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Trilogia della frontiera

di Cormac McCarthy

Altri autori: Vedi la sezione altri autori.

Serie: Trilogia della frontiera (omnibus 1-3)

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
1,5461711,716 (4.39)20
Tre storie di apprendistato e di eterno vagabondare di cavalli e cavalieri, tra deserti di sale, montagne innevate e pianure d'erba alta, attraverso la leggendaria frontiera fra il Texas e il Messico. Con "Cavalli selvaggi" siamo nel Texas del 1949. Lacerato ogni legame che lo stringeva alla terra e alla famiglia, John Grady Cole sella il cavallo e insieme all'amico Rawlins si mette sull'antica pista che conduce alla frontiera e più in là nel Messico, inseguendo un passato nobile, e forse, mai esistito. "In Oltre il confine", quando il destino gli offre l'occasione di passare la frontiera, il giovane Billy Parham compie la sua scelta e dirige il cavallo verso il Messico insieme al fratello Boyd. Billy ha appena catturato una lupa ferita che si stava accanendo sul bestiame della famiglia e ha deciso di non consegnarla al padre, che la ucciderebbe, ma di riportarla sulle montagne messicane per restituirla al suo mondo. "Città della pianura" inizia dove arrivavano i primi due romanzi. All'inizio degli anni Cinquanta John Grady Cole e Billy Parham lavorano in un ranch tra il Texas e il Messico. Insieme allevano cavalli, ascoltano sotto le stelle i racconti dei vecchi cowboys, si divertono al bar o al bordello. E al bordello John Grady incontra una sedicenne così bella da cambiargli la vita. Così contesa da costringerlo a scontrarsi con il suo protettore-filosofo Eduardo, in un duello allo stesso tempo epico e metafisico. Annotation Supplied by Informazioni Editoriali… (altro)
  1. 10
    Lonesome Dove di Larry McMurtry (paulkid)
    paulkid: Epic Westerns set in Texas and Mexico, McMurtry is more somber, McCarthy more dark.
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» Vedi le 20 citazioni

The first volume of The Border Trilogy, All the Pretty Horses, combined intensely lyrical prose with the laconic wit of its cowboy protagonists. In it McCarthy mixed the quotidian details of ranch life with just the right balance of mythic phantasmagorical imaginings. Just when his prose seems to be over-the-top, he suddenly returns to the Beckett-like dialogue of two buddies alone on the prairie. One instance of this occurs when John Grady is out on the mesa with his buddy Lacey Rawlins--his Sancho to at least the extent that his adventures approached the Quixotic .

In the next volume, The Crossing, we read of two young brothers on a quest that plunges them into the bloody maelstrom of Mexican politics. Billy Parham who is later joined by his younger brother Boyd, sets out on a series of quests, all of which are doomed to failure. While the travels of Billy make up the action of the novel, it is less about achieving goals and more about larger themes of good and evil, fate and responsibility, and the nature of friendship and relationships in this gray and desolate world of shadows. Related to these themes that permeate the novel is the characters' ability or inability to clearly see the world around them.
"Between their acts and their ceremonies lies the world and in this world the storms blow and the trees twist in the wind and all the animals that God has made go to and fro yet this world men do not see. They see the acts of their own hands or they see that which they name and call out to one another but the world between is invisible to them." (The Crossing, p 46)

Cormac McCarthy concludes his border trilogy with a book that is spare and almost allegorical in its storytelling. In it he unites John Grady Cole with his older "buddy" Billy Parham, and focuses on a doomed relationship between John Grady and a Mexican prostitute. With Cities of the Plain the dreams have receded, the young men Billy and John Grady are older and their journeys have goals. This is a book that is bleaker in the telling even as the romanticism of John Grady Cole provides significant interest for the reader. The time is 1952, the place a cattle ranch in New Mexico. The West is changing as suggested by a brief interchange between John Grady and Billy early in the novel:
"What are you readin? Destry." (COTP, p 59)

Destry Rides Again by Max Brand is a classic example of the "myth of the old West". This is the life that is fading in the early 1950's and the question is will our heroes adapt or rebel against the inevitability of change. This change is not without difficulty and there are the ghosts of the past which they face as depicted in the following passage: "They sat against a rock bluff high in the Franklins with a fire before them that heeled in the wind and their figures cast up upon the rocks behind them enshadowed the petroglyphs carved there by other hunters a thousand years before." (p 87)

Shadowed by ghosts of the past and chastened but not defeated by their youthful misadventures, John Grady Cole and Billy Parham have become blood brothers of a sort, clinging stubbornly to a vanishing way of life. Billy reflects on their struggle, “When you’re a kid you have these notions about how things are goin to be. . . . You get a little older and you pull back some on that. I think you wind up just tryin to minimize the pain.”

