Comac Mccarthy: The Road By Cormac Mccarthy

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The Road By Cormac McCarthy Cormac McCarthy’s subject in his new novel is as big as it gets: the end of the civilized world, the dying of life on the planet and the spectacle of it all. He has written a visually stunning picture of how it looks at the end to two pilgrims on the road to nowhere. Color in the world — except for fire and blood — exists mainly in memory or dream. Fire and firestorms have consumed forests and cities, and from the fall of ashes and soot everything is gray, the river water black. Hydrangeas and wild orchids stand in the forest, sculptured by fire into “ashen effigies” of themselves, waiting for the wind to blow them over into dust. Intense heat has melted and tipped a city’s buildings, and window glass hangs frozen…show more content…
They are starving, stalked by the unseen, by armed thugs who travel by truck, and in terror they see an army of “marchers” who appear on the road four abreast and epitomize what the apocalypse has wrought: “All wearing red scarves at their necks. ... Carrying three-foot lengths of pipe with leather wrappings. ... Some of the pipes were threaded through with lengths of chain fitted at their ends with every manner of bludgeon. They clanked past, marching with a swaying gait like wind-up toys. Bearded, their breath smoking through their masks. ... The phalanx following carried spears or lances tasseled with ribbons, the long blades hammered out of trucksprings. ... Behind them came wagons drawn by slaves in harness and piled with goods of war and after that the women, perhaps a dozen in number, some of them pregnant, and lastly a supplementary consort of catamites ill-clothed against the cold and fitted in dogcollars and yoked each to…show more content…
“The Road” is the most readable of his works, and consistently brilliant in its imagining of the posthumous condition of nature and civilization — “the frailty of everything revealed at last. Old and troubling issues resolved into nothingness and night.” Money and gold mean nothing, nor do government, education, books, politics, history, friends, home. The pilgrimage is plotless but it races with tension, a sequence of enemy encounters or sightings, the perpetual danger from the killing weather, huddling under blanket and tarp, endlessly gathering firewood, confronting mysteries the dead world presents to a man seeking (and finding) water and food in the deserted houses, barns and boats that survived the firestorms. The father is ingenious in understanding how the natural and fabricated worlds function; and also lucky, as he modestly tells the

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