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Border Trilogy 01 - All The Pretty Horses. Home · Border Trilogy 01 - All The Pretty McCarthy, Cormac - Border Trilogy 1 - All the Pretty Horses. Read more. CliffsNotes onALL THE PRETTY HORSESMcCARTHY'S ALL THE PRETTY HORSES NOTES including • Life and Background of the A. editor at Random House. •First novel published in The Orchard Keeper. • ATPH published in •Border trilogy – All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing.

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Cormac McCarthy: All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, The Road Trilogy, All the Pretty Horses is the tale of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen finds. All the Pretty - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. The national bestseller and the first volume in Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy, All the Pretty Horses is the tale of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen.

That was not sleeping. It was dark outside and cold and no wind. In the distance a calf bawled. He stood with his hat in his hand. You never combed your hair that way in your life, he said.

Inside the house there was no sound save the ticking of the mantel clock in the front room. He went out and shut the door.

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Dark and cold and no wind and a thin gray reef beginning along the eastern rim of the world. He walked out on the prairie and stood holding his hat like some supplicant to the darkness over them all and he stood there for a long time.

As he turned to go he heard the train. He stopped and waited for it. He could feel it under his feet.

It came boring out of the east like some ribald satellite of the coming sun howling and bellowing in the distance and the long light of the headlamp running through the tangled mesquite brakes and creating out of the night the endless fenceline down the dead straight right of way and sucking it back again wire and post mile on mile into the darkness after where the boilersmoke disbanded slowly along the faint new horizon and the sound came lagging and he stood still holding his hat in his hands in the passing groundshudder watching it till it was gone.

Then he turned and went back to the house. She looked up from the stove when he came in and looked him up and down in his suit. He hung the hat on a peg by the door among slickers and blanketcoats and odd pieces of tack and came to the stove and got his coffee and took it to the table. She opened the oven and drew out a pan of sweetrolls she'd made and put one on a plate and brought it over and set it in front of him together with a knife for the butter and she touched the back of his head with her hand before she returned to the stove.

I appreciate you lightin the candle, he said. No fui yo, she said. Antes que yo.

He drank the coffee. It was just grainy light outside and Arturo was coming up toward the house. He saw his father at the funeral. Standing by himself across the little gravel path near the fence. Once he went out to the street to his car.

Then he came back. A norther had blown in about midmorning and there were spits of snow in the air with blowing dust and the women sat holding on to their hats. They'd put an awning up over the gravesite but the weather was all sideways and it did no good.

The canvas rattled and flapped and the preacher's words were lost in the wind. When it was over and the mourners rose to go the canvas chairs they'd been sitting on raced away tumbling among the tombstones. In the evening he saddled his horse and rode out west from the house.

Border Trilogy 01 - All The Pretty Horses

The wind was much abated and it was very cold and the sun sat blood red and elliptic under the reefs of bloodred cloud before him. He rode where he would always choose to ride, out where the western fork of the old Comanche road coming down out of the Kiowa country to the north passed through the westernmost section of the ranch and you could see the faint trace of it bearing south over the low prairie that lay between the north and middle forks of the Concho River.

At the hour he'd always choose when the shadows were long and the ancient road was shaped before him in the rose and canted light like a dream of the past where the painted ponies and the riders of that lost nation came down out of the north with their faces chalked and their long hair plaited and each armed for war which was their life and the women and children and women with children at their breasts all of them pledged in blood and redeemable in blood only. When the wind was in the north you could hear them, the horses and the breath of the horses and the horses' hooves that were shod in rawhide and the rattle of lances and the constant drag of the travois poles in the sand like the passing of some enormous serpent and the young boys naked on wild horses jaunty as circus riders and hazing wild horses before them and the dogs trotting with their tongues aloll and footslaves following half naked and sorely burdened an above all the low chant of their traveling song which the riders sang as they rode, nation and ghost of nation passing in a soft chorale across that mineral waste to darkness bearing lost to all history and all remembrance like a grail the sum of their secular and transitory and violent lives.

He rode with the sun coppering his face and the red wind blowing out of the west. He turned south along the old war trail and he rode out to the crest of a low rise and dismounted and dropped the reins and walked out and stood like a man come to the end of something.

There was an old horseskull in the brush and he squatted and picked it up and turned it in his hands. Frail and brittle. Bleached paper white. He squatted in the long light holding it, the comicbook teeth loose in their sockets. The joints in the cranium like a ragged welding of the bone plates.

The muted run of sand in the brainbox when he turned it. What he loved in horses was what he loved in men, the blood and the heat of the blood that ran them. All his reverence and all his fondness and all the leanings of his life were for the ardenthearted and they would always be so and never be otherwise. He rode back in the dark. The horse quickened its step. The last of the day's light fanned slowly upon the plain behind him and withdrew again down the edges of the world in a cooling blue of shadow and dusk and chill and a few last chitterings of birds sequestered in the dark and wiry brush.

He crossed the old trace again and he must turn the pony up onto the plain and homeward but the warriors would ride on in that darkness they'd become, rattling past with their stone-age tools of war in default of all substance and singing softly in blood and longing south across the plains to Mexico. The same might be said of John Grady Cole. Although his code leads him again and again into mortal danger--in this section he refuses to abandon Blevins and attempts to rescue Blevins' horse, and later in the novel he returns to the ranch to see Alejandra and refuses to bend to Perez' will--it eventually preserves him as a moral creature.

John Grady's triumphs in the novel are largely internal triumphs, and they flow from his unwavering adherence to his moral code. This moral code, in McCarthy as in Hemingway, manifests itself in the speech patterns of its adherents: it demands thoughtfulness rather than verbosity; modest silence rather than boasting; concise wisdom rather than elaborate argument and discussion; and repression of emotion rather than expression of fears or weakness.

John Grady quickly proves himself a master horseman when, with Rawlins' help, he successfully breaks a group of sixteen horses in only three days, a remarkable feat.

This success earns the Americans the favor of Armondo, the ranch's foreman, and of his brother Antonio. John Grady is called in to see Don Hector, and quickly impresses the rancher with his knowledge of horses. Don Hector promotes him: John Grady moves out of the cowboys' bunkroom and into a room of his own in the stable. John Grady will help Don Hector breed the magnificent new stallion that he has bought.

John Grady's move to the stable also gives him greater exposure to the rancher's beautiful daughter, Alejandra. That night they go to a dance at the local grange hall. Alejandra is there, and she and John Grady dance and go walking outside.

One evening, while riding Don Hector's new stallion bareback across the ranch, John Grady once again meets Alejandra, whom he has not seen since the night of the dance. She commands him to let her ride the stallion, and he is forced to accede. As he brings her horse back to the barn, however, he is seen by a shadowy someone from the ranch house. Soon afterward the Duena Alfonsa, Alejandra's aunt, calls John Grady for an audience at the ranch house.

After they play chess, she orders him not to be seen again with Alejandra. Five nights later, Alejandra comes to visit John Grady at night. Secretly, they begin to ride out together at night through the ranch.

One night he swims out naked into the ranch's lake, and she too removes her clothes and joins him. There comes a day, perhaps immediately afterwards, when five Mexican soldiers ride up to the ranch house.

There is the sense that they are there to inquire after the Americans, but they leave without taking further action. The next night, and for the subsequent nine nights, Alejandra again visits John Grady in his room, and they make love. Then Alejandra goes back to stay with her mother in Mexico City, where she lives, and John Grady is again invited to the ranch house to play pool with Don Hector, who tells him that Alejandra is being sent away for schooling in France.

It is only a week afterwards that John Grady learns from Antonio that Alejandra has not been sent to France at all: she is being kept inside the ranch house. A few days later finds John Grady and Rawlins in the mountains, roping wild horses.

Don Hector's greyhounds walk into their campfire circle one night, and the two suspect that Don Hector has found out about the affair, and come to the mountains to hunt and kill them. The next morning, the Mexican soldiers return. This time, they take John Grady and Rawlins away in chains. All the stoicism of John Grady's cowboy code, all of his emotional self-repression and his long silences, serve not to conceal but to throw into sharp relief his innate romanticism.

When he runs into Alejandra riding on the ranch, he is defenseless: her "eyes had altered the world forever in the space of a heartbeat. For one thing, a good argument could be made that it is a poor sentence--clichd, unevocative, naive--for such a master stylist as McCarthy. For another, love at first sight may seem a strange emotion for a cowboy like John Grady Cole.

What follows, too--when looked at from a certain vantage point--is something of a predictable romantic plot: a poor boy falls in love with a rich girl, and eventually wins her heart, beginning a passionate affair despite the machinations of her powerful relatives.

Of course, John Grady's love affair falls to pieces. And the machinations of Alejandra's relatives, in their deviousness and in the concrete power of the repercussions, go far beyond what would be expected in a typical romance novel. But it should be acknowledged that John Grady is a romantic, and this is a romantic novel.

To embrace an ideal, to privilege a dream over reality, is fundamentally a romantic undertaking. The care and the obvious love that McCarthy lavishes on the physical landscape bespeaks a deep-seated romanticism: he sometimes cannot restrain his urge to gild and burnish the hills and sky of the West, to endow them with a power that goes beyond the tangible.

The assertion that the physical landscape of the West has metaphysical meaning, just as much as the valorization of John Grady Cole's doomed heroism, is in itself a romantic assertion.

