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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th



bentley wrote:

PaulH wrote:
All in all, we certainly witnessed a rare treat. I wonder why he finally agreed to an aired interview? He certainly doesn't come across as someone who would be pressured into it?




That is so true Paul. It was good seeing him speak and affirm the anecdotes.

I can see why his father and he did not always see eye to eye. He is quietly stubborn.

I think it was for the same reason he wrote the book and said it was co-authored by his son. It was for the love of a father for his son and it was a tribute to the young boy and everything that young boy came to mean and meant to him This interview will be something that the young boy will remember. In the future he will be able to watch his father on video: see him interviewed by Oprah at the time his dad (a great American writer) won the Pulitzer Prize and the book his dad say he co-authored was Oprah's pick. It was all about that son. Maybe also he wanted a different relationship with this son; one that would have memories (happy ones). I think that as Cormac has gotten older and has had this son; he had mellowed and may have a new lease and new freshness in his life. Maybe he decided he can do something else he has never done before. Maybe too in looking out that window in El Paso he wondered about the future of his little boy and the future he would face alone without his Dad; being 73 he wondered maybe about where he would be in 25 years himself and about how the little boy (maybe 4 at the time) would carry on without him after he had passed on. In twenty five years, the boy would be just 29 (full of youth) and Cormac if he were still alive would be about 98 (at the end of his life and not able to participate in his son's energy and vitality and with the fire of his youth left behind). I think he was questioning his own mortality, his legacy and what he could leave behind for the son he loved so much.




Incredibly well said, Bentley. I think you're absolutely right. Like the novel, it's all about the son. Great post!
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maxcat
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th

Hi, Wrighty... I just bought Cities in the Plains today and wouldn't that be something if one of the characters from that book was actually in the road. And I still find it hard to believe that the landscape Cormac described would be in Texas as it almost sounds like the Smokies or the Blue Ridge Mtns.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Willson
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th

I agree maxcat. They are in the woods for a good chunk of the book. Texas does not come to mind.
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bentley
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th



maxcat wrote:
Hi, Wrighty... I just bought Cities in the Plains today and wouldn't that be something if one of the characters from that book was actually in the road. And I still find it hard to believe that the landscape Cormac described would be in Texas as it almost sounds like the Smokies or the Blue Ridge Mtns.




I know, I know. Maybe the book's idea came to him in El Paso and then he described Tennessee. The El Paso part came from McCarthy himself.

I think I said somewhere that it seemed to me that McCarthy took all of the places he had ever been and all of the people he had ever known and blended them all together like a patchwork quilt. There was nobody more surprised when he came out with the El Paso story than I was. And there were road signs and other land marks that were definitely in Tennessee in the book. We spent a lot of time talking about them and those places were not in Texas!

I think the author has taken a great deal of literary license here and just made the surroundings what he wanted them to be. Tennessee was absolutely described.
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bentley
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th

[ Edited ]

Willson wrote:
I agree maxcat. They are in the woods for a good chunk of the book. Texas does not come to mind.




Like where are the woods and the gap in Texas? Like I thought the genesis for the book was El Paso and the scene with the fires on the hills came to mind there..but then he reverted to describing Tennessee I believe. It is much a blend like his other books of people, events and places he has ever been or ever known about.

And what was that sign he saw which definitely put him in Tennessee..

The interview was what it was...and a better interviewer might have pressed him on this. I have seen Oprah do a lot better. She looked tired and he looked uncomfortable.

Message Edited by bentley on 06-06-2007 04:26 PM
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bentley
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th


PaulH wrote:


bentley wrote:

PaulH wrote:
All in all, we certainly witnessed a rare treat. I wonder why he finally agreed to an aired interview? He certainly doesn't come across as someone who would be pressured into it?




That is so true Paul. It was good seeing him speak and affirm the anecdotes.

I can see why his father and he did not always see eye to eye. He is quietly stubborn.

I think it was for the same reason he wrote the book and said it was co-authored by his son. It was for the love of a father for his son and it was a tribute to the young boy and everything that young boy came to mean and meant to him This interview will be something that the young boy will remember. In the future he will be able to watch his father on video: see him interviewed by Oprah at the time his dad (a great American writer) won the Pulitzer Prize and the book his dad say he co-authored was Oprah's pick. It was all about that son. Maybe also he wanted a different relationship with this son; one that would have memories (happy ones). I think that as Cormac has gotten older and has had this son; he had mellowed and may have a new lease and new freshness in his life. Maybe he decided he can do something else he has never done before. Maybe too in looking out that window in El Paso he wondered about the future of his little boy and the future he would face alone without his Dad; being 73 he wondered maybe about where he would be in 25 years himself and about how the little boy (maybe 4 at the time) would carry on without him after he had passed on. In twenty five years, the boy would be just 29 (full of youth) and Cormac if he were still alive would be about 98 (at the end of his life and not able to participate in his son's energy and vitality and with the fire of his youth left behind). I think he was questioning his own mortality, his legacy and what he could leave behind for the son he loved so much.




