Thoughts on McCarthy’s Stella Maris

The Passenger is volume one of McCarthy’s most recent books. And Stella Maris is volume two.

I had several hours on planes recently to read both.

The Passenger, I think, could have been trimmed. There were multiple stories going on throughout the book and they did not resolve fully. Perhaps that is the reasoning behind Stella Maris.

But when I finished it (Stella Maris) today, I looked around to make sure no one was watching me. It was that emotionally powerful.

The backstory of Bobby Western, of Alicia’s childhood, of their brilliant minds and soaring spirits, and of the lines (whether real or imagined) marking intelligence, imagination, genius, madness, love, and sorrow, the second volume is powerful.

Creation, physics, language, Bach, Oppenheimer, war, Milton’s Satan, Hamlet’s musings, mathematics, and more … it’s all here.

Though ninety percent dialogue, what McCarthy does in his lyrical understatement approaches words’ capacities to convey pathos.

What a marvel McCarthy is to the literary world.

So thankful he has followed his mad genius and brought needed light to this present darkness.

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