the novel must be beautiful to the extent that it is answerable to the essential goodness of man being made in the image of God. The Road is under what Hans urs von Balthasar has called the “demand of the beautiful,” and it pulls its readers—however unwittingly—into answerability to that demand.

      >The novel’s situation and subsequent soul-searching thus evoke the biblical book most known for asking why the world is full of suffering and evil.

      > The man and his son have long been abandoned by the suicide of their wife and mother, a woman whose only answer, like that of Job’s wife, had been to curse God and die. Their isolation is near total. To read their story is to follow a small, flickering flame moving slowly in a field of utter darkness.

      >It centers around the same question: we are here, we are suffering, and where is God in all of this? When the man addresses God, he also shakes his fist and pleads with God to show himself:

      He descended into a gryke in the stone and there he crouched coughing and he coughed for a long time. Then he just knelt in the ashes. He raised his face to the paling day. Are you there? he whispered. Will I see you at the last? Have you a neck by which to throttle you? Have you a heart? Damn you eternally have you a soul? Oh God, he whispered. Oh God. (11-12)

      >In The Road, the man audibly asks God if he exists, and then, like Job, shakes his fist at him in anger.

      >The longest conversation in the book is between the man and an old man they meet on the road who calls himself Ely. Like Job’s Eliphaz, he talks incessantly, but his message is more like that of Job’s wife—to curse God and die.

      >Both Job and the man in The Road see themselves as cursed by God. But it is also true that the main thing they have in common is that neither one of them chooses to curse God in return, either by behaving like an animal or by taking his own life.

      > As Job had lamented, “Oh that my deeds were written down,” McCarthy attends to the man and the son by telling their tale in a dignified way, a way that values their experience and calls it beautiful. As a storyteller he is a witness, and as readers so are we.

      > McCarthy’s final paragraph, emerging after the appearance of God in the loving faces and voices of the good family,

  15. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    from the one by professor of English at Centre College (liberal arts school with $50,550/year tuition)

    >The boy’s mother chose to commit suicide rather than wait to suffer what she thought was inevitable: their capture, rape, murder, and consumption by the wandering bands of cannibals desperate for any kind of food. The man endures in order to protect his son, whom he loves completely and sees as a kind of divine light in an otherwise dark world: “He sat beside him and stroked his pale and tangled hair. Golden chalice, good to house a god” (75). McCarthy titled an early draft of the book “The Grail,”2 likely referring, as that and other passages suggest, to the son. But though the son is unquestionably a source of goodness and light for the father, the father’s belief in an externally divine source of guidance is vexed at best: “He raised his face to the paling day. Are you there? he whispered. Will I see you at the last? Have you a neck by which to throttle you? Have you a heart? Damn you eternally have you a soul? Oh God, he whispered. Oh God” (11–12).

    >In all this darkness, however, the father’s love for his son is an illuminating force. He may shake his fist at an absent God, but the father does see a divine goodness in his son, calling him “the word of God” and “God’s own firedrake,” and sees him “glowing in that waste like a tabernacle” (5, 31, 273).

    >“You’re not the one who has to worry about everything,” the father reminds the boy. “Yes I am,” the boy corrects him. “I am the one” (259). The father worries about their survival, but the boy worries about their morality, their goodness. “I am the one,” he says, a Christlike statement that is appropriate considering his advocacy of mercy and forgiveness.

    >Allen Josephs has argued, for instance, that one can make “a textual case for God, or more specifically, a Christ-like figure in the boy” [137]

    >Whatever the source of the boy’s goodness, it wins over the father in the end. ... The boy’s apocalypse story ends with a validation of his faith in the existence of good in the world and the ability to find that good in other people.

