Cormac McCarthy has a new novel coming out on Septemer 26: The Road. It sounds pretty science-fictional to me: “Violence, in McCarthy’s postapocalyptic tour de force, has been visited worldwide in the form of a ‘long shear of light and then a series of low concussions’ that leaves cities and forests burned, birds and fish dead and the earth shrouded in gray clouds of ash. In this landscape, an unnamed man and his young son journey down a road to get to the sea.”
And then, Thomas Pynchon has a new novel coming out on December 5: Against the Day. “Spanning the period between the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, this novel moves from the labor troubles in Colorado to turn-of-the-century New York, to London and Gottingen, Venice and Vienna, the Balkans, Central Asia, Siberia at the time of the mysterious Tunguska Event, Mexico during the Revolution, postwar Paris, silent-era Hollywood, and one or two places not strictly speaking on the map at all.” And it’s nearly a thousand pages long.
Two of my favorite living authors coming out with major works; I can’t wait.
3 thoughts on “Things to look forward to.”
I haven’t read any Cormac McCarthy, but I have read everything Pynchon has published, at least everything with his name on it. I read GR the year it first appeared in paperback. I bought it in Houston so that would have to be ’74, but didn’t finish reading it until the following summer in Seattle. Would not have returned to school or taken degrees in literature if he hadn’t written that book. My mother’s family lived on the Pennsylvania side of the Mason-Dixon line, arriving in Philadelphia in 1754, eventually settling in Bedford County during the Revolution before moving west to Ohio after the War of 1812 and then on to Indiana during the Civil War. I’m looking forward to TP’s next tome. Neal Stephenson is quite good, amazing really, but Pynchon is a force of nature.
“I sent one boy to the gaschamber at Huntsville,” the last book begins. Here’s someone with institutionalized power over death: that he’s consigned one implies that there could have been more. But there could have been less — just a boy, after all. Anyhow, I thought No Country for Old Men wasn’t a success. Someone suggested that his editor, in an effort to make his work more approachable, had cleared out all the extraneous (i.e., McCarthyesque) bits. It’s like telling Melville to get rid of all that crap about the whales and get on with it already. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t miss the next McCarthy book.
Listening to the No Country For Old Men audiobook while driving cross-country was the best way to experience its creepy, pulpy prufundity. I could somehow sense this before i had even read a line, so it was my immediate choice for driving literature. This is an example of how predictable, but elemental and powerful McCarthy’s novels are. This new book sounds fascinating, and I think it’s amazing that an author of his age and past accomplishments can write a novel in his late career that excites my inner fourteen-year-old. A post-apocalyptic McCarthy novel is a dream come true! Then again, which one of his novels haven’t involved something of an apocalypse?
As for Pynchon, I, too, have read everything that he has written, with the excpetion of Mason & Dixon, which i gave up a third of the way through. Does this make me weak, or should I simply wait until I’m a little more mature and can excersize a longer attention span?