Jun 12, 2007 04:32 AM
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
'Definitely a modern novelist worth reading!
- jake j.
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