Wednesday, May 16, 2007

cormac mccarthy

Cormac McCarthy is a recluse, he doesn’t give interviews, he doesn’t like talking about literature, and he does not have friends that drink (this he said in a rare and unique interview). “Blood Meridian” is supposed to be the most shocking novel by Cormac McCarthy, although I still haven’t read “The Road”, McCarthy’s last novel in which he depicts an apocalyptic world… But in “Blood Meridian” McCarthy doesn’t refrain from presenting a devastating landscape, full of violence, blood and death. It is true what some have said about his prose having the character of the landscape it describes: Harsh and pure, as if it had been sculpted by wind and sand, like a naturally occurring phenomenon. In “Blood Meridian” McCarthy displays this violence through the eyes of a young boy, in the 1840's, who joins a band of cutthroats who hunt Indians on the border between Texas and Mexico, under the leadership of an amoral, albino arch-monster known as the Judge. The scenes of ‘scalp-hunting’ are extreme and vividly detailed through the novel, as well as other massacres, such as the one in which McCarthy describes how a man holds another man’s head and it seems he’s in going to kiss him, but instead he presses his mouth into the man’s eye socket and plucks the eye-ball out. A sordid band of American scalp hunters and the avenging Indians, these are the groups that McCarthy uses as a metaphor for this country’s moral debates.
A paragraph following:
“A legion of horribles, hundreds in number, half naked or clad in costumes attic or biblical or wardrobed out of a fevered dream with the skins of animals and silk finery and pieces of uniform still tracked with the blood of prior owners, coats of slain dragoons, frogged and braided cavalry jackets . . . and all the horsemen’s faces gaudy and grotesque with daubings like a company of mounted clowns, death hilarious, all howling in a barbarous tongue and riding down upon them like a horde from a hell more horrible yet than the brimstone land of christian reckoning, screeching and yammering and clothed in smoke like those vaporous beings in regions beyond right knowing where the eye wanders and the lip jerks and drools”.


Chris said...

This cormac mccarthy sounds great; I must definitely check his work out!

Nico said...

Hey Chris, I just got his last novel, and also I've been meaning to give you the New Yorker in which there's an interesting review of Jim Crace's new novel (not very positive, I may say), by Joyce CArol Oates. So, soon then!