Cormac McCarthy

15 Sep 2023 11:05 - 17 Sep 2023 03:43
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    • You think you're outside of everything, Wells said. But you're not. Not everything. No. You're not outside of death. It doesnt mean to me what it does to you. You think I'm afraid to die? Yes. Just do it. Do it and goddamn you. It's not the same, Chigurh said. You've been giving up things for years to get here. I dont think I even understood that. How does a man decide in what order to abandon his life? We're in the same line of work. Up to a point.
      • – No Country for Old Men, p177
    • She looked at him a final time. You dont have to, she said. You dont. You dont. He shook his head. Youre asking that I make myself vulnerable and that I can never do. I have only one way to live. It doesnt allow for special cases. A coin toss perhaps. In this case to small purpose. Most people dont believe that there can be such a person. You can see what a problem that must be for them. How to prevail over that which you refuse to acknowledge the existence of. Do you understand? When I came into your life your life was over. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is the end. You can say that things could have turned out differently. That they could have been some other way. But what does that mean? They are not some other way. They are this way. You're asking that I second say the world. Do you see? Yes, she said, sobbing. I do. I truly do. Good, he said. That's good. Then he shot her.
      • – No Country for Old Men, p259
    • The movie trimmed a lot of this self-explanation back, probably the right call for the medium. Although the print version might be even scarier in some ways, its like the Tao of Murder. And the print Chigurh allows himself bits of quasi-compassion, like saying "I'm sorry" and giving these lengthy earnest explanations of how things are to people he's about to terminate. Which, again, just serves to highlight by contrast the absolute absence of actual compassion.
    • Hm not that surprising McCarthy spent his later years hanging out with physicists and complexity theorists at the Santa Fe Institute. They share a nihilistic worldview, or more accurately they are trying to find a response (in very different modes) to the seeming nihilism of the physical world.