Horses in ALL THE PRETTY HORSES

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  • 18 Dec 2017 at 6:44 pm #9970

    Richard L.
    Member

    There have probably been a number of horsemen who have passed through these parts, but I know of only two: John Sepich and yours truly.

    Someone at Readerville, a couple of decades ago, told me about being at a party with Cormac McCarthy and author John Banville and observing while Banville tried to talk to McCarthy about horses. He said that McCarthy couldn’t keep up with Banville’s banter and finally, in order to distract himself from the conversation, said simply that he didn’t know much about horses and walked away.

    We will forgive him for that, because he has never claimed to know horses. But his character, John Grady, is supposed to know a thing or two about horses and in ALL THE PRETTY HORSES. John Grady tells his boss, the hacendado, that he had read John H. Wallace’s THE HORSE OF AMERICA, “front to back.” The two of them have a discussion about the relative importance of the stallion to the mare. John Grady gives the scientific view, that each contribute equally; the hacendado agrees and John Grady rises in his estimation.

    Earlier this year I was able to read the uncensored words of Frederick Tesio and was wishing that McCarthy had read it, for the eclectic knowledge of horse breeding there-in, which he might have put into ATPH.

    ///

    I bring this up because this last week I happened to catch the movie, NOTHING IN COMMON (1986), with Jackie Gleason and the beautiful Eva Marie Saint as the parents of Tom Hanks. Hanks visits his boss’s horse farm and they get into a discussion of horse breeding very much like that above from ALL THE PRETTY HORSES (1992).

    His boss is impressed when Hanks mentions that he has read Tesio, and he next asks how much importance he gives to the stallion versus the mare. Hanks replies that it is something like 60-40 and his boss, very pleased, agrees and shortly gives him a promotion.

    A different answer, but the scene was so similar to McCarthy’s that I doubt that this was a coincidence.

    Books are made from books–and also movies.


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    18 Dec 2017 at 7:39 pm #9972

    Glass
    Member

    Fun post. Good stuff. Good stories. Horses have always freaked me out, and getting bucked off one in Arkansas the week Jimmy Hoffa went missing didn’t help.


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    19 Dec 2017 at 7:00 pm #9980

    Rick Wallach
    Keymaster

    You’re forgetting Erica Tom, Director of Performance Art and Movement Research at Belos Cavalos Ranch in California, an equine therapy facility. She gave papers at several of our conferences, including Memphis.

    Phil and Delys Snyder are also horse owners and enthusiastic equestrians.


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    20 Dec 2017 at 6:23 pm #10001

    Richard L.
    Member

    Yeah, there are no doubt others too. C. E. Morgan, who was probably at the Berea Conference, was writing her Kirkus Award-winning THE SPORT OF KINGS about that time, and she must have had experience or done a lot of research in order to write that fine book. She posted a while in this forum too, as you might remember.


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    20 Dec 2017 at 7:41 pm #10002

    Rick Wallach
    Keymaster

    C. E. Morgan wrote a novel about falconry?


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    20 Dec 2017 at 10:16 pm #10006

    Richard L.
    Member

    Re: “C. E. Morgan wrote a novel about falconry?”

    Naw, you must be thinking about John Cheever who wrote FALCONER. A mighty fine novel it is too, once you get past the prison sex.

    By the way, I saw the documentary, THE FALCONER: SPORT OF KINGS, with Eddie Brochin, and I think you might enjoy it too. Also, if you haven’t already seen it, the extended documentary based on Helen MacDonald’s H IS FOR HAWK. I liked the book, but the documentary is spectacular on the big flatscreen TV. H is actually for Goshawk. So G is for something else. Spot, maybe.


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    29 Dec 2017 at 3:15 pm #10057

    mother_he
    Member

    Richard L.: FALCONER A mighty fine novel it is too, once you get past the prison sex.

    To paraphrase Harold Bloom, the prison sex IS the novel.


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    29 Dec 2017 at 10:50 pm #10061

    Glass
    Member

    I thought it was pretty funny when I read that McCarthy said he didn’t know anything about horses.


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    31 Dec 2017 at 8:40 pm #10068

    Candy Minx
    Member

    Ha ha ha

    This was an interesting memory about Cheever at Sing Sing…

    https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/john-cheever-at-sing-sing


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