Friday, July 08, 2005

In honor of the new McCarthy novel, the Meridian spits in joy

Cormac McCarthy is on my personal short list of the very best writers working in this country right now. His concerns (good and evil--simple as that) and settings (southern Appalachia and the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico) are quintessentially American. His favorite novel is Moby-Dick; imagine a stylistic and thematic continuum of which Melville, Hemingway and Faulkner would be a part, and he'd definitely be on it. Most people came to hear of him when All the Pretty Horses won the National Book Award in 1992. It's a fine novel, but in my opinion awarding that novel was something like giving Henry Fonda the Oscar for On Golden Pond: the award was really for a body of work. McCarthy's body of work is small, but it's small by intention. McCarthy works slowly (his last novel came out 7 years ago), and the reward for that is in the reading.
For some time now, I'd known through the Cormac McCarthy Society's website that a new novel was in press, but the last release date I'd heard was December of 2 years ago. I'd long ago given up pestering the good people at bookstores for more information. So, imagine my great surprise and joy this morning, while I was searching for Amazon's link for Blood Meridian (see the post above, if you're curious) that I learned that his new novel, No Country for Old Men is coming out on July 19th. This month's Vanity Fair will have an interview as well (this is a big deal because the single condition he placed on his last interview, in 1992 New York Times Magazine when All the Pretty Horses was published, was that he wouldn't have to do another interview). Pynchon is a media maven compared to McCarthy.
In short: your correspondent is spitting-happy this morning.

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2 comments:

zakalwe said...

Been meaning to look into this writer for a while, before I was distracted by *that* writer, thanks for reminding me.

In answer to the Egg-teacher lost textbook conundrum- her copy is the teacher's one with all the lesson plans and activties in, so we were- in her mind-stumped without it. See my page for the update in this exciting tale.

John B. said...

Zak,
Always glad to remind anyone of McCarthy.
I know a fellow who regularly buys about a dozen copies of Blood Meridian and, whenever he meets a worthy, plays Ancient Mariner and foists a copy on him/her. My finances prevent me from pursuing my "reminding" agenda with quite such messianic fervor, so I do stuff like this blog's title and the post.
But do check him out. He's the real deal.
And: thanks for the explanation and update on Egg-teacher here and at your blog. She is indeed a by-the-book kind of gal, eh?