    >In The Road the boy is a character whose personality—and perhaps even his divinity—is defined by his belief that some people can be trusted, by his daring to reach out in even the bleakest of circumstances. McCarthy celebrates this quality even as he delimits it—the boy will probably not save all of mankind, like the protagonists of so many apocalypse films

  16. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >mostly wrote generic, violent slop, basically just Hollywood stuff with some vague reflections on human nature
    >somehow also wrote one of the best novels of the 20th century, one of the best encapsulations of the American spirit ever put to paper
    Isn't the American spirit generic, violent slop, basically just Hollywood stuff with some vague reflections on human nature?

  17. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    What's his most similar work to BM? I tried reading All the Pretty Horses and kept falling asleep. Does it get better?

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Most similar in tone and bleakness is probably Outer Dark. A deep, mystical Western, although much more melancholic and 'quieter' is The Crossing.

      Did you dislike the plot elements in ATPH? If yes then jump to either one. If you want some narrative thrust then neither would cut it for you. Look at Ncfom if that's the case. It is bloody and gory like BM but with an involving plot and a villain.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I like some stuff about ATPH but it just feels very slow and tame. I think dropped it after the characters were just breaking horses for like 50 pages in some mexican ranch. I'm okay with this just being some chill coming of age story but I feel like McCarthy's prose is too dense for that.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Starting from Part 3 (which begins exactly halfway through the book), it becomes a completely different book altogether. It will be quite enjoyable if the characters don't grate on you now. All the praise it originally got is because of its 2nd half.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            well, what you're saying is reassuring because I hate to not finish books.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            I wouldn't say it's really the same level. But the 2nd half of ATPH is like the last 3rd of BM. There is narrative thrust purely because of what has come before and the story gets dark and serious enough to support McCarthy's prophetic language.

  18. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    don't care, he wrote damn good books that shared his outlook on the world and that I enjoyed reading them and getting a glimpse of his mind. that's all there is to it.

  19. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    this one is by a professor of English at Duke, Victor H. Strandberg
    >Strandberg, V. H. "Cormac McCarthy." Ed. Parini, J. (2001).

    >McCarthy's first five novels, through Blood
    Meridian (1985), attained a total sales of only
    about fifteen thousand copies despite garnering
    many favorable reviews, but in 1992 All the
    Pretty Horses proved a breakthrough novel, selling over 500,000 copies in two years and bringing about the republication of all his earlier
    novels in Vintage editions.

    The Orchard Keeper (1965)
    >The true subject of McCarthy's first novel, which was to be enunciated prominently in all the later ones, is the nostalgic sense of an old way of life passing
    into oblivion.

    >Another recurring feature that characterizes
    this first novel is McCarthy's reverence toward
    the rural landscape for its wild fauna and flora,
    its majestically passing seasons, and the sustenance it furnishes

    >Probably the most distinctive characteristic of
    this first novel is McCarthy's masterly command of style in both dialect/dialogue and expository prose.

    >has earned praise from other major authors, suchas Robert Penn Warren and Saul Bellow. A brief sample will serve to illustrate the point as McCarthy describes:

    shacks strewn about the valley in unlikely places, squatting over their gullied purlieus like greatbrooding animals rigid with constipation. . . . They were rented to families of gaunt hollow-eyed and dark-skinned people . . . [who] came and went, unencumbered as migratory birds, each succeeding family a replica of the one before and only thenames on the mailboxes altered, the new ones le ttered crudely in above a rack of paint smears that obliterated the former inhabitants back into the anonymity from which they sprang

    Prefiguring McCarthy's style in all his later
    novels is his penchant for words rarely found in
    even his most sophisticated reader's vocabulary: "murrhined," "esotery," "verspertine," "ciborium," "spodomantic." Perhaps, as the critic
    Mark Winchell surmises, this college dropout
    gains a measure of satisfaction in sending English professors scurrying to their dictionaries.

  20. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    OUTER DARK
    >In his second novel, Outer Dark (1968), McCarthy again sets his cast of characters in his beloved landscape of rural Appalachia, but here he chooses a turn-of-the-twentieth-century time setting

    >Although McCarthy's fundamental stance is that of naturalistic realism, the central mode of twentieth-century literature, he also resorts powerfully to surrealistic instances of dream imagery, of ghostly emanations from the past, and of quasi-miraculous action in the present.

