The crossing by cormac mccarthy

The main character is Ben Telfair, a college-educated year-old man, who has taken up, from love of his year-old grandfather, his trade of freestone masonry.

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And the boys travel through this world, tipping their hats, saying "yessir" and "nosir" and "si" and "es verdad" and "claro" to all its potential malice, its half-mad philosophers, as the world washes over and around them, and the brothers themselves come to be as much arrested by the gesture of the quest as the old are by their stores of bitter wisdom and the other travelers, in the middle of life, in various stages of the arc between innocence and experience, by whatever impulses have placed them on the road.

A writer's moral relation to these stories is like nothing so much as a craftsman's relation to his tools, and nothingness is not to be counted for the pleasure of merely circulating, but built against, sentence by sentence -- and here certain Faulknerian adjectives might come into play -- if hopelessly, in the knowledge of the doom of all human intention, then indefatigably, in the knowledge of the skills of a trade that has been passed down to one and that will be passed in turn to other hands.

The novel begins on a small cattle ranch in a New Mexico valley in the last years of the Depression.

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Take, for example, a Mormon who converts to Catholicism and describes his vision of reality in this way: Things separate from their stories have no meaning. This hermit has in fact, it is implied, taken the place in a ruined church of a prior nihilist hermit who lost most of his family to political and natural violence.

The tale.

The crossing cormac mccarthy pdf

Astrolabe or sextant. The women smoke -- "the way poor people eat which is a form of prayer. Unlike its popular precursor, The Crossing is a long, dour, and largely plotless novel. Discuss the meaning of the observation: "The world was new each day for God so made it daily. Nietzsche said that one repays a mentor badly when one remains a pupil. Since we rarely know their direct thoughts, we must infer their motives from their words and actions, which often seem cryptic or irrational. After he is nursed back to health, he disappears with a young girl. Billy is not articulate enough, like Ishmael, to quarrel with any of his tutors, and all the articulate characters speak the same McCarthyite language of grand spiritual exhaustion, languid Ahabs without whales to hunt, or Ivans without even the passionate residue of faith that leads them to hand back their tickets. Who do you think murdered the Parhams? McCarthy can have nowhere to go. As the young riders traverse poor, rural northern Mexico, in the wake of a bitterly failed revolution, in a landscape of barren and tortuous beauty, what they see on the road becomes an emblem of what the world is. And the young woman says that at least she herself knows who the father of her child is, and the old woman says, ay, ay.

All offer sage advice about the journey, and Billy's failure to heed their wisdom sometimes has horrifying results.

Each trip tests Billy as he must try to salvage something once he fails in his original goal.

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What vision of human nature does their opaqueness suggest? Does he employ a similar structure elsewhere in this book?

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The people in The Crossing are characterized by a kind of psychological opaqueness. In marked contrast to his youthful bond with the wolf, he shoos the dog away angrily, meanly. At this point, Billy, seemingly on impulse, decides to leave home without any farewell or explanation in order to return the wolf to Mexico. It may be the American male ethic, but it descends to us from sources as old as the "Odyssey" and the "Aeneid" -- those primers of maleness -- and it came to the heroes of our popular fiction, cowboys and urban detectives by way of Joseph Conrad before it got to Hemingway and Faulkner. Such an aesthetic gesture can work, but cannot, to my mind, be effectively stretched over pages. I like the way emotional tensions are never directly addressed. If there be such space. And what the novel does at this point is to take a deep breath and repeat itself. McCarthy is not through yet. The third is to complete these two tasks in a different form. After drifting through various ranch jobs for about three years, Billy undertakes a third journey into Mexico, this time seeking his brother. The Crossing is a book of dreams and auguries. The Crossing is about many things: the three journeys over four years into Mexico taken by the young Bill Enormously affecting. Eventually, Boyd absconds with his lover and Billy returns to the U. The father and son try to take up the trapping in the manner of the past master.
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