Cormac McCarthy’s two new novels after 16 years; What did the creator of “The Road” write?

Sixteen years ago, The Road, Cormac McCarthy's apocalyptic masterpiece, won the Pulitzer Prize and cemented the style of the author in the history of contemporary literature. Writers who become famous often become more active, counting down the time to share their story ideas with more people, but what about McCarthy? It is strange that he disappeared at the height of popularity. Waiting for a new book seemed pointless and like "Estragon" and "Vladimir" sitting in front of our eyes, we felt that we will never see another work of this author. Now, at the age of 89, McCarthy is back with two new novels: The Passenger, now available in English, and Stella Maris, out next month. These two related novels are not the pinnacle of a great writer, but they may be the end of his artistic career.

BingMag.com Cormac McCarthy’s two new novels after 16 years; What did the creator of “The Road” write?

Sixteen years ago, The Road, Cormac McCarthy's apocalyptic masterpiece, won the Pulitzer Prize and cemented the style of the author in the history of contemporary literature. Writers who become famous often become more active, counting down the time to share their story ideas with more people, but what about McCarthy? It is strange that he disappeared at the height of popularity. Waiting for a new book seemed pointless and like "Estragon" and "Vladimir" sitting in front of our eyes, we felt that we will never see another work of this author. Now, at the age of 89, McCarthy is back with two new novels: The Passenger, now available in English, and Stella Maris, out next month. These two related novels are not the pinnacle of a great writer, but they may be the end of his artistic career.

Some of Cormac McCarthy's novels such as The Road or "No Place for Old Men" are so exciting that you can't put them down for a moment, but two His new story has different circumstances and McCarthy wrote them with a different purpose. These books deliberately distance themselves from the reader and refuse to please you. Sometimes you even feel like you are dealing with an arrogant writer who writes with great skill and special elegance, but he writes for himself and no one else. As if he wants to tire the audience and quench his thirst to continue the story.

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The events of the traveler and Stella Maris is narrated by a brother and sister. In Passenger, we step into the world of the 80s and join "Bobby Western", a tough but quiet guy who used to be a racing driver but now works as a diver and apparently has a high knowledge of "theoretical physics". On the other hand, Stella Maris takes us to the 70s and is narrated by Alicia Western, a woman with schizophrenia and a mathematical genius. Their surname "Western" was chosen because they symbolize the West, a reflection of the post-war Western world with all its ups, downs, successes and moral challenges. In The Traveler, Bobby falls in love with Alicia, a sister who has died. In Stella Maris, Alicia falls in love with Bobby, a brother who is in a coma. They have never had the chance to get close to each other, but Cormac McCarthy has written the story in such a way that you might get different ideas.

The publishers have written on the back cover of each of these novels that they have an independent story, but believe these claims. do not do. Many of the plot lines of The Traveler are only clarified by Stella Maris's novel, and without it, you will be faced with a vague and disjointed novel. Stella Maris has similar conditions and reading it independently is like stepping into a dry and grassless desert and many of its philosophical themes appear meaningless. Reading these two books separately will be a discouraging experience for you.

BingMag.com Cormac McCarthy’s two new novels after 16 years; What did the creator of “The Road” write?

In The Passenger, the main plot of the story approaches horror, from the disappearance of a passenger on a crashed plane to the mysterious government agencies hunting Bobby, but the author refuses to solve the mysteries or even provide a real suspect. . They exist only to create paranoia for Bobby Western (Cormac McCarthy uses his last name rather than his first name, which is purposeful), a man who spouts Socratic dialogue when confronted by colorful characters. As in McCarthy's other writings, he raises thought-provoking questions and shows his interest in philosophy, from the discussion of whether there is a God at all to the question of whether the soul can have gender. He even talks about the "tragedy of beauty" through his magician-turned-private-detective character. And the hero of his story? Bobby Western is a blank slate, so blank it sometimes seems insulting, but that's what McCarthy wanted. Western plays the role of a messenger, a character who helps the author address his main concerns: the atom bomb, quantum mechanics, and the question of whether truth can be known.