While they fantasize about owning a little spread in the mountains, where they might run a few cattle and hunt their own meat, John Grady falls in love with a teenage prostitute. His desires collide with powers reminiscent of those he encountered in All the Pretty Horses.
''There's a son of a bitch owns her outright that I guarangoddamntee you will kill you graveyard dead if you mess with him,'' Billy warns him. ''Son, aint there no girls on this side of the damn river?''

Alas, for John Grady there are none that can compare with Magdalena. He does not worry about Eduardo, her pimp, with whom he must deal if he is to have her and his stubborn idealism sets in motion his inevitable doom. In fact, the question of one's destiny is present throughout this final part of the trilogy. Before the ultimate scenes of the novel there is a telling exchange between Billy and John Grady. I believe it alludes to John Grady's passions:
"John Grady nodded. What would you do if you couldnt be a cowboy?
I dont know. I reckon I'd think of somethin. You?
I dont know what it would be I'd think of.
Well we may all have to think of somethin." (COTP, p 217)

Combine McCarthy's two previous novels with the final somber tome and you have a masterpiece of contemporary fiction and a worthy contribution to the literature of the West. All three are works of a master story-teller, an author who speculates (some might say pontificates) on the nature of stories. So I will end with an observation about stories that I encountered during my journey through the novel.

"These dreams reveal the world also, he said. We wake remembering the events of which they are composed while often the narrative is fugitive and difficult to recall. Yet it is the narrative that is the life of the dream while the events themselves are often interchangeable. The events of the waking world on the other hand are forced upon us and the narrative is the unguessed axis along which they must be strung. It falls to us to weigh and sort and order these events. It is we who assemble them into the story which is us. Each man is the bard of his own existence." (COTP, p 283) ( )
  jwhenderson | Dec 10, 2021 |
Drie romans met in de hoofdrol twee jonge cowboys in grensstreek Mexico-VS, in een tijd waarin er voor cowboys eigenlijk alleen maar plaats is voor een hunkering naar iets verloren, iets dat onder oppervlakte ligt, iets dat misschien wel in Mexico te vinden is. Het zijn vreemde, onfortuinlijke lotgevallen, waarin McCarthy zijn personages nu eens als heldhaftige westernhelden portretteert en dan weer als jolige stripfiguren en de verhaallijnen volgen het wisselende tempo van een tocht per paard: nu eens in volle galop, op de vlucht of op jacht, dan weer stapje voor stapje, puffend en zwetend onder de brandende zon.
Het levenslot van zijn helden deemstert weg als in een roman van Bolano, en het noodlot dat zich ver van te voren aankondigt zet wel eens een domper op het leesplezier, maar in elk van deze romans ligt veel bijzonder te rapen, niet in het minst in de beschrijvingen van het banale. ( )
  razorsoccam | Oct 27, 2017 |
Book 1 - "All The Pretty Horses" is the story of John Grady Cole, a modern-day cowboy. In 1949 his parents split up, his grandfather dies, and the family ranch is sold. John Grady is left to fend for himself at age 17, and grows up real fast when he travels to Mexico and gets in trouble with Mexican bandits and corrupt law enforcement. Rated 5 Stars.

Book 2 - "The Crossing" drops back to 1940 and is the story of Billy Parham. He’s also a modern-day cowboy, and Billy is 16 when he leaves home and crosses the border into Mexico. And like John Grady, he is also in for a rude awakening to discover it’s a harsh cruel world out there in the Mexican wilderness. Rated 4.5 Stars.

"Cities of the Plain" is the 3rd book of McCarthy’s Border Trilogy. "Cities of the Plain" is a raw, emotional haunting tale. Not exactly what I expected for the final book of The Border Trilogy. But I should have known better since McCarthy’s style is bleak realism. And while there are some humorous moments throughout the series, the plot underscores the random unpredictability of life, the harsh reality of human behavior, and the insignificance of one human being in the big picture of the universe.

Both boys are strong, disciplined, and independent - loners, traveling around Texas doing odd jobs at western ranches when they meet up in "Cities of the Plain". It’s 1952 and Billy is 28 years old and has been drifting for 12 years. His parents, sister, and only brother are all dead, and Billy hasn’t a friend on the world. Billy immediately sees a kindred spirit in John Grady. They both appear to be out-laws but that is mostly because they fear no man and live by their own rules. Perhaps they were destined to meet. But for what purpose? It certainly didn’t benefit either one of them in the long run - except for one brief moment in time when they could feel they were not totally alone in the world. The darkness, cruelty, and sadness of this tragic tale was more than I bargained for.

I was contemplating rating "Cities of the Plain" 4 or 4.5 Stars because the excessively primitive writing style was getting annoying.... I sometimes had to read whole pages several times to figure out who was talking and the lack of punctuation is often distracting and confusing. All three books of the trilogy are in the same unconventional writing style, but the dialogue gets even more ambiguous and confusing in "Cities of the Plain".

And then I got to the Epilogue. The Epilogue is a short story told 50 years later when Billy is 78 years old. My highest rating - 5 Stars - is not enough to express the powerful message McCarthy conveys to the reader. It is a philosophical message about the passing of time, the inevitability of death, and the meaning of life. Beautifully written - and captivating. All the advice the old sages gave Billy in The Crossing has come true. I read the Epilogue 3 times. I’m still thinking about it! My final analysis - as a stand-alone novel "Cities of the Plain" is rated 4.5 Stars.

For the complete Border Trilogy my rating is 5 Stars. ( )
2 vota LadyLo | Mar 28, 2016 |
Wer Spanisch kann, ist klar im Vorteil! Denn es gibt viel spanische Dialoge on diesem Werk, und zumindest in meiner Ausgabe bietet der Herausgeber keine Übersetzungen ( z. B.in Fußnoten) an. Da ich kein Spanisch verstehe, ist mir also einiges entgangen.
Örtlich im Grenzland USA/Mexiko und zeitlich in den 40er und 50er Jahren angesiedelt, ist die Trilogie ein Abgesang auf die große Zeit der Cowboys. Alle drei Teile sind unabhängig lesbar; die beiden ersten als fast klassische Coming-of-Age-Geschichten, erst der dritte Band führt die Protagonisten der beiden ersten zusammen.
Wortgewaltig, teilweise sehr poetisch, in vielen Dialogen hoch philosophisch, mit drastischen Gewaltdarstellungen widmet sich der Autor wieder den großen Themen Moral und Verantwortung. Und wer beim 'Kampf' zwischen Moral und Gewalt nur der Sieger sein kann, weiß jeder, der mal was von McCarthy gelesen hat. ( )
  Leandra53 | Sep 7, 2015 |
The Crossing is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. The language is so rich and descriptive. I have never had a book bring me to tears like this one, I couldn't stop crying. ( )
  Insolito | May 19, 2014 |
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Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Cormac McCarthyautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
Kushner, RachelIntroduzioneautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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Tre storie di apprendistato e di eterno vagabondare di cavalli e cavalieri, tra deserti di sale, montagne innevate e pianure d'erba alta, attraverso la leggendaria frontiera fra il Texas e il Messico. Con "Cavalli selvaggi" siamo nel Texas del 1949. Lacerato ogni legame che lo stringeva alla terra e alla famiglia, John Grady Cole sella il cavallo e insieme all'amico Rawlins si mette sull'antica pista che conduce alla frontiera e più in là nel Messico, inseguendo un passato nobile, e forse, mai esistito. "In Oltre il confine", quando il destino gli offre l'occasione di passare la frontiera, il giovane Billy Parham compie la sua scelta e dirige il cavallo verso il Messico insieme al fratello Boyd. Billy ha appena catturato una lupa ferita che si stava accanendo sul bestiame della famiglia e ha deciso di non consegnarla al padre, che la ucciderebbe, ma di riportarla sulle montagne messicane per restituirla al suo mondo. "Città della pianura" inizia dove arrivavano i primi due romanzi. All'inizio degli anni Cinquanta John Grady Cole e Billy Parham lavorano in un ranch tra il Texas e il Messico. Insieme allevano cavalli, ascoltano sotto le stelle i racconti dei vecchi cowboys, si divertono al bar o al bordello. E al bordello John Grady incontra una sedicenne così bella da cambiargli la vita. Così contesa da costringerlo a scontrarsi con il suo protettore-filosofo Eduardo, in un duello allo stesso tempo epico e metafisico. Annotation Supplied by Informazioni Editoriali

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