Saturday, July 20, 2013

McCarthy at 80

Cormac McCarthy is 80 today. I'm currently on my third reading of Suttree this year. Who knows how often I've read it overall. It's a work of genius.

2 comments:

Mr H said...

I've only discovered your blog recently and really enjoy reading your book reviews.
Suttree got me through a bad time a couple of years ago and it's a novel I often reread - though I must confess to reading the 'highlights' rather than the whole book.
You seem to dislike Banville - I read 'Ghosts' twenty years ago - instantly forgettable! But I wonder what you specifically dislike about his writing, I'd be interested to know.
Regards,
Scott Holtham

Tom Conoboy said...

Hello Scott, thanks for dropping by.

My trouble with Banville is the trouble I have with a lot of contemporary Irish writing, such as Anne Enright. It's basically overwritten. So much wilful obscurity, the dense language for no reason, the presentation of perfectly mundane images, events, places with overwrought imagery and descriptiveness. It's all AUTHOR. Listen to me, read my writing, wonder at how clever I am. That sort of thing. I find it intrusive and it ruins the fictive dream. I want to read the story, not the author.

As it happens, I think the same blight affects later McCarthy. Suttree shows how a truly great author can use rich language and imagery but not lose control of the narrative. It is a work of genius.

thanks again

Tom