Thursday, January 19, 2012

All Human Existence is a Trick of Light

The Angel Esmeralda (Nine Stories) by Don DeLillo
published by Scribner
211 pages

I guess there's a reason this is DeLillo's first and only story collection. I'd say 3 1/2 of these stories are worth reading. The title story is taken from his excellent epic Underworld and is the strongest story by far. Human Moments in WWIII is also great. Anyway, DeLillo has turned into a philosopher-poet. So there's that. I just need to stick to his earlier work. I still have Great Jones Street, Endzone, and Ratner's Star to read.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Et in Arcadia Ego

Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy
published by Random House
337 pages

I am nearly 30 years old and I've just finished Blood Meridian for the first time. I'm glad I waited this long because I don't think I could have handled it in my younger years. Never has a work of literature left me so spent and speechless. It was slow going and most days I almost dreaded the thing. Not because it wasn't enjoyable...well, hell, I don't think Blood Meridian can be enjoyable. What I mean to say is that the writing is stunning and this is clearly a monumental work of American literature and certain scenes in the narrative will be buried in my heart and brain forever, but I found only despair and dark pleasures.

The dread I felt came from The Judge and the evilness of the book. I can't remember ever having been terrified of a literary figure. And make no mistake, Blood Meridian is a terrifying work. And I have nothing left to say.

 "For this will to deceive that is in things luminous may manifest itself likewise in retrospect and so by sleight of some fixed part of a journey already accomplished may also post men to fraudulent destinies." pg 120