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Thread: Child Of God, by Cormac McCarthy

  1. #16
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Sex and Religion. Whooeee. Though topics. Sounds about right though, M. I think it’s hard to write about about sex without coming across as creepy. Best to go full Seinfeld and “yada-yada-yada” your way past the sex scene. As for religion, the subject is huge. So long as you don’t try to bite off too much at once, I think you can explore some pretty good ideas. Ms O’Connor was a devout Roman Catholic living in the mostly Baptist South. I think it gave her some unique insights. She wrote about traveling preachers, tent revivals, holy rollers, stuff like that, and of course in Revelation she wrote about being judgmental (among other things).

    Here’s the same idea in a less serious art form. The first few verses of The Austin Lounge Lizards’ tune — Jesus Loves Me (But He Can’t Stand You)

    I know you smoke, I know you drink that brew
    I just can't abide a sinner like you
    God can't either, that's why I know it's true
    That Jesus loves me but he can't stand you

    I'm going straight to heaven, boys, when I die
    Cos I've crossed every ‘T’ and I've dotted every ‘I’
    Why, my preacher tells me I'm god's kind of guy
    That's why Jesus loves me, but you're gonna fry

    <chorus>
    God loves all his children, by gum
    But that don’t mean he won't incinerate some
    Can't you feel those hot flames licking you?
    Woo-Woo-Woo
    The YouTube link:
    https://youtu.be/PS_jFT0dErc
    Uhhhh...

  2. #17
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Glad old Litnet still shows so much humo(u)r in verse and prose.
    Wondering if Sancho will present us sometime with a short story!
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  3. #18
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Danik, my friend,
    Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I’m afraid I’m a reader not a writer. My attempts at writing have consistently produced results like my attempt at dentistry last week - mediocre and slightly akilter. I will say this, though. Trying to write something does give me a greater appreciation for people who can write well, like Flannery O’Connor and Cormack McCarthy.
    By the way, nice job striking a balance between British and American spelling. I appreciate it and I’ll bet Manichaean does too.
    Uhhhh...

  4. #19
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Hi you two.

    Not sure where to start the response, so will dive right in.

    Sex.

    As a schoolboy I got my hands on a copy of the previously banned “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” where the gamekeeper speaks in the idiom of his social status. Highly controversial at the time, using the F word. The judge ruling on the case asked if it were the type of book that one would allow one’s servant's to read? The secret on addressing the writing about sex I think lies in finding a balance between straightforward carnal “rutting” and embellishing the whole act in the nuances' of the English language. Give the pointer and let the imagination do the work as it were.

    Religion.

    Loved the ditty Sancho.

    Divided by a common language.

    I had to act on many an occasion as an intermediary in meetings for my Japanese employer and the Client represented by Exxon Mobile on a refinery project in Qatar. If the Japanese did not understand the Americans, they would not, (to save face) admit as such. Which is where I came in. In one instance, a Texan enquired after the movement of an item of construction.

    “What is the route? (pronounced “rout”) he asked.

    Both the Japanese & I were confused.

    “Sorry but I do not understand” I replied. “How do you spell it?”

    Following responses:

    “Route.”

    “Oh, you mean “route” pronounced “root”

    “No, that’s the lower part of a tree.”

    “But when you pronounce it “rout” it involves a battle where one side loses and runs away. “Route” and “Root” are pronounced the same in the UK. “Rout” is pronounced completely different.

    Needless to say, the Japanese were bewitched, befuddled and bemused by this exchange between two English speaking individuals.

  5. #20
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Lol! Needless to say, my role here is that of the Japanese.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  6. #21
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Yup, yup, yup, Boy-Howdy. Texas English is a whole other thing.

    You know I’ve heard “route” pronounced both ways here. You rout yourself to the root. The old verb-noun thing, very confusing. Or sometimes the old noun-noun thing, even more confusing: the best rout was along Root 66. (It winds from Chicago to L.A.)

    You go through St Louie, Joplin, Missouri
    And Oklahoma City’s looking mighty pretty
    You’ll see Amarillo, and Gallup, New Mexico
    Flagstaff, Arizona don’t forget Winona
    Kingman - Barstow - San Bernardino

    Get your kicks on ROOT Sixty-Six
    Anyway, whataya suppose it was about Lady Chatterley that got it banned? Explicit sex scenes or the idea of a “Lady” with a little side action going on. At any rate, banning a book is a sure-fire way to make sure everybody reads it, eh?

    I’ve been listening to a podcast about rock-n-roll, “A History of Rock Music in 500 songs” by Andrew Hickey. It’s been great fun, and evidently banning a song works the same way as banning a book. Andrew has an episode about Etta James’ song Wallflower (Roll with me Henry). I guess rolling with Henry was too much, so it got sanitized to “dance with me Henry” But as with Lady Chatterley, it was the woman who had the power in this song:

    Henry - Hey Baby? Whatta I gotta do? To make you love me too.
    Etta - Ya gotta roll with me, Henry
    Henry - Alright baby
    Etta - Roll with me Henry
    Henry - Don’t mean maybe
    Etta - Roll with me Henry
    Henry - Any old time
    Etta - Roll with me Henry
    Henry - Don’t change my mind
    Etta - Roll with me Henry
    Henry - Alright
    Etta - You better roll it while the rollin’ is on
    - roll on, roll on, roll on
    Scandalous!
    Not sure why I’m on a song-lyrics roll
    Uhhhh...

