It’s a busy weekend this week, meaning I won't be able to post for the next few days. I’m posting an old review I wrote about Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men that was originally published in the Virginia Quarterly Review (also in that issue: three awesome stories, and an amazing essay on Vincent Desiderio's painting, Sleep--no link, you'll just have to order the issue) It’s a bit old, but my hope is that it will pair nicely with my thoughts on his newest (Pulitzer Prize winner) The Road (at a later date). Next week: comments on the George Tennet fall-out, gossip surrounding Wolfowitz’s desperate efforts to remain employed at the world bank, thoughts on 28 Weeks Later (possibly Shrek 3), and praise for my San Antonio Spurs. Busy, busy, busy:
When Ancient American History is taught in the Classics Departments of the future (a blip in the rear view of bigger and better empires), will Cormac MaCarthy be read at all? Why not? If any writer knew that the end was inevitable it was Cormac. Since Blood Meridian (but before then, too), McCarthy has been the Bard of a nation born into its own hell. Time spent with McCarthy has taken us through our own dark history: the genocide of the indigenous American peoples, the plague of fences and ownership that spread across the west, the development of atomic energy—the division of atoms, particles built so small only God could have made them (but that America was the first to undo). We are a country that has repeatedly failed to live up to its own expectations, while somehow at the same time contributing to newer and bigger horrors. It’s only a matter of time before we do ourselves in. And then who’ll feel sorry for us? Not Cormac.
In his new book, No Country for Old Men, McCarthy follows the bodies through