Monday, August 27, 2007

Cormac McCarthy Honored in Britain / Discussed in Current Poets & Writers

Cormac McCarthy has just been awarded Scotland's distinguished James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Road.
On a relevant note, my essay "The Art of Reading Cormac McCarthy: The Darkness & the Light" appears in the new issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (Sept/Oct 2007). Here's a snippet:

"Inexplicable things (the undeniable presence of evil in the world, the confounding absence of God) are the chief preoccupations of McCarthy's corpus. As Roger D. Hodge wrote in Harper's Magazine last year, McCarthy's characters are "fugitives from the present who go forth into to the rotten holdings of the vanquished in search of something they cannot name." And in exploring what is essentially unaccountable, McCarthy's narration shuns explication with obsessive consistency. His novels are constructed entirely of evocative scenes. This is why his stories burst open within the reader like pellets of gas, seeming to imbue us with their haunting imagery.

"McCarthy writes the way a shaman heals, invoking and exploring a spirit world of sorts, peculiarly American in its vastness, its rugged desolation, its inhabitation by almost nothing but individual destinies often at war with one another. In each of his novels we find ourselves on this cruelly gorgeous, unforgiving metaphysical plain. It's a realm of raw and raging energy."

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