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The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongoby PETER ORNER
The Roadby CORMAC McCARTHY
WARNER: Maria Schneider describes the effect of McCarthy’s The Road in terms of having my eyeballs sandpapered down to hard calcium deposits, which is about as apt a description of the effect of his work as I’ve ever read. (And I mean that in a good way.)
Judging from McCarthy’s oeuvre and his author photowhere even his crags have cragsyou don’t get the sense that he’s not a laugh-a-minute guy in his everyday lifewhich is why he’s at the top of my Contemporary Masters of American Fiction Cribs episode list just because I’d like to know whether or not he’s really a regular guy, with a Scarface poster hanging in his hallway and Jackass 2 playing on the plasma screen.
GUILFOILE: Did you read that Vanity Fair feature on McCarthy a few years back? It was all about how he spends most of his time with scientists at the Santa Fe Institute and it was one of the coolest profiles of an author I’ve ever read (it’s not online but there’s sort of a summary of it here). There’s also this Times Mag profile from just before All the Pretty Horses that describes him as the best unknown novelist in America. Anyway, I don’t think he’s a regular guy at all. In fact, I would be disappointed if Cormac McCarthy didn’t hold me in utter contempt, especially after perusing my Netflix queue, which, between you and me, contains an awful lot of Veronica Mars.
WARNER: I’ll see your Netflix queue and raise my TiVo season passes: The Hills, Laguna Beach, My Super Sweet Sixteen, What Not to Wear, and Oprah. Even I hold me in contempt.