Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy's The Road is being made into a movie. Thankfully for those of us who enjoy McCarthy, the Coen brothers are now where near this one - yes, despite the awards, No Country for Old Men the movie was a pointless, violence driven exercise in the Hollywoodization of two former 'independent' filmmakers.

The wikipedia entry has a long quote from British environmentalist George Monbiot. Monbiot likes the book: "It could be the most important environmental book ever. It is a thought experiment that imagines a world without a biosphere, and shows that everything we value depends on the ecosystem." Hmm.

I believe that once an artist has released his work, he no longer has a hegemony on its interpretation; that's just one of the many beauties of good art. But I think Monbiot, and many others like him, are reading their own beliefs into the novel beyond what is even reasonable by artistic standards. A history lesson: the term 'the road' is a medieval term referring to the pilgrimage to Santiago de la Compostela. It was a penitary pilgrimage, and a very dangerous one (nowadays it doesn't offer pilgrims the same physical risks, but still gives those applicable a plenary indulgence).

I'm just saying.

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