The Passenger

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  • 26 Feb 2014 at 4:33 pm #5125

    wesmorgan
    Participant

    One of the surprises contained on the Blu-Ray DVD of THE COUNSELOR is the Extra: “Truth of the Situation: Making ‘The Counselor.’” It has several cuts of Cormac McCarthy talking about the film and screenplay some of which were contained on a trailer released in anticipation of the film. See: Interview–Cormac McCarthy. One cut that did not appear on the trailer contained the following according to my transcription.

    Cormac McCarthy: “I’m writing two novels. One pretty long novel, and one short, that are part of the same project really, and I have been working on them for a long time. And, uh, I just got up one morning and was having some coffee and walking around and I thought, I need to take a break from this. Let me do something else. So I sat down and wrote a screenplay, it took about five weeks working a couple of hours a day, I thought, this is an easy way to make a living. I should do more of this.”

    I would have to guess that the “pretty long novel” is the long awaited New Orleans novel that many here have referred to as The Passenger based upon some misplaced pages found scattered within the Cormac McCarthy Papers in San Marcos. However, another “short” book that is “part of the same project” sure comes as a surprise to me.

    I am sure curious about what the “project” could be as well as how a second book could relate to it.

    Anyone got any ideas?


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    27 Feb 2014 at 4:45 pm #5126

    jay4
    Member

    Can’t decide what I’m more excited about…the fact that he keeps referring to The Passenger as a “long” book (I dream of a Pynchonean-length McCarthy book), or that we’re getting wind of a second release on the horizon. Wonder if they’ll release them close to one another ala The Road & The Sunset Limited.

    Has anyone (Rick?) heard any updates on what year we can expect this stuff to be released?


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    27 Feb 2014 at 6:18 pm #5127

    Glass
    Member

    This is interesting. I’d had it in my head that McCarthy was working on four books, but the thought that two might be on the way in the not-too-distant future makes me happy. Heck, one would be a dream. I’d been thinking recently how McCarthy once said that he’d quit reading novels and I got to worrying he might not be interested in writing them any longer either. So this comes as really excellent news. Just for fun speculating, I predict McCarthy might take us out to sea, covey his characters out there past men’s knowing, as it says in the BM sea scene. He’s been pretty much land-locked right? I guess it would be fair to say Whales and Men didn’t quite work out the way he wanted since he never published that, so maybe another try in that world. Maybe he’s run out of country.


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    29 Aug 2014 at 4:06 pm #5793

    asoron0424
    Member

    Glass,

    I think you were under the impression that he was working on four books at once because he said that in an interview with Vanity Fair, occasioned by the publication of NCFOM. Consider, though, that since NCFOM was released McCarthy has published two of those four novels (Sunset Limited and The Road). So it seems these two current projects he’s speaking of, one long and one short, are the last of those five projects he was juggling back in the early aughts (No Country, Sunset Limited, The Road and now these two works-in-progress), which I think affords us a really interesting glimpse into McCarthy’s long-term approach to his work. His dedication. Because not only do we know that Suttree took 20+ years, but there was also the voluminous research that went into Blood Meridian, the enormous amounts of travel that went into researching the Border Trilogy, and now we see that, at least ten years ago, he had begun five projects and has worked on them consistently ever since.

    Philip Roth has said that he wants one last novel to work on until he dies. That he doesn’t want to live to see it published because he never again wants to endure the feeling of emptiness that comes with the completion a project. Now, at the age of 81, he just wants to work, and work, and work and to bask until death in the bliss of that work. McCarthy, as we know, is also 81, and I have a feeling he might be doing the same thing with these two novels: milking them for every hour he can get. He said in his interview with the Wall Street Journal that there’s no greater pleasure in his life than writing. I think he called it “heaven” to be sitting over some blank paper. He probably knows that, given how long it takes for him to write, he doesn’t have the years to embark on a new novel.

    These two that he’s working on now will almost surely be the last two — and, on the basis of this, I’m actually anticipating a posthumous publication for both. I don’t think he’ll let them go.


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    • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  asoron0424.
    30 Aug 2014 at 1:19 am #5795

    Webmaster
    Keymaster

    I’m doubtful that McCarthy is aiming for posthumous publication with The Passenger. I would not be surprised, however, to find that these next two books might be related. I don’t have any inside information; rather, I’m basing my opinion (at least partly) on the fact that The Crossing and The Stonemason work as companion pieces, and (though nobody has said much about this subject) The Road may well be closely tied to The Sunset Limited.

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the McCarthys a long-lived bunch, as a rule?


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    30 Aug 2014 at 1:44 am #5800

    efscerbo
    Member

    Hmm, that’s really interesting. I posted earlier in the week on a potential connection between The Stonemason and NCFOM. But I’ve never considered any relationship between the former and The Crossing nor between The Sunset Limited and The Road, and nothing really comes to mind as I think about it. Care to elaborate a bit?


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    • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  efscerbo.
    30 Aug 2014 at 4:03 pm #5802

    Webmaster
    Keymaster

    Well, part of it might have to do with the structure of The Stonemason.

    Ben witnesses his life, more or less, and comments about it separately from the podium.

    Billy Parham, though reticent, is shown in The Crossing (and the book is at pains to point out his role) as witness. From the hearer of the multiple stories to seeing the atomic bomb test at Trinity Site, from watching the wolves to hearing the song about his brother, his main purpose seems to be to watch and listen.

    Also, seems to me there’s some theological overlap; that is, things said elliptically in The Crossing are said differently but more directly in The Stonemason. There’s more to that, I’m sure, but I haven’t mapped it out in any kind of systematic way.

    About The Road and The Sunset Limited: the connection may be more tenuous, but I’m thinking there’s something (again structural) that unites them. Both are essentially long dialogues between two people. How they differ from each other would probably shed some light on their sort of hidden similarities.


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    31 Aug 2014 at 1:01 pm #5803

    efscerbo
    Member

    Very interesting, thanks. The whole “Ben witnesses his life” thing is largely what I wrote about earlier in the week on the connection between TS and NCFOM. Bell’s monologues seem to play an analogous role. The idea that Billy may be doing something similar is not something I’ve considered before. Obviously, his principal role is that of “witness”, but I always thought of him more as a witness to others. Perhaps part of it is introspective, as well. I’ll keep an eye out for it next time I read it, which will hopefully be soon.

    Thanks again!


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    05 Jan 2015 at 6:24 am #6178

    robmcinroy
    Member

    There was an item in yesterday’s Sunday Times, about cultural highlights in the new year, suggesting CMc will have two, as yet untitled, works published in the autumn. They are, apparently, linked.

    Is this the N’Awleans work?


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    05 Jan 2015 at 12:31 pm #6183

    efscerbo
    Member

    Very interesting, Rob, especially in light of the The Counselor Blu-Ray special features, wherein McCarthy says he’s currently (this would be late 2012/early 2013) working on two novels, one long and one short, that are both part of the same project. Can’t wait to hear more on this from those more in the know than I.

    [EDIT: Just noticed Wes’s above post saying exactly what I just said. I should really learn to read earlier posts before writing my own.]

    Ed


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