The truth is what happened. It aint what come out of somebody’s mouth.

I finished this recently, as part of a bumper tome of McCarthy’s Border Trilogy. I’ve filled in the gap between the end of this epic Mexican cowboy adventure and the next with John Betjeman’s Trains & Buttered Toast and CS Lewis’ The Problem of Pain (so quite varied…) but the howling wastes and emptiness of McCarthy’s books keep coming back.

I’ve started The Crossing now, and it’s every bit as excellent. So far, not as caustic as All The Pretty Horses, but it has potential. Not to give too much away, but one of the important characters gets shot in the head in part one. 

I recently heard Cormac McCarthy’s writing described as ‘postmodern’, and I have no idea what that means (as with most anything described as PoMo, entirely my own fault), even less so the idea of The Crossing as existential nihilism. You’ve lost me. I think it’s the austerity of McCarthy’s writing that does it for me, that almost tangible silence and space, and the incredibly well articulated sense of solitude. The one thing that jarred for me on reading the blurb for The Road was that it was about a ‘they’ – I’ll wait and see how this turns out.

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One Response

  1. Not to give too much away…

    That was kind of funny. Never mind the Pomo label, a label which rarely means anything coherent(-ly agreed upon) anyway. People tend to call ‘postmodern’ that which is merely in opposition to their own ideology, and as a result, you have a lot of people referring to examples of ‘postmodernism’ that are fairly contradictory. In other words, its just the fashionable way of slandering artists one doesn’t like with self-fulfilling accusations. But whatev. I’ve yet to find truly insightful criticisms written about McCarthy, but eagerly await them.

    Did you like The Crossing? I read it last of the trilogy, and found it to be the most profound of the three—which says a lot. It’s been a long time since a book overwhelmed me, but the last two or three pages just knocked me flat. I felt like I was twelve again reading The Outsiders or Catcher in the Rye.

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