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Cormac McCarthy

Jun 12, 2007 04:32 AM
by proto37

Cormac McCarthy

    The novelist Cormac McCarthy, in his 
70's recently gave his first interview 
anywhere to anybody (?) to Oprah Winfrey, 
which aired on her program a few days ago.  
His 2006 Novel "The Road" won the Pulitzer 
Prize.  I wouldn't call McCarthy theosophical 
in the usual sense, but he definitely 
waxes philosophical.  "The Road" is about 
a father and his son wandering an interstate, 
pushing a shopping cart, after an undescribed 
appocalyse, and seeking safe haven.  McCarthy 
says he got the idea for the book, after 
having a vision of sorts looking over the 
lights of Austin, Texas at night and seeing 
it all in destruction.  He has an 8 yr. 
old son also, and been married 3 times.

     McCarthy said one rule he has had 
in his life is to never have a 9-5 job 
and "spend his life doing what some what 
else wants you to do." He says he doesn't 
particularly care if his work is popular 
or not.  He's been poor most his life, 
getting kicked out of a 40 dollar a month 
hotel at one point, living in a shack in 
Tenn., and once with his second wife, 
and no money at all for bills, he refused 
offers to lecture for $2000 a talk. He 
says he doesn't know any other writers, 
but spends time hanging out at a think 
tank with scientists at a university. 
Oprah was scared of him. He says he 
thinks "prayer" is good but has "doubts" 
about the typical god-idea (trying to 
be nice.)  He says he doesn't write about 
women because he doesn't understand 
them (being nice again.)

    McCarthy has at least another 6-8 
books and plays.  In his "All the Pretty 
Horses," he has his characters at odd 
intervals break into abstruse philosophic 
discussion about the nature of life and 
philosophy - a hermit in an abandoned 
town in the desert, two homeless old men 
hitch-hiking at the end of the book.  
His "No Country for Old Men" is probably 
the most intense book I have ever read, 
and shocking enough it seems to be avoided 
in being referred to by reviewers and 
the like.  The theme seems to be concerning 
the tremendous change in society over 
the last 30 years or so, a new type of 
nasty individual and type of person that 
has made its appearance, and the not good 
conclusion it all seems headed for.  This 
book is supposedly being made into a movie 
this year.  He has some of the realism, 
and pull-no-punches type of writing that 
one finds in some of Steinbeck's writing, 
like "East of Eden."  There are a few 
plot-lines and ideas that parallel Tony 
Hillerman, whether mutual borrowing, or 
getting the same ideas "out of the air," 
I don't know.

    His early novels concern Appalachia 
around the first half of the century, the 
uncommen characters and their lives, and 
obviously from first-hand experience from 
living there.  They are great books (except 
one about a backwoods pervert, which I 
couldn't stand to read.)  He has a knack 
of understanding the eccentricities of 
back-woods types.

  'Definitely a modern novelist worth reading!

             - jake j.


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