Sophie Haigney and others at The Paris Review:
Cormac McCarthy’s work means a lot to me, though when I try to explain exactly what, I find myself unusually stymied; my affinity for him doesn’t make all that much sense to me. What connection do I have with the landscapes he conjures? What knowledge do I have of the kind of violence that is the subject and the fabric of many of his books? What place do I find in a world that is, among other things, nearly entirely masculine, hostile, rife with true desperation? The answer is none—unlike with much of my reading, I do not seek a mirror in McCarthy’s worldview—and yet there is something in its aesthetic articulation that has always resonated with me. (I have a curious memory of reading The Road over my mom’s shoulder when I must have been about ten.) I have a passage from All The Pretty Horses saved on my desktop, which I have revisited often and send around now and again, and which I cannot quote in full here but which ends:
The water was black and warm and he turned in the lake and spread his arms in the water and the water was so dark and so silky and he watched across the still black surface to where she stood on the shore with the horse and he watched where she stepped from her pooled clothing so pale, so pale, like a chrysalis emerging, and walked into the water.