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Sean
28-06-2002, 09:17:36
Seeing as apparently only one person, apart from me, on here or Poly, has even started a Cormac McCarthy book, I am going to excerpt the hell out of him. To start, a minor character from Blood Meridian, called the veteran.

This man had returned to claim some darkeyed love he’d left two years before when Donophan’s command pulled east for Saltillo and the officers had had to drive back hundreds of young girls dressed as boys that took the road behind the army. Now he would stand in the street solitary in his chains and strangely unassuming, gazing out across the tops of the heads of the townspeople, and at night he’d tell them of his years in the west, an amiable warrior, a reticent man. He’d been at Mier where they fought until the draintiles and the gutters and the spouts from the azoteas ran with blood by the gallon and he told them how the brittle old spanish bells would explode when hit and how he sat against a wall with his shattered leg stretched out on the cobbles before him listening to a lull in the firing that grew into a strange silence and in this silence there grew a low rumbling that he took for thunder until a cannonball came around the corner trundling over the stones like a wayward bowl and went past and down the street and disappeared from sight. He told how they’d taken the city Chihuahua, an army of irregulars that fought in rags and underwear and how the cannonballs were solid copper and came loping through the grass like runaway suns and even the horses learned to sidestep or straddle them and how the dames of the city rode up into the hills in buggies and picnicked and watched the battle and how at night as they sat by the fires they could hear the moans of the dying out on the plain and see by its lantern the deadcart moving among them like a hearse from limbo.

Funkodrom
28-06-2002, 10:32:54
I don't like past passive tense when you are telling stories. It sounds muddled and confusing.

Sean
28-06-2002, 15:32:12
It is a story-within-a-story. Most of it is past active tense.

Funkodrom
28-06-2002, 15:46:30
This was the one that really made me shudder:

Now he would stand in the street solitary in his chains and strangely unassuming

Venom
28-06-2002, 15:54:08
That's grammatically incorrect.

Funkodrom
28-06-2002, 15:57:51
Yes it is.

Venom
28-06-2002, 16:58:17
I lost many points in school for writing in that manner.

Sean
28-06-2002, 19:11:42
Originally posted by Funkodrom
This was the one that really made me shudder:

Now he would stand in the street solitary in his chains and strangely unassuming
That was the bit that brought it to my attention. To be honest, this passage isn’s his best, but the bit where they get attacked by indians is far too intense.

Venom, you didn’t get a genius grant :p.

Funkodrom
29-06-2002, 14:56:57
Well you aren't going to impress us with his second best passages. :D

Sean
29-06-2002, 21:29:06
I’m building up.

Venom
01-07-2002, 12:30:04
Hopefully your head will now explode.

*End Is Forever*
06-07-2002, 01:49:11
Is this thread dead yet? Oh wait... :o

Sean
24-07-2002, 13:20:51
You thought it was dead, didn’t you? HARR HARR HARR.

Between killings.

In the predawn dark the sounds about describe the scene to come. The first cries of birds in the trees along the river and the clink of harness and the snuffle of horses and the gentle sound of their cropping. In the darkened village roosters have begun. The air smells of horses and charcoal. The camp has begun to stir. Sitting all about in the accruing light are the children from the town. None of the men rising know how long they have been there in darkness and silence.

When they rode through the square the dead squaw was gone and the dust was newly raked. The juggler’s lamps were stark and black atop their poles and the fire was cold before the pitchtent. An old woman who had been chopping wood raised up and stood with the axe in both hands as they passed.

They rode through the sacked indian camp at midmorning, the blackened sheets of meat draped across the bushes or hung from poles like strange dark laundry. Deerhides were pegged out on the ground and white or ruddled bones lay strewn over the rocks in a primitive shambles. The horses cocked their ears and stepped quickly. They rode on. In the afternoon black Jackson caught them up, his mount surbated and all but blown. Glanton turned in the saddle and measured him with his eye. Then he nudged his horse forward and the black fell in with his pale wayfellows and all rode on as before.

Funkodrom
24-07-2002, 13:23:14
ARGH!!! TENSE HELL!!!

King_Ghidra
24-07-2002, 14:35:20
Is sean 'excerpting' this book to punish us?

Funkodrom
24-07-2002, 14:43:58
Reading it must be some kind of endurance marathon with prizes for how far you can get through it without throwing it through the fucking window. Easier with the hardback editions.

Sean
24-07-2002, 16:13:36
Once I can find the time I’ll do the first scene with the Indians.

And speaking of torture, For Whom The Bell Tolls. It’s better than The Old Man And The Sea, but Hemingway’s dialogue is too clean, to expositionary (probably not a word), too damn cocky.

King_Ghidra
25-07-2002, 07:59:29
I'm not sure I understand your criticism of hemingway's dialogue in for whom the bell tolls. 'Cocky'? How?

When you say expositionary do you mean it explains too much? Or that it's showy?

Either way, for whom the bell tolls is rare for hemingway because in a lot of the dialogue he is communicating mid 20th-century spanish in english, i.e. expressing all the formalities and nuances of spanish in an english equivalent - which certainly can make it sound strange...

King_Ghidra
26-07-2002, 08:42:58
^stillwaitingbump^