  7. #22
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Don't put yourself down Danik. You are like a flaming meteorite compared to some of the dormant galaxies on here.

    Sancho. You are I trust, conversant with the fact that there are Americans, and then there are Texans. One other characteristic that I noted over the years was a distinction between what I call the “frontier” American and those that seem never to have crossed the state line. The former I’ve worked with in places as diverse as Papua New Guinea, Nigeria to Vietnam. Invariably characters in their own right; outward going and bloody good company. But although it's wrong to generalise, I’ve also met Afro Americans in Montego Bay in colonial pith helmets who seemed to think Jamaica was Africa. I will not expand on my one experience of immigration at Miami airport en route to that island. Suffice to say we clashed over what constituted a transit facility and needing a visa when not technically entering the United States.

    Regards Lady Chatterley I believe that she fancied “a bit of rough” with the gamekeeper. Some women like to be wooed; others the more cave-man approach. The use of swear words seems to have been the main reason for banning the book. Seems ridiculous these days, when so called celebrity chefs f all over the place. Thank goodness Lit Net has in place a defensive firewall such that one cannot fall on one's ***.

    D’ont get me started on rock & roll. I saw Buddy Holly live in London, and to this day I will always remember the beat of the drummer in “Peggy Sue.” I also went to the LSE with Mick Jagger. He was taking a degree in Industry & Trade, but decided to leave in his second year to work on his band, the Rolling Stones. His main tutor called him in and advised against with the words “I would finish your studies Mr Jagger in case you do not make a success of rock and roll.” The rest is history.

  8. #23
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Thanks, Manichaeam. Liked the "flaming meteorite". I certainly have never been called that before.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  9. #24
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    “The Flaming Meteorites” What a great name for a band! I’m thinking a metal hair band, a band who likes likes to light their instruments on fire at the end of the show. Oh yeah. Can’t miss.

    That’s amazing, M. I only ever saw The Stones at a few stadium concerts, the first time at The Astrodome in Houston just after they released Tattoo You. Anyway, a thousand years from now kids at the LSE will be studying an ancient economic and social phenomenon known as “Mick-n-Keef”.

    Andrew Hickey’s podcast gets into the nitty gritty of the business side of rock-n-roll, which I found depressing yet fascinating. I mean I grew up listening to that kind of music so it’s been interesting to get some the behind-the-scenes stuff. Ed Ward is another historian of rock and roll. Sadly he died last year. I’ve got both volumes of his history of rock and roll, which I’ve been reading roughly in tandem with Hickey’s podcast. And of course there’s the always quotable Hunter S. Thompson’s take on the music biz:

    The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench - a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs… There’s also a negative side.
    You know, I’m sure all this stuff somehow relates to McCarthy’s book.
    Uhhhh...

  10. #25
    MANICHAEAN MANICHAEAN's Avatar
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    Haha. Yes, we might seem on the surface to have diverted somewhat from the original topic; but I'm sure with our combined input, (including you meteorite No 7) we have not diverged too much.

    After all, what are free wheeling imaginations for?

    Easter Greetings to you both.

    M.

  11. #26
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Thanks, Manichaean
    And a happy Passover to all
    Uhhhh...

  12. #27
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Thanks, Mani and Sancho Belated greetings to you too! Have a good time!

    Just to get back to the theme of the thread here are two reviews on Cormac McCarthy's child of God:

    https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nyti...country&st=cse

    https://offtheshelf.com/2015/07/chil...rmac-mccarthy/
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 04-23-2022 at 09:28 AM.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  13. #28
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Well it’s that season so I’ll use a baseball metaphor: “swing and a miss” by the NYT reviewer. And at the risk of mixing metaphors I’ll say I don’t think he tried very hard to peel the onion.

    Yet I’m somewhat sympathetic towards the reviewer. The first book by McCarthy I read was Blood Meridian. One of my first impressions was it felt a little like a B-Movie Slasher flick and I said as much on this website. Then another member of The Litnet very gently offered a few suggestions for how to interpret the violence and the character of The Judge, essentially peeling the onion for me. It has made me a better reader and in a nutshell it is one of the reasons I stay on this website.
    Uhhhh...

  14. #29
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Yeah. Reviews sometimes changes ones take towards a book or another work of art. Or even an author. The idea here was to offer a negative and a positive review so any one could take his/her pick.
    I myself thought that Faulkner was the utmost that violence could be depicted in US fiction and I had to learn to like him. But compared with Mc Carthy, who I still couldn´t bring myself to read, it probably sounds like Kindergarten literature today.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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