A story with its own take on silence, with its own code of faith – and loss. Given the balancing of grand scale and intricate motion, of twisting light and shadow, No Country for Old Men makes me a believer. I know the story, love this story. The closing pages of the novel make me ache ... this is what my life will come to. And it’s all about the path, the road, the smallness of chance that takes us in the end. A cup of coffee. Dust that settles on our clothes. Voices that never quite know when to stop.
The novel (and the film, for that matter, in its own way) focuses on the American archetypal confrontation ... the good, the bad, the ugly. The lost connections – or missed connections – that make the reader/viewer question both purpose and chance. Each version captures the massive expanse of the story’s play – with its many layers of the physical and the spiritual – against a powerful wasteland.
Knowing when to let go, when to change. I’m of this mind: human nature refuses to adapt – instead, we demand change. This is what we want – therefore, the world must change – then I can have what I want. These are my needs. I will live here, I will say this, I will do – no matter what follows – I just will do. McCarthy’s book, with its marvelous lines that almost intersect, and the Coen’s filmic interpretation, its power centered on a restless, disturbed, and absolute real Ed Tom, capture the tone, the textures in character, the landscape of the story that rests in my head. A story that has been waiting in me – all my life.
No Country for Old Men, novel by Carmac McCarthy (Knopf, 2005) & film by Joel and Ethan Coen (Miramax, 2007)
If I don’t come back tell Mother I love her.
Your mother’s dead Llewelyn.
Well I’ll tell her myself then.
Your’e asking that I make myself vulnerable and that I can never do.
People think they know what they want but they generally dont.
Here’s a soundtrack for the book ...
Stevie Ray Vaughan
... music to live by ...