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Cormac McCarthy at 80

Monday, 15 July, 2013

The birthday isn’t until next Saturday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get the celebrations going, does it? Cormac McCarthy is one of the few writers who has created their own genre: the metaphysical Western. It is filled with demons who roam the borderlands of Mexico. At times, one feels they would be more at home in a Hieronymus Bosch painting filled with fantastic imagery illustrating moral and religious concepts and narratives. Above all, Cormac McCarthy is a teller of tales.

“There is but one world and everything that is imaginable is necessary to it. For this world also which seems to us a thing of stone and flower and blood is not a thing at all but is a tale. And all in it is a tale and each tale the sum of all lesser tales and yet these are also the selfsame tale and contain as well all else within them. So everything is necessary. Every least thing. This is the hard lesson. Nothing can be dispensed with. Nothing despised. Because the seams are hid from us, you see. The joinery. The way in which the world is made. We have no way to know what could be taken away. What omitted. We have no way to tell what might stand and what might fall. And those seams that are hid from us are of course in the tale itself and the tale has no abode or place of being except in the telling only and there it lives and makes its home and therefore we can never be done with the telling. Of the telling there is no end. And… in whatever… place by whatever… name or by no name at all… all tales are one. Rightly heard all tales are one.”

Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing

Cormac McCarthy


Comments (1)

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  1. John Grady Cole says:

    Thanks. Read the books and do not bother with the films. The books are great!