May 19, 2013

JUSTIFIED:

CORMAC McCARTHY'S BLEAK ROAD: Landscapes of the Mind: in a new series, Robert Macfarlane roams fictional worlds, starting with "The Road" (Robert Macfarlane, May/June 2013, INTELLIGENT LIFE)

I have read "The Road" more, probably, than any other book. A tale so fiercely bleak, so cauterised in its vision, is still a page-turner. It has entered my soul as a black version of a possible future, its effects felt bodily first: the steady creep of chill, an urge to hold my children tight. Man and boy plod on, page after page, and I read on, page after page, puzzled at my own persistence.

Hope lurks in both activities. It survives in McCarthy's language: austerely beautiful, and proving the paradox of apocalyptic art, that to annihilate the world one must also summon it into being. Hope is there, too, in the boy, whom the father strives so hard to protect, and whose presence brings the possibility, however faint, of life after ruin.

It's not faint.

Posted by at May 19, 2013 10:57 AM
  

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