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Suttree (1979)

af Cormac McCarthy

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3,092674,502 (4.18)1 / 254
The story of Cornelius Suttree, who has forsaken a life of privilege with his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat on the Tennessee River near Knoxville. Remaining on the margins of the outcast community there - a brilliantly imagined collection of eccentrics, criminals, and squatters - he rises above the physical and human squalor with detachment, humor, and dignity.… (mere)
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Viser 1-5 af 67 (næste | vis alle)
'Cormac McCarthy's magnum opus', lees ik op de achterflap van mijn editie. Mij lijkt het eerder een vingeroefening voor het moois (mag je dat woord gebruiken voor boeken van deze schrijver?) dat hij nadien gepubliceerd heeft. De klassieke ingrediënten zijn aanwezig: personages aan de zelfkant van de samenleving, uitvoerige beschrijvingen, een woordenschat waar zelfs een meest doorwinterde lezers af en toe een woordenboek voor moet raadplegen (Chapeau voor de vertaler!).

Maar het is allemaal wat te barok en te vrijblijvend. Aan het einde van het boek is elk synoniem van vies, smerig, vuil, drekkig, goor, etc. gepasseerd. Als lezer heb je het dan echt wel gehad (als je het zo lang volhoudt, wat niet bij iedereen het geval is, als ik de recensies hier zie). De momenten van schoonheid zijn zeldzaam en worden snel en bruut de nek omgedraaid. Dat zal hij in later werk ook wel blijven doen, maar dan toch met meer finesse. Sommige lezers ontdekten humor in de roman, maar ik vrees dat humor tot dezelfde categorie behoort als smaken en geuren. Het gaat dan allicht om de exploten van Suttrees protégé Harrogate. Ik vond ze eerder wrang dan grappig, maar dat zal aan mij liggen.

Suttree dus, een visser die leeft van dag tot dag en 's avonds opdrinkt wat hij overdag verdiend heeft, maar dan toch - meestal - met enige terughoudendheid. Hij leeft tussen de verschoppelingen, maar toch weer niet helemaal.Hij staat aan de zijlijn van de zelfkant van de maatschappij. Hoe hij daar beland is, wordt nooit helemaal duidelijk. Het lijkt meer op een zelfgekozen ballingschap dan een onontkoombaar lot.

Als je bereid bent om door de modder en de drek te waden, zal je merken dat Suttree McCarthy de kans biedt om die zelfkant met enig mededogen te beschrijven. Maar juist die positie van Suttree creëert een afstandelijkheid die het verhaal niet ten goede komt. Vergelijk dit maar met de anonieme jongen uit Meridiaan van Bloed. Uiteindelijk is de beloning toch wat mager voor de inspanning die je ervoor moet leveren. ( )
  brver | May 12, 2024 |
The novel takes place in 1951 in Knoxville Tennessee, mostly in the vicinity of the commercial streets surrounding the Tennessee River - and in as small house boat on the shoreline and under the local bridges. Cornelius (Bud) Suttree is homeless. He survives day to day, catching fish and selling what he doesn’t eat to local venders. Although Bud appears to have abandoned all his past connections with civilized society, he does associate with other homeless neighbors, and low class misfits within walking distance of his habitat.

One reviewer of "Suttree" implied that to give the book a 5 star rating meant the reader “loved it”. "Suttree" was written with incredible verbal intellect, and passionate emotion, but tells a horrible story about the depth of depravity some humans will stoop to in order to avoid accepting a life with moral codes and social responsibility or accept accountability for their actions. I did not like the story - it was painful to read - nonetheless it deserves a pretty high rating.

The good things about the novel:
The character development is excellent. Through physical descriptions, behavior, and dialogue there is a clear and vivid image of each character. Many of them are lost souls living in a world of hell: no scruples, no moral values, no pride, no shame. They are willing do whatever it takes to survive (other than get a real job and integrate themselves back into society): lie, cheat, rob, kill, and destroy other people’s property, with no thoughts of regret or remorse. And most of them do not even do these things from anger or rage. It just comes naturally which is what makes the story so nauseating.

The sequence of events varies as the plot unfolds and includes Bud’s interaction others, including drunken brawls, several sex scenes, long lonely nights on his boat, struggles with accumulating a food supply, and powerful descriptions of day to day living in that sort of life style.

The topic of homelessness was relevant in 1951 and even more relevant today - although these characters were not living on Government welfare. And if they had been - it is doubtful it would have changed their lifestyle or their attitudes.

The bad thing about the novel is the style of writing. Although it is totally appropriate for the time and place - it was a long difficult read. The characters talked in a local southern, uneducated patios which sometimes was incomprehensible. And the lack of quotation marks when someone spoke - or any indication of who was speaking also made for slow reading. I’m sure that is exactly what McCarty intended - a perfect example of setting the mood for a novel about people living outside the boundaries of civilized life, and on the edge of annihilation.

The ugly thing about the novel: The entire story is sordid, bleak, repulsive, and depressing. It is not like I was waiting for something good to happen. Cormac McCarty makes it clear right from the start that these people are at rock bottom and have no expectations other than survival from one day to the next. Bud Suttree had a family - he abandoned them. This lifestyle was his choice. And yet, it did not bring him any joy in life.

