Terribly busy at the moment. So this shall have to be a short one… I’m happily reading J. Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans. After the glorious line-up of books I read while travelling; Clive Barker’s Everville, Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, I feel like something more plodding and self-referential is a nice awakening back into routine. The one thesis that unites all the books that I read overseas is man’s relationship with and without society, I think. I managed to unite them, even if it’s just busy delirium talking. Clive Barker examines the line between extreme pleasure and sadomasochism and uses demonic metaphors to do it. McCarthy again puts forward the idea that men, deprived of society’s teaching and benefits, quickly devolve into savagery (which holds water, but I’d argue anyway – Society can also teach us that slavery is okay and the segregation, imprisonment and even killing of a minority is okay), William Burroughs seems to say do as you will and hang the consequences and Bradbury insists that comfortable self-deprivation is the only way to avoid loss of self by overindulgence.
Cooper, on the other hand, simply takes the standard Baroque melodramatic storyline, sets it against the backdrop of a war a la Gone with the Wind, Sayonara or Casablanca and gives it to us in the epistemological manner writers used to be allowed to.
What do you think? Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts?