Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:39 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
No Country- IX- Literary americanness of the novel. 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Oddly Attracted to Books

Gold Contributor

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 1543
Location: France
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 35 times in 35 posts
Gender: Female
Country: France (fr)

Post No Country- IX- Literary americanness of the novel.
Quote:
McCarthy's novels are deeply engaged with founding American myths, in particular those of regeneration through violence, Southern pastoral, the figure of the sacred hunter, and the frontiersman's conquest of the endless Western spaces. No doubt this explains, in part, the craggy language that is invariably used to praise him. (Michael Herr can be found on the cover of "Blood Meridian" hailing it as "a classic American novel of regeneration through violence.")

In: Red Planet: The sanguinary sublime of Cormac McCarthy.
by James Wood , The New Yorker. *






1- Do you think No Country strikes a particular chord in American readers?

Is a feeling for Americanness (literary or otherwise) necessary for complete appreciation of No country for Old Men ? (to be quite honest, this discussion leader, being both female and non- American, has been wondering.)


2- I would be tempted to add "Is this a novel for men"?

However, I have read several very positive reviews written by women reviewers.

Still, perhaps somebody will feel like tackling this question.

*
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/0 ... ntPage=all[url][/url]


_________________
Ophelia.


Last edited by Ophelia on Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:46 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:20 am
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Eligible to vote in book polls!


Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 26
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
James Woods comment is saturated with "Literary Analysis." I really, really dislike critics who write like that.

Is this an American novel? Of course it is.

I liked the novel but it read more like a script for a movie. Especially an American movie.

Have you ever noticed the change in the style of writing over the past 70 or so years? A Russian novelist like a Tolstoy will take a page just to describe what one his characters is wearing. By the 1940's it drops to a paragraph. By the 1960's its a couple lines. The 90's brought as description by brand name. "He wore a Burberry trench coat an a Oyster Rolex. In this book there was almost none.

I lived in the desert, have hunted, and I could see the landscape. The western American small town is different. Guns are not seen the same way as in the east. The distances are hard to fathom for someone who hasn't lived there. The book, in one chapter mentioned the Sheriff of another county stating they had a 7 minute response time. Many places in the west that rely on county police are looking at 30 plus minutes for a Sheriff. People know that and plan for it. America has a culture where violence is and has shaped it considerably.

If I understood the author correctly the main theme was how over a period time the use of violence has changed. The WWII, Vietnam, and modern warrior characters each represents those changes. Each of them reflect an epoch and a mindset. Each man a world. The Sheriff, a world that has passed. The Vietnam veteran, a world that was passing. The killer, a world being born.



Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:47 pm
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Eligible to vote in book polls!


Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 29
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
Do I have to call you stcamp? (how about scamp?) You are right on about the generational progression of this novel. It's no accident that Bell is WW2 and Moss is Nam. I think McCarthy is attempting to show the erosion of morality from one generation to the next (Bell wouldn't have taken the money). My problem is, so what-- tell me somethin I don't already know.



Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:25 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Oddly Attracted to Books

Gold Contributor

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 1543
Location: France
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 35 times in 35 posts
Gender: Female
Country: France (fr)

Post 
Steve wrote:

Quote:
James Woods comment is saturated with "Literary Analysis." I really, really dislike critics who write like that.


I know what you mean. When I prepare to lead a discussion, I read reviews by both professional critics and ordinary readers in reading groups on the net.

The critics often seem to spend half their review showing off how very clever they are, and buiding for a showy ending with catchy words as they finish their review.
They remind me of some professors we had at university: they didn't come just to do the job, they came to show off as prima donnas, you couldn't have the one without the other!
This is a tendency in the intellectual world that many do not seem to be able to resist.


However, I still found a few sentences here and there in those reviews that set me thinking, and that's all I needed at the beginning stage.


_________________
Ophelia.


Mon Mar 24, 2008 3:03 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Oddly Attracted to Books

Gold Contributor

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 1543
Location: France
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 35 times in 35 posts
Gender: Female
Country: France (fr)

Post 
Steve wrote:

Quote:
Have you ever noticed the change in the style of writing over the past 70 or so years? A Russian novelist like a Tolstoy will take a page just to describe what one his characters is wearing. By the 1940's it drops to a paragraph. By the 1960's its a couple lines. The 90's brought as description by brand name. "He wore a Burberry trench coat an a Oyster Rolex. In this book there was almost none.


Yes, amount of description is central to style ...and theme in a way.

I remember reading Victor Hugo's Les Miserables at school. Or perhaps Balzac is even more charactersitic of the old school: in Le Pere Goriot, before he introduced the characters, he described everything about where they are, the building where they live, the other tenants in the building... and all those pages were essential to understanding the theme.

Yet, after reading reviewers praising MCCarthy's minimalist style, I found at least three examples of new (postapocalyptic?) motel scene descriptions like this:

p 107: "He (Moss) paid and put the key in his pocket and climbed the stairs and walked down the old hotel corridor. Dead quiet. No light in the transoms. He found the room and put the key in the door and opened it andwent in and shut the door behind him. He set the bags on the bed and went back to the door (..) he went into the bathroom and got a glass of water and sat on the bed again. He took a sip and set the water on the glass top of the wooden bedside table. "

Wells, page 145: "He went on to his own room and set his bag in the chair and got out his shaving kit and and went to the bathroom and turned on the light. He brushed his teeth, and washed his face and went back into the room...".

MCCarthy has the reputation of being a very able writer.
There must be a reason for telling us the characters opened their motels rooms with a key and then actually got into the room, and where they set their bags, but what is it?

