This morning I finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy. My husband and son had read it and handed it over to me. It is indeed a bleak and yet beautiful book, as people had told me. The prose style is so compelling! It is not ostentatious in any way, but it makes use of both rare and precise words, something I love to see. And it is not as honey-heavy as Marilynne Robinson's prose style in Housekeeping or Gilead (Home is upcoming reading for me, too!), but it demands that same close attention. I like that in a prose style!
This year I will keep a list of books read in 2010, as a friend does, whose list I always enjoy. Also keeping a list of movies viewed, as the family loves to watch movies together and sometimes discuss them....sometimes just ponder and feel together but on our own. But if we have the movie in common, we can refer to it later in a conversation about human things. "It's like that scene in...," we can say.
My most recent Wow! film of the year is Synecdoche, New York. As with books, which I read eventually, I see movies when I can--often when they are available at the local library!
These two connect in an odd, bleak, and loving way. The devastation of the set at the end of SNY is like the devastation of the world in The Road. There is fear, rage, hatred--people are capable of doing appalling things to one another. And there is undeniable love, human connection. But SNY is also about making art. There, it seems like such a waste to harm or neglect one another for the sake of making art. I suppose whatever we are making, or doing, there is terrible waste in harming or neglecting one another. In The Road, everything we made or did turned out to harm us, or to waste our lives and damage our world.
Seems like we are in a turnaround now. We are paying close attention to the prose style of our lives.