Happy Birthday, Cormac McCarthy

         Suddenly Bathcat and one of the Delawares turned their horses and quirted them and called out and the company turned and milled and began to line out down the lake bed toward the thin line of scrub that marked the shore. Men were leaping from their horses and hobbling them instantly with loops of rope ready made. By the time the animals were secured and they had thrown themselves on the ground under the creosote bushes with their weapons readied the riders were beginning to appear far out on the lake bed, a thin frieze of mounted archers that trembled and veered in the rising heat. They crossed before the sun and vanished one by one and reappeared again and they were black in the sun and they rode out of that vanished sea like burnt phantoms with the legs of the animals kicking up the spume that was not real and they were lost in the sun and lost in the lake and they shimmered and slurred together and separated again and they augmented by planes in lurid avatars and began to coalesce and there began to appear above them in the dawn-broached sky a hellish likeness of their ranks riding huge and inverted and the horses’ legs incredibly elongate trampling down the high thin cirrus and the howling antiwarriors pendant from their mounts immense and chimeric and the high wild cries carrying that flat and barren pan like the cries of souls broke through some misweave in the weft of things into the world below.

from Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

1 Discussion on “Happy Birthday, Cormac McCarthy”
  • Insane imagery. Beautiful, rythmic prose. I will never forget this novel. It solidly retains a spot in my top 20 amerian fiction novels, no less proudly than the first time i read it. the implications continue to haunt me. Ah existence – “a hat trick in a medicine show” that my mind continues to attempt to compass, fully knowing that every measure of such effort is false and futile.

    “The truth about the world, he said, is that anything is possible. Had you not seen it all from birth and thereby bled it of its strangeness it would appear to you for what it is, a hat trick in a medicine show, a fevered dream, a trance bepopulate with chimeras having neither analogue nor precedent, an itinerant carnival, a migratory tentshow whose ultimate destination after many a pitch in many a mudded field is unspeakable and calamitous beyond reckoning. The universe is no narrow thing and the order within it is not constrained by any latitude in its conception to repeat what exists in one part in any other part. Even in this world more things exist without our knowledge than with it and the order in creation which you see is that which you have put there, like a string in a maze, so that you shall not lose your way. For existence has its own order and that no man’s mind can compass, that mind itself being but a fact among others.”