    >the book's title, which the narrative mentions only once—when.....Although the "inner dark," or human capacityfor committing appalling acts of evil, is surely one of McCarthy's most compelling subjects, he appears at this point to find it inexplicable and therefore describable only through its actions and effects, not its interior chemistry.
    >Another possible use of the title, some critics say, is the biblical reference to "outer darkness" in this book's title—the realm into which unregenerate sinners will be cast and therefore sn appropriate link with Culla Holme's homeless and hopeless wanderings.
    CHILD OF GOD
    >Along with McCarthy's new interest in the interior psychology of evil, Child of God exhibits several other innovative features. One is the use of multiple narrators, with chapters narrated in the third person (presumably McCarthy himself) interspersed with chapters narrated by inhabitants of the local Appalachian community. The latter technique, though sometimes digressive, represents a Faulknerian strain reminiscent of the interwoven monologues of As I Lay Dying and the local color tradition that Faulkner deployed in The Hamlet. The other new feature of note is McCarthy's increasing focus on technical competence as a prime virtue in a largely chaotic environment. In this novel the main instance of this motif is the four-page discourse describing in close detail the...

    >Ballard's crossing of a flooded river evokes a curiously sympathetic editorial from McCarthy's narrator, indicating the author's view that society is more blameworthy than the murderer they seek to apprehend: "He could not swim, but how would you drown him? . . . You could say that he's sustained by his fellow men, like you. Has peopled the shore with them calling to him. . . . But they want this man's life. He has heard them in the night seeking him with lanterns and cries of execration." Whatever else one may think of this excursion into either evil or psychic illness—McCarthy himself seems to favor the latter interpretation—Child of God undoubtedly exhibits a growing mastery of literary technique

    >The title phrase Child of God (1973) makes an innocent appearance early in this novel when McCarthy tells his readers that his main character is "a child of God much like yourself perhaps."

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      (Cormac was in Knoxville from 1937-76 then El Paso. Suttree is his semiautobiographical good bye to Knoxville, based on his experiences there)

      SUTTREE (1979)
      >time setting is 1951
      >McCarthy's longest novel, comprises the author's farewell to Knoxville

      >about twenty years in the making, Suttree appears to date back to the countercultural rebellions of the beatnik 1950s and flower child 1960s—the time of the author's ne'er-do-well youth. Emphatically renouncing the material comforts of bourgeois society (like McCarthy himself in real life), its two main characters, Cornelius Suttree and Gene Harrogate, inhabit the city's derelict underworld

      >It is, McCarthy says, "a world within the world. In these alien reaches . . . that the righteous see from carriage and car another life dreams. Ill-shapen or black or deranged, fugitive of all order, strangers in everyland."

      >Again like Hemingway, McCarthy is not a writer much inclined to contemplate the tiresome responsibilities of domestic life, and, as in A Farewell to Arms, only the death of the beloved can solve the problem

      >Suttree exhibits its author's strengths in enhanced measure. With respect to his large and varied cast of characters, McCarthy's ear for dialect and dialogue achieves perfect pitch in this novel. As usual, his style often shimmers with precise and original imagery, even (or especially) when the focus is least promising.
      ...
      >And sometimes there are more attractive images: "a sole star to the north. . . like a molten spike that tethered fast the Small Bear to the turning firmament." And though he eschews the biting social criticism of a Charles Dickens or Faulkner, McCarthy can attain a powerful tone of protest when moved to do so, as when he recalls his Catholic boyhood: "This kingdom of fear and ashes. Like the child that sat in these selfsame bones so many black Fridays in terror of his sins. Vice-ridden child, heart rotten with fear."