Western says in part of the story: It's okay to say that the reason we don't understand the quantum world is because we didn't evolve in that world. But the main mystery is the same thing that was the concern of Charles Darwin. "How can we understand complex things when our survival does not depend on them?" (As before, McCarthy did not use quotation marks in his novel). Western is closer to these issues than ordinary people, because he is the child of one of the creators of the atomic bomb, along with Alicia; He was born with the knowledge that his family's wealth was acquired by something inhuman (the atomic bomb). Both have learned modern physics from their father, both know well that physics What are the consequences of modernity for the world and they want to reveal the truth. As a young man, Western decides to become a physicist but fails and feels that he is not as good at it as he should be. Alicia goes in a different direction and enters the field of pure mathematics, but in the end she comes to the conclusion that these things are useless: since mathematics outside the field of the human mind cannot be proven, it cannot solve the important problem of what is truth. Alicia wants to keep the reality of contemporary physics and pure mathematics in her mind, which has caused her mind to collapse, but maybe on the contrary, maybe only a broken mind wants to make such a decision.

Alicia in the traveler novel. It has a faint but effective presence. The story begins with his suicide, and in the form of flashbacks, we see him having a conversation with the imaginary characters of his mind: a carnival floater whom Alicia calls a "thalidomide baby" (not to mention that the hallucinations and ramblings are very boring and exhausting); . But Alicia is not in the spotlight until Stella Maris's novel, which tells the story of the girl's conversations with a psychiatrist in the last year of her life before her suicide. After the chaotic and rich atmosphere of the traveler, you will encounter a bare and bitter atmosphere in Stella Maris. The Traveler takes place in summer in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Stella Maris in a cold Midwestern winter. The misleading plot details of the traveler are also removed, for example, that the assassination of John F. Kennedy" is intended to divert attention, because a group of criminals, the secret treasure of "Robert F. Kennedy" has been stolen from the basement of his late grandmother's house.

In Stella Maris, Cormac McCarthy has stripped back the flesh to the bone, to the point where he really wants to talk about it. And very soon you realize that the bone is actually pure theoretical and mathematical physics and the questions that these fields raise about the cosmos and humanity. Alicia tells the psychiatrist, I knew something my brother didn't know, that there was a horror beneath the surface that had always been there. That in the core of the truth, an eternal evil spirit is burning. Apparently, that inexplicable void in the womb of quantum physics is the evil evil spirit.

McCarthy has always had problems in creating female characters, and Alicia is not a three-dimensional and deep female character in the same way. Feminine sensitivities and irritability are visible in this character, but she is more than a woman, like Bobby, she is a means of presenting the author's philosophical views, and this issue becomes more tangible in the second half of Stella Maris; Where it becomes clear that Alicia has a Cormac McCarthy self image (and anyone who realizes that his artwork is a product of his subconscious). "The main question is not how you solve math problems, but how your subconscious solves them," says the girl. How is it that [the unconscious] is better at math than we are? You are involved in solving a problem and then you put it aside but it doesn't go away. It reappears at lunch or when you're in the shower. It [subconsciously] tells you: look at this, what do you think? Then you wonder why the bath or soup is cold. Are these calculations considered mathematical? Unfortunately yes". You could replace math with "writing" in this quote and the meaning wouldn't change.

The quality of McCarthy's writing is as expected high and his clear and engaging prose will leave you speechless. For example, in the quote below he wants to say that "our reality depends on our observations" but read the way this message is delivered: "In the beginning there was nothing. The nova exploded in silence. In total darkness. stars. Passing meteors. Everything is in the service of possible existence. black fire like hellfire Silence. absurdity the night. Black suns gathering planets, from a world in which the concept of space had no meaning to imagine an end for it. frequency of short, concise and derivative sentences; Throwing the term "possible existence" in the face of vivid imagery like a black hellish fire and silent black planets: when you're as good at writing as McCarthy, literary presentation of ideas seems easy.

But the fact is that McCarthy He doesn't want to repeat the pleasure of reading his previous works. In these two new novels, his most mesmerizing lines will awaken fear in you, your personal fears and the fear of the cosmic unknown. In the world of these two stories, there is no hopeful or happy element, you might think that such things are completely impossible. The only tender and emotional aspect of the story is around a forbidden love, which McCarthy treats as a liberating, yet destructive event. For those who have not read McCarthy, The Traveler and Stella Maris will not be a good choice. They don't take advantage of the author's usual tense and visceral feelings, but McCarthy's goal is clear from the beginning, he has tried trial and error at the possible end point of his artistic career, the result of which is a unique intellectual experience; You will not find anything similar to these two novels and imbued with such beauty Fear can only be created by a writer like Cormac McCarthy.

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