Cormac McCarthy

Posted: July 7, 2010 in Dark Art Cafe

Cormac McCarthy’s novel Suttree is a work I’m sipping from here and there. I have a friend who likes his scotch but he would never down a fine single malt in a sitting. When I hear this friend talk about a bottle of Drumguish, I think of this earlier McCarthy novel, published before his famed Blood Meridian. Perhaps a comparison with bourbon would be more apt for this the last of McCarthy’s Tennessee novels, but the point is – all scholarly articles on this work aside – Suttree is a novel to be savored. Read a chapter, scene, or page, and let the language itself slowly burn. Here’s a sample from the introduction:

Cross here. By frognails and fishplates where engines cough like lions in the dark of the yard. To a darker town, past lamps stoned blind, past smoking oblique shacks and china dogs and painted tires where dirty flowers grow. Down paving rent with ruin, the slow catacalysm of neglect, the wires that belly pole to pole across the constellations hung with kitestring, with bolos composed of hobbled bottles or the toys of smaller children. Encampment of the damned” (p.3).

I would never try to emulate McCarthy’s prose but reading it can make me a little drunk with the possibilities of language.


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