Topic: The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (1 of 11), Read 34 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Cassie Flint (kevin.flint@virgin.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 06:00 PM This book has completely taken me over, made me weep and feel like I was going to pass out and in that way had a much more physical impact than most books seem to. But it was so stunning to read. All the time I felt I was there looking in at this cataclysmic, but insignificant life being played out.There was something of Samuel Beckett and King Lear in this book;life pared down to the necessities,grim,truthful,disconnected, yes, to all of these,but the way McCarthy writes feels so strong and right that you cannot leave them in despair. Best wishes, as I head for 'Cities of the Plain' Cassie
Topic: The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (2 of 11), Read 38 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 06:07 PM For me, this was the best of the Border Trilogy, Cassie. Ruth ďAin't it funny how an old broken bottle looks just like a diamond ring." John Prine
Topic: The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (3 of 11), Read 31 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Robert Armstrong (rla@nac.net) Date: Tuesday, May 29, 2001 10:39 PM Cassie, THE CROSSING moved me deeply and has stayed with me. I am Billy Parham's friend for life. Something that I picked up from discussions on the McCarthy Forum that I missed while reading TC [SPOILER ALERT] is that according to several McCarthy scholars at the conclusion of the novel Billy experienced a nuclear explosion when the atom bomb was being tested in New Mexico. Was that interpretation in your reading? Robt
Topic: The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (4 of 11), Read 30 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Cassie Flint (kevin.flint@virgin.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 04:04 AM Not at all Robert.I didn't think the day was anything other than inhospitable and that what McCarthy was interested in was the intensity of Billy's isolation,his desolation,especially when he tries to call back the mangy dog,realising what he's done in chasing it away. However, glancing over the last few paragraphs, I guess you could see the indications of a nuclear explosion,much as Jim does in JGBallard's Empire of the Sun. But to me it would be too much. I prefer the ending as a close similar to that at the end of Joyce's The Dead, where in some way the rain there, as the curious light and wind in The Crossing, is symptomatic of a profound awareness of man's insignificance in a beautiful cruel world. Best wishes, Cassie
Topic: The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (5 of 11), Read 27 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Dale Short (dshort@bham.rr.com) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 08:25 AM Cassie: There's nothing quite like reading McCarthy at full-bore, is there? He's walking a tightrope up in the stratosphere with no net whatever. (Gee, one paragraph and I've already mixed metaphors.{G}) I think he takes more risks than any writer now writing, at least that I'm aware of, and when they pay off the result is beautifully, if painfully, sublime. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (6 of 11), Read 29 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Cassie Flint (kevin.flint@virgin.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 09:48 AM Absolutely Dale. I think full bore is right. I am amazed by the power he gets out of his prose,it affects me physically and so I guess is even more intense.When I read the section on Boyd's operation I was in the room with them. It's just so uncompromising.To me he's already up there with Beckett and Shakespeare's Lear, although arguably they were not on so much of a tightrope as you sense McCarthy is. Best wishes, Cassie
Topic: The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (7 of 11), Read 27 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Robert Armstrong (rla@nac.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 09:47 AM Cassie, The ending works either way for me. Billy's ambivalence about the mangy dog seemed like the tug and pull of his compassion vs. his need to shut out his feelings because his loss was so great. Also, the dog might have reminded him of himself. It was really an amazing ending. It reminded me of the ending in Fellini's film LA STRADA, too. Several parts of this magnificent book were particularly thought provoking. I loved the episode where Billy meets the solitary man in the abandoned town who recounts for him the story of the priest and the old man who camped under the perilous vaulted ruined church in Caborca. That philosophical tale feels like McCarthy wrestling with his own demons. I also liked the gypsy's tale about his journey with the old airplane. I'm so glad you liked this novel. Robt
Topic: The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (8 of 11), Read 25 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Cassie Flint (kevin.flint@virgin.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 12:24 PM Thanks Robert for your ideas.At the moment I'm just getting into 'Cities of the Plain' and am finding it a bit confusing as I don't feel used to McCarthy using so many characters. Like you I also liked the various epiphanies Billy had in The Crossing and I've posted some notes on the McCarthy site you told me about.They seemed almost biblical and surreal at the same time. I thought Billy found other brothers in the wolf and Nino the horse and that McCarthy was making a profound observation about how we relate to other living things and in the end to ourselves in the world.big words like aestheticism and existentialism are flying round my head and just basically confirming what you lot have known for ages,and that it that this writer is not only great but intensely human. Best wishes, Cassie
Topic: The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (9 of 11), Read 23 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Robert Armstrong (rla@nac.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 01:23 PM Cassie, It's hard to say which book in the Border Trilogy I like best because they are all great but I think it's CITIES OF THE PLAIN. Wishing you another first rate reading experience. Robt
Topic: The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (10 of 11), Read 26 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Cassie Flint (kevin.flint@virgin.net) Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 05:01 PM Thanks Robert.Your recommendation has cheered me, as I was beginning to wonder how the power of 'The Crossing' could be matched. I'm off to read now. Best wishes, Cassie
Topic: The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (11 of 11), Read 8 times Conf: CONSTANT READER From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Thursday, May 31, 2001 10:43 AM Very exciting stuff here. I love it when some one else is reading these books for the first time. I can not read all of the Crossing again. I have to skip the wolf part. I totally broke down and actually if I get thinking about it cry right all over again. One of my main requirements in literature achieving 'my definition of greatness is that it is inter-species. Yeah, I get teased a lot about this, but it is just super important to me. I get bored by books that just deal with humans blah blah blah. Like I think House of Sand and Fog was well written even a great twist on film noir isnness-but I don't think it was brilliant because it didn't go bigger philosophically about WHY all the crap and games happened between the characters. It was ultimately a soap opera one EXPECTS in a world centered around humans and our narrow economies. I love Cities of the Plain. I might just read it today and think about it and you reading it. I have read it twice and the second time I enjoyed it more than the first. For me there is so much observation about what makes us tick. To paraphrase Vereen Bell, McCarthy is not for the philosophically squeamish. You're a brave girl Cassie.