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Thread: Cormac McCarthy

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    Default Cormac McCarthy

    I started reading ‚The Road‘. This and No Country for Old Men have been turned into movies. It’s hard stuff. I don’t think, I could stomach watching ‚The Road‘ by the things, that I read about it. My guess after reading a little: Introverted ST



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    Novelist Cormac McCarthy shuns interviews, but he relishes conversation. [...] The writer himself, however, has proved more elusive. He won't be found at book festivals, readings and other places novelists gather. Mr. McCarthy prefers hanging out with "smart people" outside his field, like professional poker players and the thinkers at the Santa Fe Institute, a theoretical-science foundation in New Mexico where the author is a longtime fellow.
    WSJ: How does the notion of aging and death affect the work you do? Has it become more urgent?
    I have had no desire to do anything but work and be with [son] John. I hear people talking about going on a vacation or something and I think, what is that about? I have no desire to go on a trip. My perfect day is sitting in a room with some blank paper. That's heaven. That's gold and anything else is just a waste of time.
    WSJ: How does that ticking clock affect your work? Does it make you want to write more shorter pieces, or to cap things with a large, all-encompassing work? I'm not interested in writing short stories. Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.
    WSJ: Some critics focus on how rarely you go deep with female characters.
    This long book is largely about a young woman. There are interesting scenes that cut in throughout the book, all dealing with the past. She's committed suicide about seven years before. I was planning on writing about a woman for 50 years. I will never be competent enough to do so, but at some point you have to try.
    In talking to older people who've had good lives, inevitably half of them will say, "The most significant thing in my life is that I've been extraordinarily lucky." And when you hear that you know you're hearing the truth. It doesn't diminish their talent or industry. You can have all that and fail.

    WSJ: Is the God that you grew up with in church every Sunday the same God that the man in "The Road" questions and curses?
    It may be. I have a great sympathy for the spiritual view of life, and I think that it's meaningful. But am I a spiritual person? I would like to be. Not that I am thinking about some afterlife that I want to go to, but just in terms of being a better person. I have friends at the Institute. They're just really bright guys who do really difficult work solving difficult problems, who say, "It's really more important to be good than it is to be smart." And I agree it is more important to be good than it is to be smart. That is all I can offer you. I have these conversations on the phone with my brother Dennis, and quite often we get around to some sort of hideous end-of-the-world scenario and we always wind up just laughing. Anyone listening to this would say, "Why don't you just go home and get into a warm tub and open a vein." We talked about if there was a small percentage of the human population left, what would they do? They'd probably divide up into little tribes and when everything's gone, the only thing left to eat is each other. We know that's true historically.

    WSJ: Do you feel like you're trying to address the same big questions in all your work, but just in different ways?
    Creative work is often driven by pain. It may be that if you don't have something in the back of your head driving you nuts, you may not do anything.

    WSJ: Earlier you referred to the role luck plays in life. Where has luck intervened for you?

    There was never a person born since Adam who's been luckier than me. Nothing has happened to me that hasn't been perfect. And I'm not being facetious. There's never been a time when I was penniless and down, when something wouldn't arrive. Over and over and over again. Enough to make you superstitious.
    Last edited by Nymeria; 07-31-2015 at 04:08 PM.

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    both sides, now wacey's Avatar
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    The Road is one of the bleakest movels I have ever read in terms of portraying a worst case scenario future. Movie is equally as dark, with Viggo Morteson playing the Father. As a man well past 'hope', he continues only for the benefit of his son, whose child's mind remains almost free of the cross the Man must bare. That McCarthy chose to leave his characters nameless helped served to objectify them as human beings and to accentuate the loss of everything that mankind was, begining with its most precious possession: names. What does a name matter in a world covered in grey ash and bereft of trees? McCarthy stripped bare all but the very essentials, Man, Boy, these basic properties were all that was left in the world. Not unconciously was McCarthy suggesting that these basic properties were there in the very beggining, before the 10,000 years of culture that cumulated in its own annahilation.

    Other writers including the well known Hemingway, also wrote in this objectified 3rd person point of view. His short story The Hills Like White Elephants features two characters whose names are never known. Only their actual words and actions are discernable. Any meaning the reader pulls from the story must be intuited. In this way a simple act like fiddling a coke bottle carries its own connotation whose meaning must be seen by connecting the act with previous ones. A character saying "it's really a simple operation, Jig" holds meaning that must be diserned within the context of the act itself without first hand interpretation by the author.

    Both The Road and The Hills Like White Elephants are examples, in my view, of purely Ni/ Se approuch. The reader must continuelly, mentally, search for the hidden meanings to actions and words by exanding their context throughout a period of time. The story itself unfolds linearlly, yet the true story is occuring in moment by moment revelations, intuitive insights, into the inner insights of its central charcaters.

    I am focusing more here on the style of writing as opposed to the subject matter because lets face it, the Road would be classically considered Ni territory (past affecting future, survival in the now).

    It is the style of writing with Se...
    Last edited by wacey; 07-31-2015 at 04:47 PM.
    "Traffic lights and loneliness. Paper cans and tape cassettes. When the world feels like this. Static shocks and bitterness."

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    Nymeria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wacey View Post
    The Road is one of the bleakest movels I have ever read in terms of portraying a worst case scenario future. Movie is equally as dark, with Viggo Morteson playing the Father. As a man well past 'hope', he continues only for the benefit of his son, whose childs mind remains almost free of the cross the Father must bare.
    “You have to carry the fire." "I don't know how to." "Yes, you do." "Is the fire real?" "The fire? Yes it is." "Where is it? I don't know where it is." "Yes you do. It's inside you. It always was there. I can see it.”
    I think, he is in fact not 100% absolutely past it, he is still trying to carry 'the fire', the hope inside himself, marching to the coast, trying to make it. They are both trying to preserve something inside, they don't want something to completely die off in themselves. I think that's one important theme of the book smh. Admist all this bleakness and horror, without this little glimmer, what would be left for them worth going on for? There would be nothing and therefore no meaning in what they are doing. But the opposite is the case, the fathers tries to protect his son, because he loves him and the father-son relationship is of central importance to the book (McCarthy even dedicated the book to his son Jon). That's why I think it's important to see, that he is in fact not past it and that his meaning/trying to preserve something human, is driving him, admist all the bleakness that surrounds them. Edit: could that be a feeling seeking element in the story?
    Last edited by Nymeria; 08-01-2015 at 05:20 AM. Reason: thinking about what point I actually wanted to make

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    Quote Originally Posted by wacey View Post
    I am focusing more here on the style of writing as opposed to the subject matter because lets face it, the Road would be classically considered Ni territory (past affecting future, survival in the now). It is the style of writing with Se...
    would you go beta or gamma for him? what do you think of LSI for Cormac McCarthy? With Ni - Hidden Agenda and Fe - Dual Seeking?
    Last edited by Nymeria; 07-31-2015 at 09:05 PM.

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