      In the end a new expressway runs through the neighborhood and destroys its community of colorful paupers. Portending this end is the illness that nearly kills Suttree in the closing pages, an episode that allows McCarthy to work one of his strongest suits—a surrealistic fantasy of Joycean proportions that accompanies Suttree's delirium. Afterward, Suttree is born again, as it were, free to leave Knoxville while taking with him "for talisman the simple human heart within him." He would not go alone. McCarthy's own participation in this maneuver is evident in the book's final paragraph, where a metaphor of hunter and hound stands for the artist hungrily pursuing the whole of reality, both urban and rural: "Somewhere in the gray wood by the river is the huntsman and in the brooming corn and in the castellated press of cities. His work lies all wheres and his hounds tire not." As it turned out, "all wheres" was to become El Paso, Texas, where McCarthy took up residence while writing his next four novels, set in the vast badlands

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        BLOOD MERIDIAN
        >a warning that this is adult fare not for the weak of stomach

        >Although some reviewers evoke the names of Melville and Faulkner, the most likely candidate for McCarthy's mentor is probably Friedrich Nietzsche

        >the judge also enjoys intellectual eminence to dwarf all other McCarthy protagonists. Besides his verbal elegance in English, he converses in Latin, German, Dutch, Spanish, and several Indian dialects. True to his moniker, he is learned in the law as well as avidly interested in archeology, geology, chemistry, astronomy, literature, philosophy, religion, and the graphic arts. In his practical affairs, he is an accomplished cook, musician, and bon vivant, utterly without peer even among McCarthy's most notable masters of Darwinian survival.

        >Like Hemingway, the judge seems to feel that the power to inflict death imparts a godlike sense of superiority over it. ("A great killer must love to kill," Hemingway wrote in Death in the Afternoon, adding: "when a man is still in rebellion against death he has pleasure in taking to himself one of the Godlike attributes: that of giving it.")

        >Whether evoking the dance of Shiva, the Hindu god of time and death, or T. S. Eliot's round dance in Four Quartets, or the Dionysian frenzy in The Bacchae of Euripides—as various critics have argued—the judge remains the most original, prodigious, and enigmatic character in McCarthy's extraordinary pantheon, a figure to place beside Captain Ahab or Thomas Sutpen.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          thanks ChatGPT

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            do have an account to ChatGPT? Ask it about Cormac's book and post what it says

  21. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >In the entire range of American literature, only Moby-Dick bears comparison to Blood Meridian. Both are epic in scope, cosmically resonant, obsessed with open space and with language, exploring vast uncharted distances with a fanatically patient minuteness. Both manifest a sublime visionary power that is matched only by still more ferocious irony.But if anything, McCarthy writes with a yet more terrible clarity than does Melville.
    JUST

  22. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >BROOO what if there was invincible guy and he lectured you about meme morality so you just had to sit there politely and hope he doesnt crush your skull
    this concept was like a fetish for this guy

  23. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Thanks to the anon dropping all those scholarly articles and books. I’m 50 pages into All The Pretty Horses and have been blown away by some of the passages.

  24. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >generic, violent slop, basically just Hollywood stuff with some vague reflections on human nature
    but enough about blood meridian

  25. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >how?
    he is well read and he used to have a fantastci ear for prose. That said, his takes on life and his philosophical values barely evolved beyond adolescent romantic reflections about the bleakness and misery of life, the end of the world, and the holyness of love.
    His early writing is very good but he kept doing the same thing all his life and lost sensibility for prose with time. He leves you with a feeling of a writer who never grew past his youthful traumas and creative outbursts.
    It's also very sad that in his search of meaning he kept preaching that the end of the world was coming, somehow hoping that god would appear to unscrew the sun and that the presence of absolute evil would reveal itself (mostly to validate the possibility of some absolute good, which is what he really wanted this whole time), and yet he died a renowned author in his old age, possibly peacefully, possibly surrounded by people he loved. He kept claiming that everything is miserable and unhappy and on the verge of ending, and somehow he died in material conditions most people would consider happy.

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