Incredibly well said, Bentley. I think you're absolutely right. Like the novel, it's all about the son. Great post!




Thanks Paul. At least this ends the saga about Oprah's interview. We have now seen the man and heard him which is more than we could have said before. But isn't it just like him with the El Paso comment to begin to raise more questions. Very humorous in a way and just like this sly fox. (smile)
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th

[ Edited ]
I agree that the idea for the book only germinated in El Paso and its actual setting is TN. BUT, take a look at the cover for Cities of the Plain.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ISBN=0679747192&pdf=y&z=y

Looks like McCarthy's El Paso description, no?

Message Edited by PaulH on 06-06-2007 04:31 PM
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bentley
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th

[ Edited ]

PaulH wrote:
I agree that the idea for the book only germinated in El Paso and its actual setting is TN. BUT, take a look at the cover for Cities of the Plain.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ISBN=0679747192&pdf=y&z=y

Looks like McCarthy's El Paso description, no?

Message Edited by PaulH on 06-06-2007 04:31 PM




Oh lord..I am sitting here laughing. He really is one sly fox. Unbelievable. It is like a cut and paste. Well he is great at what he does. So that seems to be the image in his mind right now. Fires on the hills (in this situation a plain)

Message Edited by bentley on 06-06-2007 05:00 PM
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vivico1
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th

You know, he said he was looking out the window of a hotel in El Paso and towards the hills and this thought came to him. And that it wasnt until two years later when he was in Ireland was it, that he thought about it again and that it was really a book. He never said the setting of the book was Texas or El Paso, just that , that experience was. And I know some are saying what about the woods. Well I havent been there in ages, but my aunt lives in a place outside El Paso called something like Canyon Tillo and it is in the hills and there are woods and trees in the canyon area. Also, in Texas, just like here in Oklahoma, because of the dusty plains areas, even if you have trees around like I do, we have the greatest sunsets. They are reds and oranges on the horizon and they look like a far off fire. I wonder what time of day it was that he was looking out over the hills. As a matter of fact, I have a picture I took recently of a sunset here, that is on the horizon over the trees, that I ran inside to grab my camera before it was too late, because it looked like a fire burning far off and something that had to be big because the clouds above it were a beautiful red, more red than I had seen. When I saved the pic to my computer, I titled it, fire in the sky sunset, so i would know right off. Also, east texas, there are very very thick woods and thickets. I went hunting with my father when i was only 13 and we could hardly walk through the woods if you got off the trails because the thickets were so thick, they would entangle you. It was not like the pine tree woods of northern NM and AZ that I had known most of my life.

That incident in El Paso may have inspired the book but he still could have written about areas he knew, those that you who are familiar with him and his writings talk about. But I just wanted to let you know too that there are woods in Texas and some are pretty scary and I have seen fire on the horizons many times, that were not fires at all but the last of a dying sunset. Its a thought anyway.
Vivian
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th

Bentley, I did come in the second month and your right, there was no one to talk to fresh and few came back if at all. I am grateful Paul was here to bounce a few ideas off of. I am not dispensing with what anyone had to say, what i was trying to say was that having come in the second month and really doing nothing more than reading the posts, there seemed so many that just really wanted specific answers to what each thing "symbolically meant" that for me, I was starting to go back and try to figure it out then, which took more time than if i had been able to go along with you guys a little at a time. But then trying to figure it all out, what "might this have meant" over and over (and it seemed that way to me because I wasnt participating but just reading all the possibilities and questions on those possibilites all at once) that it was taking away from what I had just "felt" from the book. And there was no one to go into those ideas that I wanted to discuss with left. Thats no ones fault, it just happened that way, everyone moved on to a new book and this was the particular flavor of this club. Another time, this very book could have been discussed by a group that was looking for just the book as a "pretty straight forward read" as the author said about it and discuss our feelings about what would we have done,how did this part make you feel, who did you identify with, what about the father-son relationship made it special to you, what did you come away with from the book that meant the most to you after finishing, kind of discussions that I really wanted. I found lots of the things you guys discussed interesting, but at the same time, I couldnt get that enthused about where in the US did it take place to keep going over and over that in that thread. The symbolism of the fire was good discussion too. I am just saying for me coming in late and only getting to read pretty much, most of it was dissecting the book on symbolism and places only and thats when after a bit it started to lose the wonder I had found in me about it. I dont know if that makes sense but thats all i mean. Well, anyway, it was a terrific book and I dont want to know all those answers. I want to keep what I found inside and I think thats what the authors wants too or most authors do. How about a little of each at least huh :smileywink:

