Friday, August 10, 2007

lyrical darkness

The most beautiful book I have read in the last decade is Cormac McCarthy's The Road. It is a somber meditation on love during a time of apocalypse, as a father and son trek the ashen byways of a dead world. Even as he illumines the tragedy of human instinct, there is a diamond hardness that glitters in the debris. It breathes life to deep feeling within the reader and causes your breath to stop, as dark implications stir and aching love is roused:

In the morning they came up out of the ravine and took to the road again. He'd carved the boy a flute from a piece of roadside cane and he took it from his coat and gave it to him. The boy took it wordlessly. After a while he fell back and after a while the man could hear him playing. A formless music for the age to come. Or perhaps the last music on earth called up from out of the ashes of its ruin. The man turned and looked back at him. He was lost in concentration. The man thought he seemed some sad and solitary changeling child announcing the arrival of a traveling spectacle in shire and village who does not know that behind him the players have all been carried off by wolves.

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