“The answer is, two books that take on God and existence.”
March 8, 2022 1:49 PM   Subscribe

 
I think he’s one of the best writers in his generation, and depending on reviews, I’ll pick up his new book(s), yet all I can think when I hear his name is friscalating dusklight.

Depending on reviews because he’s not an automatic must-read for me like an Ali or Zadie Smith. I’m sure everyone has their own lists of must-read and wait-and-see.
posted by betweenthebars at 2:18 PM on March 8 [6 favorites]


But never a comma.
posted by doctornemo at 2:22 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


Obligatory link to the Cormac McCarthy Yelp reviews.

American Apparel
Haight Ashbury - San Francisco, CA

Cormac M. | Author | Lost in the chaparral, NM

Three stars.


... And from their number arose a cry ancient and of another world entire and the raiders spurred their mounts through the paneglass of the American Apparel and the souls within perished under the blade and the cudgel and their cotton hides were taken from them.
posted by fortitude25 at 2:32 PM on March 8 [10 favorites]


This is very timely -- I was wondering what the deal is the God and existence.

(Just kidding, I'm looking forward to these.)
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:36 PM on March 8 [7 favorites]


hooray in these times of woe surely these are the light feelgood novels for me
posted by lalochezia at 5:28 PM on March 8 [27 favorites]


I look forward to these, thanks for the heads up!
posted by djseafood at 6:40 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


I did enjoy his novelisation of the Strider/Guy Pearce movie but his standalone work leaves much to be desired.

(Honestly though, Blood Meridian was a massive slog and for me personally was not worth it. I do "get" it, however, and I do genuinely think The Road is a great post-apocalypse novel, up there with Earth Abides.)
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:59 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


It sounds like these novels are influenced by Cormac McCarthy's long association with the Santa Fe Institute, home to many scientists and some with philosophical bents. His affiliation there is sincere and serious, he's invested a lot of time building a rapport with some very abstract physicists and the like. SFI loves it too of course. Nice to see it finallly be published.

(I briefly met McCarthy at SFI in, oh, 1995 when I was a young student hanging out there. I had no idea who he was and he did not make any sort of impression on me. He was quiet and unassuming and I was a dumb kid. It took two decades before I realized what an opportunity I'd squandered in my ignorance.)
posted by Nelson at 7:13 PM on March 8 [9 favorites]


He’s just going to write a nonfiction prose history of the last 20 years. It’ll be bleaker than anything else he’s penned.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 7:41 PM on March 8 [5 favorites]


Here on International Women's Day, of all days, things to be considered relevant. Let's honor the situation and be literary -- don't declare a concept but hint toward it side-a-ways; suggest a person can learn quite a lot about the Santa Fe Institute by watching Dr. Strangelove. What shame and what fauxthority are their martyrdoms?
posted by traveler_ at 8:31 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


I was intrigued by the McCarthy/SFI connection, and found this advice for scientific writers. It includes, unsurprisingly, "Remove extra words or commas whenever you can."
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:03 PM on March 8 [1 favorite]


God, I can take or leave alone. I'm like that with Marmite too. But I'm glad someone's finally going to tell existence where to get off.
posted by howfar at 2:35 AM on March 9 [2 favorites]


The Road is maybe my all-time favorite hate-read. A friend pointed out that "...it's all about a guy stuck with the kid after the mother proves to be, naturally, unfit." which it isn't but at the same time - it kind of is. Suttree was, as I recall (though I read it approx... 25 million years ago) a hoot and made me think better of him after friskillating through the duskydusklight's dying emberses of All the Pretty Horses.

Also, extended novel about incest? Uh, paging Henry Roth to the courtesy phone.

And lastly he is absolutely not America's greatest living writer. He is among the oldest, and he writes well and often compellingly, but ...
posted by From Bklyn at 7:14 AM on March 9 [4 favorites]


The Road is maybe my all-time favorite hate-read. A friend pointed out that "...it's all about a guy stuck with the kid after the mother proves to be, naturally, unfit." which it isn't but at the same time - it kind of is. Suttree was, as I recall (though I read it approx... 25 million years ago) a hoot and made me think better of him after friskillating through the duskydusklight's dying emberses of All the Pretty Horses.

No one will ever be able to convince me that The Road is not intended as over-the-top self-parody. I hate-read it as well, but also laughed out loud at parts. Suttree is my favorite Cormac McCarthy novel, by quite a margin, and it's not just because I have some pretty strong family connections to Knoxville. My dad spent most of his childhood there (he's about a decade younger than Cormac McCarthy, but knows/knew members of his family) and my grandfather used to work for the newspaper and loved to collect weirdo tales of the 30s, 40s & 50 that felt like the sort of baseline material Suttree embroidered into all that friskillating dusklight on the ol' Tennessee River.


For what it's worth, I'm still waiting for Cormac's unlikely-to-be written coming to age novel about the young child of affluent Irish Catholic New Englanders who adapts to his new life in East Tennessee by turning himself into a Tortured and Hilariously-Bleak Thesaurus Cowboy.

And because I'm incapable of not mentioning it whenever conversations of Cormac McCarthy come up, I really love that the other famous writer from /youthful transplant to Knoxville, TN (the town that produced the author of Blood Meridian) was Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of A Little Princess and The Secret Garden, among others. I can't explain it but something about that just delights me to no end.
posted by thivaia at 8:15 AM on March 9 [7 favorites]


If we're talking Knoxville writers, don't forget James Agee and Nikki Giovanni, among others.
posted by indexy at 8:25 AM on March 9 [3 favorites]


the doomed love story of a brother and sister. The siblings, Bobby and Alicia Western, are tormented by the legacy of their father… and by their love for and obsession with one another

is this Flowers in the Attic fanfic
posted by skycrashesdown at 12:05 PM on March 9 [5 favorites]


thivaia: ...the young child of affluent Irish Catholic New Englanders who adapts to his new life in East Tennessee by turning himself into a Tortured and Hilariously-Bleak Thesaurus Cowboy.

Tortured and Hilariously-Bleak Thesaurus Cowboy is my new Frank Zappa-cover cello trio.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:32 AM on March 10 [3 favorites]


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