Tuesday, April 27, 2010
38. the ROAD
Cormac McCarthy 2006
This bleak, frightening story rendered in remarkable lyrical prose is about the world after a great catastrophe, when the life that we now take for granted is gone and all that is left is the road that is barren and unpredictable. This is a gripping account of an unnamed father and son on this road.
"When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him. Nights dark beyond darkness and the days more gray each one than what had gone before."
"Yes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget."
"On this road there are no godspoke men. They are gone and I am left and they have taken with them the world. Query: How does the never to be differ from what never was?"
"No list of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes. So, He whispered to the sleeping boy. I have you."
"As for me my only hope is for eternal nothingness and I hope it with all my heart."
"After a while he fell back and after a while the man could hear him playing. A formless music for the age to come. Or perhaps the last music on earth called up from out of the ashes of its ruin."
"He could not construct for the child's pleasure the world he'd lost without constructing the loss as well and he thought perhaps that child had known this better than he."
"He lay there a long time, lifting up the water to his mouth a palmful at a time. Nothing in his memory anywhere of anything so good."
"Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. The crushing black vacuum of the universe...Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it."
"He thought each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins. As in a party game. Say the word and pass it on. So be sparing. What you alter in the remembering has yet a reality, known or not."
"Maybe you should always be on the lookout. If trouble comes when you least expect it then maybe the thing to do is to always expect it."
P"eople are always getting ready for tomorrow. I didn't believe in that. Tomorrow wasn't getting ready for them. It didn't even know they were there."
"When we're all gone at last then there'd be nobody here but death and his days will be numbered too. He'll be out in the road there will be nothing to do and nobody to do it to."
"When your dreams are of some world that never was or of some world that never will be and you are happy again then you will have given up. Do you understand? And you can't give up. I won't let you."
"Of a thing that could not be put back. Not to be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery."