Archive for the ‘Cormac McCarthy’ Category

All The Pretty Horses

May 13, 2008

I’m almost done this book.  It was a challenging read.  I’ve never read anything by Cormac McCarthy so I didn’t know what to expect.  McCarthy doesn’t use any punctuation marks except for periods.  He refers to his characters by pronouns (he, she) rather than their names.  There are sentences that go on forever.  Who knows why he does this, but it does make the book difficult to read.  I usually read really fast but that’s impossible with this book.  At one point I think I read an entire page over 4 times before I knew what character was saying what.  I had to slow down and read this book aloud to myself in order to understand what the hell was going on.   And once I did that, I realized that this book is amazing.  I’m tired and I will write more later, but this was one of my favorite passages, maybe just because its about science:

When I was in school I studied biology.  I learned that in making their experiments scientists will take some group – bacteria, mice, people – and subject that group to certain conditions.  They compare the results with a second group which has not been distrubed.  This second group is called the control group.  It is the control group which enables the scientist to gauge the effect of his experiment.  To judge the significance of what has occurred.  In history there are no control groups.  There is no one to tell us what might have been.  We weep over the might have been but there is no might have been.  There never was.  It is supposed to be true that those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it.  I dont believe knowing can save us.  What is constant in history is greed and foolishness and a love of blood and this is a thing that even God – who knows all that can be known – seems powerless to change.

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