p.s. the wonder that I said was starting to be lost, was like i said, the wonder i found "in me", what it made me think about my life and life in general, not the wonder of the book, your right on that, the wonder of the book cant be lost. But for example, you can tell someone you love them in many ways, but if it then gets into long conversations of, when you say this when you say you love me, do you mean..... or do you mean.... then pretty soon the whole feeling of love you were trying to express is gone LOL. It is possible to dissect thoughts so much that you lose the overall point. I am not saying, this was not a valid or good discussion club ok? I am just saying since i didnt get in on the first, to talk about other aspects too, it was frustrating to come into it the second month then, so in that regard, I was glad to have just read it all first on my own. Some books can be that way I think.
______________________________________________________________________________________

Bentley wrote:

Actually, Vivico1, as I recall you came late to the discussion in the second month..so I am not sure how the wonder of it could be lost. I am not sure there were many others still around..but there could have been a second wave when you came. I can't really recall. I know that the wonder of the book was not lost by me or many other folks. But I can only speak for myself.
Vivian
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bentley
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th


vivico1 wrote:
You know, he said he was looking out the window of a hotel in El Paso and towards the hills and this thought came to him. And that it wasnt until two years later when he was in Ireland was it, that he thought about it again and that it was really a book. He never said the setting of the book was Texas or El Paso, just that , that experience was. And I know some are saying what about the woods. Well I havent been there in ages, but my aunt lives in a place outside El Paso called something like Canyon Tillo and it is in the hills and there are woods and trees in the canyon area. Also, in Texas, just like here in Oklahoma, because of the dusty plains areas, even if you have trees around like I do, we have the greatest sunsets. They are reds and oranges on the horizon and they look like a far off fire. I wonder what time of day it was that he was looking out over the hills. As a matter of fact, I have a picture I took recently of a sunset here, that is on the horizon over the trees, that I ran inside to grab my camera before it was too late, because it looked like a fire burning far off and something that had to be big because the clouds above it were a beautiful red, more red than I had seen. When I saved the pic to my computer, I titled it, fire in the sky sunset, so i would know right off. Also, east texas, there are very very thick woods and thickets. I went hunting with my father when i was only 13 and we could hardly walk through the woods if you got off the trails because the thickets were so thick, they would entangle you. It was not like the pine tree woods of northern NM and AZ that I had known most of my life.

That incident in El Paso may have inspired the book but he still could have written about areas he knew, those that you who are familiar with him and his writings talk about. But I just wanted to let you know too that there are woods in Texas and some are pretty scary and I have seen fire on the horizons many times, that were not fires at all but the last of a dying sunset. Its a thought anyway.




Being used to the woods of Maine where my family has vacationed...I think of woods I guess a little different. But I am sure that Texas has woods. I have been to El Paso and the landscape there was vastly different than what was described. In fact, he was most assuredly describing Tennessee (even signs that are in Tennessee and specific locations). So the genesis of the idea of the novel was I guess in Texas (El Paso); but they were walking in Tennessee (at least he was describing Tennessee in his writings). I think that McCarthy does this alot...patching events, places, people together that are from different spots and different times in his life.

Glad that at least we are able to talk now about it.

And now we will be left with our own assumptions because there were not a lot of answers from McCarthy.

