McCarthy's style and word choice

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  • 08 Mar 2013 at 5:52 pm #3194

    Richard L.

    Re:  “the getting place”

    McCarthy first used this deflective phrase in All The Pretty Horses and reprised it in No Country For Old Men when Moss’s wife asks him where he got the pistol.  “At the gettin place,” he replies.

    It seems to me that, since McCarthy first used it, the phrase has entered the common venacular and I have heard it used by people who may never have read McCarthy or Faulkner at all.

    Of course McCarthy got it from Faulkner’s The Sound And The Fury.  Not long ago, I was trying to make my way through the current bestseller, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, and she has a character who uses the phrase too.

    After McCarthy, the phrase doubtlessly experienced a sort of revival, at least among people writing novels about the southern and western states.


    19 Mar 2013 at 1:00 am #3229


    I have never taken part in a forum discussion but I began Spring break a week ago and purchased my first McCarthy book: Child of God. I had been interested in McCarthy as soon as I saw No Country for Old Men. It quickly became one of my all time favorite movies. And then I read my first McCarthy book and understood where the solemn characters were derived and how the unforgiving terrain and scapes were created: from the mind of a geological and psychological genius–McCarthy. I found myself having read three of his novels in five days: No Country for Old Men, Child of God, and The Road. I am nearly finished with All The Pretty Horses and am eagerly waiting to start Blood Meridian. I did not know he was such a master of prose and poetry. The way he captures the gravity and depth and harshness of the earth is nearly claustrophobic. The way he paints the blood red sunsets and the vaults of night skies spread with stars and sinister white moons is ominously beautiful.

    Does anyone else appreciate this modern day master? I cannot believe it took me so long to open one of his books and delve into the beautifully violent adventures. Indelible characters and harsh terrains abound! What a great discovery. I have read Dostoyevsky, Dickens, Nietzsche, Melville, Poe, Stoker, Tolstoy, and Twain and fell in love with each of their own indelible styles. I should say that some day people will be reading McCarthy with the same awe and inspiration that these former masters elicited.



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