The Orchard Keeper

This topic contains 16 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  dfiel1 9 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 17 total)
  • Author
    Posts Mark Topic Read  | 
  • 01 Apr 2012 at 6:22 pm #614

    Ken
    Member

    I just posted my last post in the old forum, RIP, and this is my first post in the new, and I’m still exploring and familiarizing myself with the website, and I’m now testing the posting function, and why not be the first to create and post in “The Early Novels” section!

    The Orchard Keeper ranks among McCarthy’s best novels, a masterpiece that has not been recognized as such, underrated even among McCarthy enthusiasts; someone tell me if I’m wrong about this, as apparently I couldn’t read or write because I use the semicolon and the exclamation point a lot, even in the same sentence, such as this one!

    Mom and Dad: Is it true you named me after the first villain in McCarthy’s first novel?


      Quote
    • This topic was modified 5 years ago by  Ken.
    • This topic was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by  Ken.
    02 Apr 2012 at 2:34 am #634

    Webmaster
    Keymaster

    I suspect that part of The Orchard Keeper‘s reputation comes from the fact that it reads much like Faulkner does, stylistically speaking. It’s thought of as an imitation. You’ll find some mimicry in it, but overall, the book’s a clear signal of the arrival of a new voice. “Masterpiece” might be a strong word, especially given what came later from McCarthy. The book does have an acutely focused quality that isn’t always present in McCarthy’s writing, but which tends to be found in his best.

    Another thing about The Orchard Keeper: I think it’s almost an antique book. It’s not terribly approachable because it seems to have arisen organically from the ground on which it’s set. It sometimes seems older than the story it’s telling, and that distance has a chilling effect on the reader.

    I might be completely wrong here, but those are my thoughts.


      Quote
    26 Apr 2012 at 2:44 pm #1061

    Anonymous

    I only recently became aware of The Orchard Keeper, even though I’ve been a fan of McCarthy’s middle and later novels for many years. I was sorting through an old family bookcase day before yesterday to select books for donation to my local library for a book sale when I came across a copy of Orchard Keeper – I’d seen it in the bookcase for many years without realizing who the author was. I was delighted with the prospect of an unread book to read, and then even more so when I opened it and found it was autographed “For Dorothea Christmas 1971 Cormac McCarthy”.

    I’m wondering if this was possibly a gift from CM to a friend? I haven’t started reading it yet, am still enjoying the anticipatory pleasure..


      Quote
    23 Aug 2012 at 8:02 pm #1814

    Glass
    Member

    I hear a Hesse echo in the ending of TOK. It’s from one of Hesse’s poems on homesickness called A Swarm of Gnats.

    Many thousand glittering motes
    Crowd forward greedily together
    In trembling circles.
    Extravagantly carousing away
    For a whole hour rapidly vanishing,
    They rave, delirious, a shrill whir,
    Shivering with joy against death.

    Whole kingdoms sunk into ruin,
    Whose thrones, heavy with gold, instantly scattered
    Into night and legend, without leaving a trace,
    Have never known of so fierce a dancing.


      Quote
    29 Jan 2013 at 7:59 pm #2910

    Ken
    Member

    NY Times: That Cuddly Kitty Is Deadlier Than You Think

    Ather Ownby has known this all along, way before this new piece of scientific(?) evidence.


      Quote
    30 Jan 2013 at 10:53 am #2911

    Glass
    Member

    Cats. They’s smart.


      Quote
    30 Jan 2013 at 6:37 pm #2912

    Rick Wallach
    Keymaster

    The recent evidence from the Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife is that pythons are smarter.


      Quote
    30 Jan 2013 at 9:18 pm #2913

    Glass
    Member

    Gulp! What an image that makes, Rick.

    ….Coincidentally, speaking of cats, I was looking again at Chatwin’s Songlines today and read his theory about the big “brute cat” as the dominant predator on the African Savannah.


      Quote
    31 Jan 2013 at 12:10 am #2914

    cantona
    Member

    Speaking of pythons, did anyone read the article in the NYT ( I read it in last weekend’s Int. Herald Tribune) about the Floridian method of dealing with the pesky vermin? Apparently, the preferred instrument of elimination is a cattle gun. No Country for Old Men even gets a namecheck in the article. So much for the idea of a fighting chance.

    Send in the Drones, that’s what I say.


      Quote
    26 Feb 2013 at 9:04 am #3053

    Ken
    Member

    The New York Times had a recent article on the cat (my previous post), and now it’s time for the bird, specifically the owl: The Owl Comes Into Its Own.

    This article and its the video and audio features bring to mind the motif of the bird, in particular the hawk, and the hawklike owl: “Owls were long thought to be closely related to birds of prey like hawks and eagles, which they sometimes superficially resemble — hence the names hawk owls and eagle owls.” The article discusses the lore of the owl and the distinctive face of the owl, though it does not mention, as I posted here before, that in Chinese (at least in Cantonese) the term for owl is literally “cat-head hawk”.

    Article: “Many owl species are renowned for their ability to fly almost completely silently, without the flapping noises and air whooshes that might warn prey of their approach.” This brings to mind, among other passages in The Orchard Keeper: “Their steps ghostly on the warping boards, rousing an owl from the beams, passing over them on soundless wings, a shadow, ascending into the belfry like an ash sucked up a flue and as silently.” (164)

    In the video, one of the owl watchers saw, among other captured animals in an owl’s nest, two cats. The entire chapter 17 of The Orchard Keeper (216-217) is about the owl preying on and capturing the cat. The resultant image is, owl and cat are fused into one, echoing the owl as “cat-head hawk”, and setting up the motif of cat-and-bird (specifically hawklike bird) in novels to come: the lion-eagle of “Griffin” in Blood Meridian and “Llewellyn” (“lion”) and “Eagle Pass” in No Country For Old Men.

    I also find the readers’ comments interesting and informative. Pleasantly surprised that so many people have owl experiences and beliefs to share.


      Quote
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 17 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.