Regards,

Bentley
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bentley
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th



vivico1 wrote:
Bentley, I did come in the second month and your right, there was no one to talk to fresh and few came back if at all. I am grateful Paul was here to bounce a few ideas off of. I am not dispensing with what anyone had to say, what i was trying to say was that having come in the second month and really doing nothing more than reading the posts, there seemed so many that just really wanted specific answers to what each thing "symbolically meant" that for me, I was starting to go back and try to figure it out then, which took more time than if i had been able to go along with you guys a little at a time. But then trying to figure it all out, what "might this have meant" over and over (and it seemed that way to me because I wasnt participating but just reading all the possibilities and questions on those possibilites all at once) that it was taking away from what I had just "felt" from the book. And there was no one to go into those ideas that I wanted to discuss with left. Thats no ones fault, it just happened that way, everyone moved on to a new book and this was the particular flavor of this club. Another time, this very book could have been discussed by a group that was looking for just the book as a "pretty straight forward read" as the author said about it and discuss our feelings about what would we have done,how did this part make you feel, who did you identify with, what about the father-son relationship made it special to you, what did you come away with from the book that meant the most to you after finishing, kind of discussions that I really wanted. I found lots of the things you guys discussed interesting, but at the same time, I couldnt get that enthused about where in the US did it take place to keep going over and over that in that thread. The symbolism of the fire was good discussion too. I am just saying for me coming in late and only getting to read pretty much, most of it was dissecting the book on symbolism and places only and thats when after a bit it started to lose the wonder I had found in me about it. I dont know if that makes sense but thats all i mean. Well, anyway, it was a terrific book and I dont want to know all those answers. I want to keep what I found inside and I think thats what the authors wants too or most authors do. How about a little of each at least huh :smileywink:

p.s. the wonder that I said was starting to be lost, was like i said, the wonder i found "in me", what it made me think about my life and life in general, not the wonder of the book, your right on that, the wonder of the book cant be lost. But for example, you can tell someone you love them in many ways, but if it then gets into long conversations of, when you say this when you say you love me, do you mean..... or do you mean.... then pretty soon the whole feeling of love you were trying to express is gone LOL. It is possible to dissect thoughts so much that you lose the overall point. I am not saying, this was not a valid or good discussion club ok? I am just saying since i didnt get in on the first, to talk about other aspects too, it was frustrating to come into it the second month then, so in that regard, I was glad to have just read it all first on my own. Some books can be that way I think.
______________________________________________________________________________________

Bentley wrote:

Actually, Vivico1, as I recall you came late to the discussion in the second month..so I am not sure how the wonder of it could be lost. I am not sure there were many others still around..but there could have been a second wave when you came. I can't really recall. I know that the wonder of the book was not lost by me or many other folks. But I can only speak for myself.




Yes, I can understand how you are thinking and it was difficult for you coming in later I felt. There is always a group which jumps right in and starts right away. It doesn't leave a lot of discussion to later. And then with this book they kept the discussion going another month. It was good that PaulH was there to bounce a few ideas off of. Just reading a bunch of posts can get tedious. Glad you stuck it out and liked the book.

Bentley
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Fozzie
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th

I watched the interview on TV, but have not yet watched the clips on Oprah's website.

I learned two things from it:

1. Mr. McCarthy does not want to talk about his books. That is why he has never accepted speaking engagements, professorships, etc. Many great artists have quirky personalities. Often, their art comes from inside them, from a place they do not control or even understand. I think that may be the case with Mr. McCarthy. I have heard enough authors here on the B&N forums talk about how things came to them subconsciously or that their characters developed themselves and did things the author was not anticipating, so I could see how this could be the case with Mr. McCarthy.

2. I would not be his wife! LOL! Seriously, his lifestyle, at least in the past, is not one I could live or condone.

As to why he chose to do an interview now, I think it has to do with his age. I'll do one interview to satisfy the people for the rest of my life, I can imagine him thinking.
Laura

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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th



Fozzie wrote:
I watched the interview on TV, but have not yet watched the clips on Oprah's website.

I learned two things from it:

1. Mr. McCarthy does not want to talk about his books. That is why he has never accepted speaking engagements, professorships, etc. Many great artists have quirky personalities. Often, their art comes from inside them, from a place they do not control or even understand. I think that may be the case with Mr. McCarthy. I have heard enough authors here on the B&N forums talk about how things came to them subconsciously or that their characters developed themselves and did things the author was not anticipating, so I could see how this could be the case with Mr. McCarthy.

2. I would not be his wife! LOL! Seriously, his lifestyle, at least in the past, is not one I could live or condone.

As to why he chose to do an interview now, I think it has to do with his age. I'll do one interview to satisfy the people for the rest of my life, I can imagine him thinking.




Ha! Right. Probably not the easiest person to live with, Fozzie. Although, I'm sure that can be said of many great writers. Hemingway immediately comes to mind...

Someone pointed out that McCarthy seemed "painfully shy" and I can certainly see that. Writing, by definition, is a solitary craft.
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th

Great discussion on the interview. Deep down I didn't expect Cormac to fill in many blanks about this book, but I was hoping for a few more insights than what Oprah was able to tease out of him.

