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Showing posts from June 11, 2023


  To sic James Wood on Cormac McCarthy is unfair to the sensibilities of both writers. The New Yorker obit/review of the two last McCarthy book tries for the sweeping overview, but Wood is permanently not in the mood for McCarthy - hence his elevation of The Road, surely one of McCarthy's minor novels, as the major work over Blood Meridian, against which Wood tosses such howlers as: "Of course, his earlier novels explored “themes” and, in their way, ideas; an academic industry loyally decodes McCarthy’s every blood-steeped move around evil, suffering, God or no-God, the Bible, genocidal American expansion, the Western, environmental catastrophe, and so on. But those novels did not purvey, and in some sense could have no space for, intellectual discourse. These books were inhospitable to intellectuals, with their characteristic chatter." For Wood, an intellectual must either work at the New Yorker or teach at some respectable Ivy League school. They wear an I badge. But an