Telling Stories with Cormac McCarthy

26 May

I went through a phase in high school where I lived and breathed Cormac McCarthy. We had just finished The Road, our summer reading for that year, I was in love with his books. So much that I am the proud owner of about half his novels. I went through months that year were everything that I read I had to relate back to Cormac McCarthy. Last night, I got to thinking about two of my favorite passages from No Country for Old Men.

“I don’t remember the first one all that well but it was about meetin him in town somewheres and he give me money and I think I lost it. But the second one it was like we was both back in older times and I was on horseback goin through the mountains of a night. Goin through the pass in the mountains. It was cold and there was snow on the ground and he rode past me and kept join. Never said nothin. He just rode on past and he had this blanket wrapped around him and he had his head down and when he rode past I seen he was carryon fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it. About the color of the moon. And in the dream I knew that he was join on ahead and he was fix in to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold and I knew that whenever I got there he would be there. And then I woke up”  (309).

I love the way that the movie portrayed this passage, along with the very first scene from the book. I do not like to post YouTube clips but here are two only because the passage is really long.

Moving to The Crossing, throughout the whole Broader Trilogy, The Crossing is my favorite only because of this quote:

“When they came south out of Grant County Boyd was not much more than a baby and the newly formed country they’d named Hidalgo was itself little older than the child. In the country they’d quit lay the bones of a sister and the bones of his maternal grandmother. THe new country was rich and wild. You could ride clear to Mexico and not strike a crossfence. He carried Boyd before him in the boy of the saddle and named to him features of the land-scape and the birds and animals in both spanish and english. In the new house they slept in the room off the kitchen and he would lie awake at night and he would whisper half aloud to him as he slept his plans for them and the life they would have” (1).

The Crossing

Finally, The Road, this one took a long time to find but here it is. This one is why in the future stories are going to important.

“They ate the little mushrooms together with the beans and drank tea and had tinned pears for their dessert. He banked the fire against the seam of rock where he’d built it and he strung the tarp behind them to reflect the heat and they sat warm in their refuge while he told the boy stories. Old stories of courage and justice as he remembered them until the boy was asleep in his blankets and then he stoked the fire and lay down warm and full and listened to the low thunder of the falls beyond them in that dark and threadbare wood” (41).

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Posted by on May 26, 2012 in Telling Stories with


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