Like others I felt Oprah was able extract a few gems from Cormac's mind. It was wonderful to hear confirmation that the book is a story about the love between a father and his son. There is no mistaking the emotional power in some of the passages between father and son.

I find it remarkable that he developed a novel from a single experience late one night in a hotel room. Must have been an incredibly vivid mental scenario. The day to day action in The Road certainly reflects his philosophy about life, that is, something good will happen when we are most desperate.

I liked what he had to say about what inspires his writing. His thought, "Today I'm going to do something better than I've ever done.", is translated in this novel. A good message to reflect on.

Thanks to all for adding to my enjoyment of reading this book. Now I can simply appreciate The Road.
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th



PaulFrancis wrote:
Great discussion on the interview. Deep down I didn't expect Cormac to fill in many blanks about this book, but I was hoping for a few more insights than what Oprah was able to tease out of him.

Like others I felt Oprah was able extract a few gems from Cormac's mind. It was wonderful to hear confirmation that the book is a story about the love between a father and his son. There is no mistaking the emotional power in some of the passages between father and son.

I find it remarkable that he developed a novel from a single experience late one night in a hotel room. Must have been an incredibly vivid mental scenario. The day to day action in The Road certainly reflects his philosophy about life, that is, something good will happen when we are most desperate.

I liked what he had to say about what inspires his writing. His thought, "Today I'm going to do something better than I've ever done.", is translated in this novel. A good message to reflect on.

Thanks to all for adding to my enjoyment of reading this book. Now I can simply appreciate The Road.




Thank you, Paul, and thanks for your comments. Aside from appearing a little uneasy, I would venture to guess that McCarthy is very at ease in his world; content if you will, but I would imagine it was a long and bumpy "road" to reach that kind of fulfillment.
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th

I just bought that book as I wanted to read more of Cormac's writings. You're right...the cover has fire in the background, sort of like a wildfire covering brush, a fire that's out of control. But this book was written in 1998 and the Road was written in 2006. Cormac did say he was gathering notes as the time went by...do you think he took that brushfire and worked around it?
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th



maxcat wrote:
I just bought that book as I wanted to read more of Cormac's writings. You're right...the cover has fire in the background, sort of like a wildfire covering brush, a fire that's out of control. But this book was written in 1998 and the Road was written in 2006. Cormac did say he was gathering notes as the time went by...do you think he took that brushfire and worked around it?




Actually, maxcat, I don't think there's any connection at all. It was just a neat coincidence I was pointing out. Have you read All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing? They proceed Cities of the Plain in the Border Trilogy. Not that you have to read them in order, in fact McCarthy wrote Cities first, but it does bring the story full circle when you've read the first two books.
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th

Thanks, Bentley, for your graceful comment. I did enjoy the book so to speak. But it left me wondering about things to come. As Oprah said in the interview, the book was ominous and Cormac, I believe, at that point said something to the effect that people will interpret the book in their own way but we'll never know what his interpretation is of the book. That would have been interesting to hear how he came up with such a horrible idea to make a great book. In ways, this book sort of reminded me of H.G. Wells "War of the Worlds" just in the manner of survival for one individual and how he stayed alive by breaking into houses and getting food. There's a parallel for you!
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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bentley
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Re: Oprah's Interview with Cormac McCarthy to Air June 5th


PaulH wrote:


maxcat wrote:
I just bought that book as I wanted to read more of Cormac's writings. You're right...the cover has fire in the background, sort of like a wildfire covering brush, a fire that's out of control. But this book was written in 1998 and the Road was written in 2006. Cormac did say he was gathering notes as the time went by...do you think he took that brushfire and worked around it?




Actually, maxcat, I don't think there's any connection at all. It was just a neat coincidence I was pointing out. Have you read All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing? They proceed Cities of the Plain in the Border Trilogy. Not that you have to read them in order, in fact McCarthy wrote Cities first, but it does bring the story full circle when you've read the first two books.




PaulH...I think fire plays a key role in McCarthy's mind as an image. And it is still the fire in the distance image..darn close to the fire in the hills in the distance image. I think Cormac does a lot of repackaging. And the images move just like the events, people and pictures of locations in his head. Look at the 1:17 number and there are so many other symbols he uses repetitively maybe without thinking and maybe not. Maybe he just wants to have fun with us. I could see him doing that actually.

Bentley
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