What else? | Last scattered thoughts on Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Passenger

What else? The Passenger, Cormac McCarthy Versions of the phrase What else repeat throughout The Passenger, sometimes at the beginning of a sentence but more often than not as a two-word statement or question. It’s a verbal tic not unlike the plentiful instances of They rode on to be found in Blood Meridian, and like that phrase,… Continue reading What else? | Last scattered thoughts on Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Passenger

White Meridian | More scattered thoughts on Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Passenger

He’d bought a small ruled notebook at the stationer’s in Ibiza. Cheap pulp paper that would soon yellow and crumble. He took it out and wrote in it with his pencil. Vor mir keine Zeit, nach mir wird keine Sein. The Passenger, Cormac McCarthy In the second paragraph of the last chapter of Cormac McCarthy’s… Continue reading White Meridian | More scattered thoughts on Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Passenger

The incest thing | More scattered thoughts on Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Passenger

He’s in love with his sister and she’s dead. —The Passenger, Cormac McCarthy   The theme of brother-sister incest haunts the early American novel on its lower levels of literacy as well as on the higher—a nightmare from which our writers do not choose to awake too soon, since it is one their readers are… Continue reading The incest thing | More scattered thoughts on Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Passenger

You never did the Thalidomide Kid | More scattered thoughts on Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Passenger

The Thalidomide Kid found her in a roominghouse on Clark Street. Near North Side. He knocked on the door. Unusual for him. Of course she knew who it was. She’d been expecting him. And anyway it wasn’t really a knock. Just a sort of slapping sound. –The Passenger, Cormac McCarthy Maybe you did fool the… Continue reading You never did the Thalidomide Kid | More scattered thoughts on Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Passenger

Scattered thoughts on starting Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Passenger (Book acquired, 25 Oct. 2022)

I picked up Cormac McCarthy’s new novel The Passenger today. The last Cormac McCarthy novel was The Road, which came out way back in 2006, year of this blog’s birth. I read most of The Road in the delivery ward over a few days when my daughter was born. Since then I’ve read pretty much everything by McCarthy… Continue reading Scattered thoughts on starting Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Passenger (Book acquired, 25 Oct. 2022)

A few sentences on every book I read or reread in 2022

☉ indicates a reread. ☆ indicates an outstanding read. In some cases, I’ve self-plagiarized some descriptions and evaluations from my old tweets and blog posts. Red Shift, Alan Garner ☆ Three plots, three eras, one place: Roman-conquered England, English Civil War, contemporary (early seventies) England. Great read, reminded me a bit of Hoban’s Riddley Walker. Tyll,… Continue reading A few sentences on every book I read or reread in 2022

Cormac McCarthy’s Stella Maris (Book acquired, 6 Dec. 2022)

I picked up Cormac McCarthy’s latest (probably last) novel Stella Maris the other day. I’ve avoided reviews of its predecessor novel The Passenger (okay, maybe not all reviews) and will continue to avoid reviews of both novels until I’ve finished Stella Maris. It’s my belief that McCarthy intends for his audience to read the novels intertextually. (This is an… Continue reading Cormac McCarthy’s Stella Maris (Book acquired, 6 Dec. 2022)

Nation and ghost of nation passing in a soft chorale across that mineral waste to darkness bearing lost to all history and all remembrance like a grail the sum of their secular and transitory and violent lives | From Cormac McCarthy’s novel All the Pretty Horses

In the evening he saddled his horse and rode out west from the house. The wind was much abated and it was very cold and the sun sat blood red and elliptic under the reefs of bloodred cloud before him. He rode where he would always choose to ride, out where the western fork of… Continue reading Nation and ghost of nation passing in a soft chorale across that mineral waste to darkness bearing lost to all history and all remembrance like a grail the sum of their secular and transitory and violent lives | From Cormac McCarthy’s novel All the Pretty Horses

We cooked our fish on a rock named Satan | From Nathaniel Hawthorne’s journal entry for July 10th, 1838

July 10th.–A fishing excursion, last Saturday afternoon, eight or ten miles out in the harbor. A fine wind out, which died away towards evening, and finally became quite calm. We cooked our fish on a rock named “Satan,” about forty feet long and twenty broad, irregular in its shape, and of uneven surface, with pools of… Continue reading We cooked our fish on a rock named Satan | From Nathaniel Hawthorne’s journal entry for July 10th, 1838

Scenes and characters | Nathaniel Hawthorne’s journal entry for August 11th, 1838

August 11th.–This morning, it being cloudy and boding of rain, the clouds had settled upon the mountains, both on the summits and ridges, all round the town, so that there seemed to be no way of gaining access to the rest of the world, unless by climbing above the clouds. By and by they partially dispersed,… Continue reading Scenes and characters | Nathaniel Hawthorne’s journal entry for August 11th, 1838

Growing dark with a pleasant gloom | Nathaniel Hawthorne’s journal entry for July 8th, 1837

 July 8th.–Yesterday afternoon, a stroll with B—- up a large brook, he fishing for trout, and I looking on. The brook runs through a valley, on one side bordered by a high and precipitous bank; on the other there is an interval, and then the bank rises upward and upward into a high hill, with gorges… Continue reading Growing dark with a pleasant gloom | Nathaniel Hawthorne’s journal entry for July 8th, 1837

Read “P’s Correspondence,” a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne

“P’s Correspondence” by Nathaniel Hawthorne MY UNFORTUNATE FRIEND P. has lost the thread of his life, by the interposition of long intervals of partially disordered reason. The past and present are jumbled together in his mind, in a manner often productive of curious results; and which will be better understood after a perusal of the following letter,… Continue reading Read “P’s Correspondence,” a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne

We sat and talked of ghosts and kindred subjects | Nathaniel Hawthorne’s journal entry for September 13th, 1851

September 13th.–I spent last evening, as well as part of the evening before, at Mr. Thaxter’s. It is certainly a romantic incident to find such a young man on this lonely island; his marriage with the pretty Miranda is true romance. In our talk we have glanced over many matters, and, among the rest, that of… Continue reading We sat and talked of ghosts and kindred subjects | Nathaniel Hawthorne’s journal entry for September 13th, 1851

Little or nothing except to roam | Nathaniel Hawthorne’s journal entry for September 5th, 1852

Sunday, September 5th.–To-day I have done little or nothing except to roam along the shore of the island, and to sit under the piazza, talking with Mr. Laighton or some of his half-dozen guests; and about an hour before dinner I came up to my room, and took a brief nap. Since dinner I have been writing… Continue reading Little or nothing except to roam | Nathaniel Hawthorne’s journal entry for September 5th, 1852

Jonah — Albert Pinkham Ryder

And here is “The Sermon,” Ch. IX of Herman Melville’s great novel Moby-Dick, in which Father Mapple gives us the tale of Jonah— Father Mapple rose, and in a mild voice of unassuming authority ordered the scattered people to condense. “Starboard gangway, there! side away to larboard—larboard gangway to starboard! Midships! midships!” There was a low rumbling… Continue reading Jonah — Albert Pinkham Ryder