As I read such pages I think of the author, who must have an overall plan that escapes me, and is laughing because he knows such passages will irritate people like me.

I read a review by a reader who had to make do with the French translation of No Country.
She was bewildered because she had read other novels by McCarthy ( which I haven't done) and she couldn't understand the bad writing and was wondering whether the translator should be sacked.


_________________
Ophelia.


Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:05 am
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Eligible to vote in book polls!


Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 29
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
To the extent that this bare bones style may be part and parcel of theme allow me to toss out a speculation: We are in Texas, the wide open spaces. While descriptions of landscape are not lengthy they convey a sense of vast emptiness (indeed the brevity itself speaks to emptiness). People and things are small. The game Moss hunts is tiny through the scope of his rifle. The vehicles and dead bodies he sees through his field glasses are mere specks. Sheriff Bell travels hundreds of miles in his investigations. He's always on the road for lengthy stretches. Texas is vast. For Cormac McCarty the world is vast and the people in it are small and insignificant.

This would explain the enormous influence of fate and bad luck on the lives of characters. Remember the first desk clerk at the Eagle Hotel. He checks in Llewelyn Moss just before being relieved by the late shift clerk who arrives just in time for Anton Chigurh........ great timing! One lives, one dies and what does either have to do with the outcome? Emphasizing the mundane actions of characters who put keys into locks and bags onto beds, who walk to the window then back to the bed may be a way of further illustrating the insignificance of his characters-- a marriage of style with theme.



Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:43 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Oddly Attracted to Books

Gold Contributor

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 1543
Location: France
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 35 times in 35 posts
Gender: Female
Country: France (fr)

Post 
Quote:
Emphasizing the mundane actions of characters who put keys into locks and bags onto beds, who walk to the window then back to the bed may be a way of further illustrating the insignificance of his characters-- a marriage of style with theme.


Yes, this is very plausible. I thought it would be something like this.


_________________
Ophelia.


Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:36 am
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Eligible to vote in book polls!


Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 26
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post 
I have not read any of his other books. I would think it would be difficult to change ones style of writing. What Kenneth wrote does make sense.

I would distrust a writer who could change his "voice" based on the material. It would like paying to hear a singer of arias who came out and did country music with a bad accent.

I am more inclined to believe it was written with the big screen in mind.

Regards,

Steve



Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:49 am
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Genius


Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 759
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 13 times in 12 posts
Gender: None specified

Post Re: No Country- IX- Literary americanness of the novel.
Ophelia wrote:
Quote:
McCarthy's novels are deeply engaged with founding American myths, in particular those of regeneration through violence, Southern pastoral, the figure of the sacred hunter, and the frontiersman's conquest of the endless Western spaces. No doubt this explains, in part, the craggy language that is invariably used to praise him. (Michael Herr can be found on the cover of "Blood Meridian" hailing it as "a classic American novel of regeneration through violence.")

In: Red Planet: The sanguinary sublime of Cormac McCarthy.
by James Wood , The New Yorker. *




I am not an American, Ophelia, but I definitely get the feel of 'America' in the way the novel's written - I have, of course, read very many American writers - up till maybe 20 - 25 years ago, although we had Canadian writers, of course, the books and works weren't promoted like they are today.

A man's book? At first glance, one would think so, but like I say, I don't usually like books with violence like this, yet I'm enjoying it.

I think it's because of the way the author has written it - his character, Ed, the sheriff, his personality and Moss's personality - the zaniness in the conversation between him and his wife - they carry the story for me.





1- Do you think No Country strikes a particular chord in American readers?

Is a feeling for Americanness (literary or otherwise) necessary for complete appreciation of No country for Old Men ? (to be quite honest, this discussion leader, being both female and non- American, has been wondering.)


2- I would be tempted to add "Is this a novel for men"?

However, I have read several very positive reviews written by women reviewers.

Still, perhaps somebody will feel like tackling this question.

*
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/0 ... ntPage=all[url][/url]



Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:36 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Genius


Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 759
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 13 times in 12 posts
Gender: None specified

Post 
Further thought on this . . . many books that are violent - let's say books with the title 'Rage', books by James Patterson, as well . . . and that writer that's truly a man's writer - Robert Ludlum - those books are the kind that might well be the cause of some real life violence.

Some people, wannabe thugs, 'cause they think there's some kinda' tough-guy glory in it, might well get ideas from these novels.

Yet this book - No Country - it's the kinda' story that just takes you into the westerness of the story, that rolls off so easy - this story might even turn a would-be criminal in his tracks - might give a person who is mixed up in the drug trade cause to 'quit'.



Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:41 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Oddly Attracted to Books

Gold Contributor

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 1543
Location: France
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 35 times in 35 posts
Gender: Female
Country: France (fr)

Post 
Carly wrote:
Quote:
Yet this book - No Country - it's the kinda' story that just takes you into the westerness of the story, that rolls off so easy - this story might even turn a would-be criminal in his tracks - might give a person who is mixed up in the drug trade cause to 'quit'.


It's interesting you should feel that.
The book ceretainly does not glorify violence, but would it make a hardened criminal change his mind?
I've always thought those people involved in drug crimes must be so hardened and unfeeling that nothing could reach them.

I think also making Chigurgh look unvincible would give those criminals a positive image of themselves-- should they choose to read the book.


_________________
Ophelia.


Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:57 am
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Genius


Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 759
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 13 times in 12 posts
Gender: None specified

Post 
No, no, no . . . guess I'm not wording that right - it might make a young person that's THINKING about getting involved in crimes, think twice about it.



Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:12 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank