Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cormac McCarthy's SUNSET LIMITED on HBO

This week's debut of the Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel Jackson starred play garnered mixed reviews.

The "novel in the form of a play" is part My Dinner with Andre part the bridge scene in It's a Wonderful Life (60th Anniversary Edition).

R. Bull is credited with that cover showing a stylized human face on the universe, which is fitting for this play on the human condition, two suns in the sky as eyes for the two ways of seeing, the old testament and the new, Yahweh and Elohim, yin and yang, the material and the spiritual.

Of course, the work that Sunset Limited really begs comparison to is Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot.  The characters are always going somewhere but never getting anywhere, perpetually hung in the same dilemma.

Lois Gordon, in her marvelous work, Reading Godot, illuminates this dilemma, but it up to the individual to solve this riddle for himself.  My other favorite study of this is Paul Foster's Beckett and Zen: A Study of Dilemma in the Novels of Samuel Beckett (Wisdom East-West Book. Grey Series)Past, present, future.  Body, mind, spirit.  Father, son, and holy ghost.  Superego, ego, and id.  McCarthy's early style was Faulkner, the middle style was Hemingway, and the late style is Beckett.

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