LITERATURE: The Orchard Keeper – Truths

You know what scares me?  I don’t see the darkness in McCarthy any more.

It was warm in the room, he could feel the sweat in his armpits, but the man was swathed heavily in blankets.  Thickness of them under his shape of arm, of shoulder, chest…sleeping on his back.  Gifford snuffled.  One gluey eyelid came unstuck as the covers receded from his chin with maternal solicitude.

He even raised his head a little, wonderingly, sleep leaving him in slow grudging waves, so that he seemed to be coming up to meet it, the shut fist rocketing down out of blackness and into his face with a pulpy sound like a thrown melon bursting.  (p. 167)

There’s horror here, blood and guts McCarthy-style without holding back.  And yet what is the scenario, really:  Sylder warning Gifford to not question the kid, to leave the drowned car and whiskey to sit where they lay.  Sneaking into his house in the dead dark of night, chuckling, "Es muy malo que no tengas un perro," he says; It’s very bad that you don’t have a dog.

Somehow, this shows more honesty, less malice than so much I’ve seen lately in the guise of a smile.

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