Just started reading Suttree by Cormac McCarthy. The lush prose style
pushes right up against self-parody but redeems itself, in almost every
paragraph, with sheer bewildering invention.
This about the Southern character:
Where hunters and woodcutters once
slept in their boots by the dying light of their thousand fires and
went on, old teutonic forebears with eyes incandesced by the visionary
light of a massive rapacity, wave on wave of the violent and the
insane, their brains stoked with spoorless analogues of all that was,
lean aryans with their abrogate semitic chapbook reenacting the dramas
and parables therein and mindless and pale with a longing that nothing
save dark’s total restitution could appease.
‘Abrogate semetic chapbook’? Wow!
I opened my girlfriend’s dad’s copy and an old yellow letter fluttered out. It was to her dad from McCarthy.
They send me emails like this one.
“I’m going to read the chapter tomorrow. I have been
incredibly busy because I realized I don’t want to
work anymore. Because of this realization, I’ve been
working triple-time to save some money, which I will
put into some sort of venture in hopes of getting rich
quick. I might start importing shrimp from Ecuador.
I don’t know why, but gorgeous, young women are
throwing themselves at me everywhere I go. Maybe
because I am so incredibly immature, yet trapped in an
old man’s body. I met a woman the other day. She told
me that the night before she had had a threesome with
“a sweet southern belle” and the singer from Counting
Crows. I nodded my head, pretending I knew who the
Counting Crows were. Apparently the guy couldn’t get
it up, but that was ok. “It was the first time I ever
fisted another woman.”
She gave me a marijuana-rice crispie treat the
Counting Crows guy had given her. By the way, is
“counting crows” a wallace stevens reference, or does
it predate him? you’re a hip guy. tell me. I unwrapped
it on the way home and got a contact high. This is the
truth. I got scared and wrapped it up again. A few
days later I couldn’t resist. I opened it and ate a
kernel. I got high. I wrapped it back up. I just ate
the whole thing. I can’t believe it.”
At the beach at dusk, seagulls were circling over the water in tight groups, touching down sometimes and then rising again. The birds meant that the bluefish were running. I was already in the water when I saw the birds and then small fish started jumping around me. It made me get out because I didn’t want a blue to decide that one of my toes looked like food. Bigger fish like tuna follow them too.
On the shore there were five or six surfcasters and for the first time since I’ve come up here, they were catching something, their rods bent into sharp arcs. When they pulled the blues out of the water the surfcasters throw them up into the sand above the surf line. The fish would flop there, gills shuddering. Their eyes had a bluish tinge and they kept flopping a long time after I thought they would have died. My father tells me he doesn’t like eating bluefish. ‘Too oily,’ he says.