Avast! Thar be spoilers ahead!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Road

The Road is written by Cormic McCarthy, who also wrote No Country For Old Men. His taciturn method obliterates what normal comfort one finds in Sci-Fi, the familiarity of humanity, and even in most post-apocalyptica there is the saving grace of knowing what went wrong offering the reader the chance to illogically prepare for such a disaster. But none of that. Instead, we are shown what I know to be the flaw of cannibalism-the ethics of procuring human meat. In situations were the meal is already deceased or, as in the dire case when lost at sea, the victim has drawn lots with foreknowledge of his risk and his offering of salvation to his crew, in these situations I feel no moral outrage. Even in the case of Hannibal Lectur, his victims are killed first, or dulled against the pain, or viscious sinners for whom we need feel no remorse.

Again, not so for Cormic. Instead they are the hunted and the tortured, who are forced to endure in suffering and privation. He did try to warn me, gradually building up and offering clues but I was too sleepy and although I could tell that he was trying to get across to me something, I could not put the clues together nor could I fathom the horror he was trying to shield me from in the beginning. Until one page, in my foolish hope, I fell down into his pit of terror. There are some things that wreck me, that pull my innards from me and throw me into despair. It does not matter if they are fiction, movie-magic, make-believe. The terrible possibilities of humanity . . . things I cannot look at, things that break me down. Too cruel.

This book is among them and I must beg Oprah, why, why would this be on your booklist? Not that I read it because of her happy seal of approval, but still, why would she put this into the hands of the masses and say "read, please do"?

I have lived in a tremor since yesterday. Scared to sleep, scared to close my eyes for what I might find there, scared to let my mind wander. A horrible road. A sore throat had me down, but this knocked me out. I was weak on waking, slow in moving, scared of breathing. It has been a hard few days physically, emotionally, psychologically. I am coming round, rallying. I have I Am Legend which bears precious little resemblance to the movie. Why another post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel? Because I already know the story. I have taken the precaution of reading the wiki plot of any book that I may venture into.

I recently did one of those Myer-Briggs tests. I wanted to see if my anti-depressants/anti-anxiety meds had turned me into an extrovert and was a little surprised to find that it had not. If anything, my introversion is the only hard certainty although I have moved from Thinking into Feeling since high school. So I am Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling and a 50/50 Judging/Percepting. No matter which of the latter, I am said to live a rich inner life and I am only lately coming to realize that this is not in fact the norm, which I had previously assumed. And J or P, I am a healer-helper-counselor. And with either combination, or both, I am said to find safety in predictability, habit, and preparation when I cannot be sure.

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