Re: RARA-AVIS: "Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy

From: jacquesdebierue (
Date: 13 Jul 2009

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    --- In, "annvon78" <annvon78@...> wrote:
    > Hi, I'm new but this discussion gives me the urge to pipe up because I think it's interesting you mention Faulkner when defending Cormac McCarthy. I think McCarthy's earlier work "Suttree" is a great novel, about a guy trying to figure himself in or out of Tennessee, not the southwest. Suttree has tremendously inventive language and imagery that has a strong feel of Faulkner, to me. But not a "hard boiled" type of novel. Closer to John Gardner's "Bear Mountain" as what pulls the dreamy drifter.
    > A literary critical academic type, I can't think of the name at all but maybe it will come to me or someone knows, once said that writers sometimes need to invent a new way of writing in order to convey what needs to be said. Great hard-boiled writers do that a lot too, in my opinion, though it's called authentic or street language sometimes.

    I agree, it's an invented language, though the illusion of reality can be very strong. The case of Chandler is classic. He invented a language to go with his stories. So did Willeford and others. One important point is that if nobody ever changes anything in the language, we don't make much literary progress, do we?

    I think credit has to be given to Leonard, too, who has freed up vast resources of the colloquial that younger guys can exploit - or imitate, or do whatever with it, it's a gained freedom.



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