"They rode the high country for weeks and they grew thin and gaunted man and horse and the horse grazed on the sparse winter grass in the mountains and gnawed the lichens from the rock and the boy shot trout with his arrows where they stood above their shadows on the cold stone floors of the pools and he ate them and ate green nopal and then on a windy day traversing a high saddle in the mountains a hawk passed before the sun and its shadow ran so quick in the grass before them that it caused the horse to shy and the boy looked up where the bird turned high above them and he took the bow from his shoulder and nocked and loosed an arrow and watched it rise with the wind rattling the fletching slotted into the cane and watched it turning and arcing and the hawk wheeling and then flaring suddenly with the arrow locked in its pale breast."If you have ever read McCarthy (or Faulkner, or Morrison for that matter) you know that he likes the long sentence. Part of his style. In this case I believe that McCarthy is using this to suggest that time is passing, but it seems that all of time is sloughing into itself. You cannot really tell when things are happening; it seems that it is all happening at once. All at one time. His use of the conjunction "and" accomplishes this task. The sentence isn't incorrect, just very long and drawn out. It helps the reader to feel the exhausting nature of this journey. And this happened, and this happened, and this happened. I don't think that most writers should use this style. This is reserved for those masters who are allowed to break the rules.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
McCarthy's Use of the Complex Sentence
Still reading The Crossing, by Cormac McCarthy. Got into part two and my reading just really slowed down. It's not that it isn't interesting, just that there is a ton to process. Here is a quote from part 2, page 129: