Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cormac McCarthy

Today on the Oprah show was the prized interview with the famous American author, Mr. Cormac McCarthy. For those unaware, he is said to be one of the greatest living American authors. One of his most famous works is "All the Pretty Horses," but his most recent honors came from his text entitled "The Road." This fiction piece was the most recent Oprah Book Club selection, and after being added to the club, it was later awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

I haven't brought myself to read the novel covering the journey of a father and son along a post-apocalyptic road (mainly because I have the most difficult time bringing myself to read ANY fiction book), but once I heard the announcement of this book and read a bit about the author on the internet, I was anticipating today's interview. Here is why...

Mr. McCarthy is a HIGHLY private individual. With his 40+ years in the writing business, he is said to have only give a handful of interviews, which were ALL in writing. Today, marked his first (and said by him to be his last) television interview.

That in its self led me to be intrigued by the gentleman. I wanted to see him. I wanted to hear him. I wanted to try to get inside him to understand his yearning for privacy.

It was the first matter touched on by Ms. Winfrey--his private nature and continual decisions to decline interviews.

Oprah: Thank you for doing this today.
McCarthy: This is a first for me.
Oprah: I hear that it's a first. Why have you never done it before?
McCarthy: Well, I don't think it's good for your head. I mean if you spend a lot of time thinking about how to write a book, you probably shouldn't be talking about it, you should be feeling it.

I love that line: "I don't think it's good for your head." Sometimes I think we are all a little guilty of so to say, head-trauma. Myself OFTENTIMES included!

I think what I liked the most about the interview with Mr. McCarthy was his informal nature of being throughout the whole interview. I mean if you saw it, you most likely noted that the man was so chilled out and relaxed in the leather armchair with his head resting on his hand for most likely 85% of the interview! HA! I loved it! Here he is, sitting across from who many would call one of the greatest media interviewers of today, and he was just answering her questions in a manner so close to covering his mouth that it was almost rude, but at the same time, it was so not. It was just strange.

The man had a gentleness about his 73 year old self. One that only an older father of an 8-year old could, I suppose.

He had such a wise nature about himself. As most seasoned individuals do, he seemed so elegantly posed and aware. I guess it's the experiences of life that have brought him and so many others to their points of wisdom.

I liked this segment from the interview...

Oprah: In all of your books...there is not a lot of engagement with women, and so people call you a "man's man's writer." Is there a reason why women are not a big part of the plots?
McCarthy: Women are tough; they're tough. [laughter] I don't pretend to know much about women. I think men don't know much about women; they find them very mysterious.

Like I said...a wise man! ;)

I guess my favorite part of the interview came at the end. It was when Oprah was asking Mr. McCarthy what he hoped the readers of "The Road" would take from the novel. It was to this inquiry that these words were spoken...

McCarthy: Well, just to simply care about things and people. And be more appreciative. Life is pretty damn good; even when it looks bad. And we should appreciate it more. We should be grateful. I don't know who to be grateful too, but you should be thankful for what you have.
Oprah: You haven't worked out the God thing, or not, yet?
McCarthy: [laughter] Well, it would depend upon what day you ask me. [laughter] But, sometimes it's good to pray. I don't think you have to have a clear idea of who or what God is in order to pray. You could even be quite doubtful about the whole business.

I really like those comments of his. I really do.

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