At the time of the publication of the Vintage International Edition of Suttree, the Washington Post was quoted as comparing McCarty’s writing with Faulkner, and indeed there are many similarities. Sutree will not be easily forgotten - it will leave a lasting impression.

There is now a Suttree Landing Park in Tennessee on the waterfront of the Tennessee river in Knoxville to honor McCarty and this classic piece of literature.

Rated 4 Stars April 22, 2024 ( )
  LadyLo | Apr 22, 2024 |
> Babelio : https://www.babelio.com/livres/McCarthy-Suttree/12762
> Le devoir, Guay H., le 19 novembre 1994, Cahier D, p. 8
> Québec français, (1995). Compte rendu de [Nouveautés]. (97), p. 22.
> La Cause Littéraire : https://www.lacauselitteraire.fr/suttree-cormac-mccarthy-par-leon-marc-levy
> CC.RIDER, le 14 mai 2008 (Critiques Libres) : https://www.critiqueslibres.com/i.php/vcrit/16801
  Joop-le-philosophe | Feb 21, 2024 |
Nope, clearly not my cup of tea. I don’t want to haggle on the stylistic mastery of McCarthy. Take the introductory description, at the start, for instance: an overwhelming accumulation of nouns and adjectives, reminding of Clifford Geertz’ “thick description”, if only for the cheap alliteration effects and the ostentatious showing off particular, rarely used vocabulary. And then there’s the very minimalistic story, the taciturn protagonist, the often very clichéd other characters, and the loaden conversations, like a mix of Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. No, as said, not for me.
  bookomaniac | Oct 7, 2023 |
Not rating this, because I simply could not wade through any more of this crap. I made it to 17% in the audiobook, which is about 7% more than I give most books, but you know, it's this genius of McCarthy that I keep hearing about, but not really seeing.

So, here's my take on the first four books he wrote.

1 - He chooses poor, lower class, southern characters.
2 - Those characters say, "Well." a lot.
3 - He loves to show these characters in their most depraved light. Expect pages and pages of this.
4 - He'll also detail everything they do to death. Someone wants a smoke? Expect a page of them fishing the pack out, opening the pack, teasing out a cigarette, placing the cigarette between lips, fishing about for a match, lighting the match, bringing the flame to the cigarette, puffing on the cigarette, shaking the match out, discarding the match, and then smoking the cigarette. Expect effusive descriptions of all of the above, and also a circular, repetitive conversation to be going at the same time that means nothing, leads nowhere, and the smoker and whomever they're talking to will separate without the story moving forward a single inch.

Yes, his prose is pretty. He can absolutely turn a phrase. But what's it all mean? There's no story here, just a series of mostly meaningless anecdotes. By the time I got to Suttree puking, wiping it on the curtains, then falling asleep under a bed, all to virtually poetic phrasing, I was out.

Honestly, I feel like I've gone to one of those expensive, snooty restaurants where the menu is in a virtually foreign language and, after an interminable wait, my meal comes, but it's a large place with a paper-thin sliver of underdone meat, and an artfully carved curl of onion, with some sort of colourful sauce delicately arced over everything to hide the fact that there's basically nothing here. I'd leave feeling hungry and like I've invested far too much in far too little.

The next book in line is Blood Meridian, and I've heard better things about that (translation: this one may actually have a plot), so I'll give that one a shot. But if it's just more of the same, I'm out.
  TobinElliott | Jul 30, 2023 |
Viser 1-5 af 67 (næste | vis alle)
"Suttree" is a fat one, a book with rude, startling power and a flood of talk. Much of it takes place on the Tennessee River, and Cormac McCarthy, who has written "The Orchard Keeper" and other novels, gives us a sense of river life that reads like a doomed "Huckleberry Finn."
tilføjet af eereed | RedigerNew York Times, Jerome Charyn (Feb 18, 1979)
 

» Tilføj andre forfattere (4 mulige)

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McCarthy, Cormacprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Fontana, PedroOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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The author wishes to express his gratitude to The American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
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Dear friend now in the dusty clockless hours of the town when the streets lie black and steaming in the wake of he watertrucks and now when the drunk and the homeless have washed up in the lee of walls in alleys or abadoned lots and cats go forth highshouldered and lean in the grim perimeters about, now in these soothblacked brick or cobbled corridors where lightwire shadows make a gothic harp of cellar doors no soul shall walk save you.
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They are not rooks in those obsidian winter trees, but stranger fowl, pale, lean and salamandrine birds that move by night unburnt through the moon's blue crucible.
How surely are the dead beyond death. Death is what the living carry with them. A state of dread, like some uncanny foretaste of a bitter memory. But the dead do not remember and nothingness is not a curse. Far from it.
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The story of Cornelius Suttree, who has forsaken a life of privilege with his prominent family to live in a dilapidated houseboat on the Tennessee River near Knoxville. Remaining on the margins of the outcast community there - a brilliantly imagined collection of eccentrics, criminals, and squatters - he rises above the physical and human squalor with detachment, humor, and dignity.

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