All the Pretty Horses.pdf

Not that this is a novel that avoids facing the cruelties and concreteness of reality: the third chapter, which tells the story of John Grady and Rawlins in jail, is an unsparing story about physical and psychological cruelty and suffering.

As the back cover of the novel's paperback version luridly proclaims, this novel details a landscape "where dreams are paid for in blood. Indeed, the world of All the Pretty Horses is a world in which dreams and reality seem to inhabit the same space. Dreams leave their mark on reality, just as the past leaves its mark on the present, refusing to vanish from relevance: as Alfonsa tells John Grady, scars have the power to remind one of the reality of the past.

We remember that we know almost nothing about John Grady physically, only that he has a scar on his cheek. He seems a human connection with the past and with the shadowy world of dreams, which is no less real for its being imagined. If dreams alter and reflect reality, they are also constituted by reality.

As John Grady watches Alejandra ride away into a summer rainstorm, the novel reflects on the scene before him: "real horse, real rider, real land and sky"--and yet a dream. Somehow the concrete elements of the landscape, evoked into being so effectively by McCarthy, combine to form something other than real.

This transmutation is akin to the alchemical process of mythmaking, the process by which the West was transformed from coldly literal reality into nationally worshiped mirage. The novel's opening line is a key to deciphering this transubstantiation. There, Johhn Grady comes inside to look at his grandfather's corpse, and the novel tells us that both the candle flame and the image of the candle flame gutter in the wind through the open door.

Similarly, only a few pages later, we hear about the Comanches, who are simultaneously "nation and ghost of nation.

John Grady is confronted with a Mexico that is both an incarnation of his romantic imaginings about the West, and the twisted and terrifying reality behind that romance; just as he, himself, is both an authentic cowboy and the self- conscious, stylized, image of a cowboy.

On the third day of travel, the manacled prisoners reach the town of Encantada, the same town where they helped Blevins recover his stolen horse. There, the two Americans have an argument: Rawlins blames John Grady for their arrest, maintaining that Don Hector turned the Americans over to the police because he learned of what Rawlins sees as John Grady's foolish affair with Alejandra.

John Grady asks for Rawlins' loyalty, maintaining that were the situations reversed he would show Rawlins the same loyalty. In the Encantada jail, the Americans find Blevins. It seems that Blevins was not content to escape with his horse: instead he returned to Encantada and reclaimed his gun, as well.

In the chase that followed, Blevins shot and killed one of his pursuers. He has been in the jail ever since. The next day, the local police captain takes Rawlins in for questioning. He accuses Rawlins of being a murderer and impersonator, and tortures him until he confesses to crimes he did not commit.

He does not torture John Grady, but he accuses him, too, of being a liar and a criminal. Three days later, guards place the three Americans in the bed of a truck, and then drive them south to the prison at Saltillo. In the front of the truck ride the captain and the charro.

They progress southwards in a curiously casual manner, delivering mail and produce to passing villages. Eventually they stop near an abandoned farm: the captain and the charro take Blevins into a grove and execute him.

The truck continues to Saltillo, where John Grady and Rawlins are transferred to the Saltillo prison.

All The Pretty Horses

The prison is brutal. The prisoners are cruel and violent, and the Americans spend their first days in a continuous fight for survival.

They are badly bruised and battered, but they support each other, and John Grady exhorts Rawlins not to surrender. They suspect that the prison commandant believes that they are rich, and is waiting for them to bribe him. After a few days, they are summoned to see Perez, a wealthy and influential prisoner who also asks them for a bribe. The day after they refuse him--after all, they have no money--a man knifes Rawlins in the prison-yard.

Rawlins is taken to the prison infirmary, and John Grady loses contact with him. Desperate to learn what happened to Rawlins, John Grady goes three days later to see Perez. Perez talks to him about the necessity of seeing things--evil, money, human nature--as they truly are, of discarding romantic notions; he also makes sinister innuendoes about what will happen if John Grady does not bribe him.

John Grady still refuses to deal. The next day, he uses the last of his money to buy a knife to protect himself against the attack that will inevitably come. Soon it does: an assassin tries to stab him in the mess hall. They fight, and John Grady is seriously wounded, but at the last moment he is successful in killing his assailant.

Staggering from the hall, he collapses in the prison-yard, and is taken to the infirmary by none other than Perez' bodyguard. Days pass in the darkness and pain of the infirmary; John Grady is badly scarred, but he survives and heals. Still weak, he is brought before the jail warden, given an envelope full of money, and, together with Rawlins, released onto the street.

John Grady discovers that it was Alfonsa, Alejandra's great-aunt, who paid for their release. They discuss what they have done, and what they will do. Rawlins, haunted by the memory of Blevins' death, decides to return home to Texas; John Grady will remain in Mexico, and make a last attempt to reclaim their horses and win over Alejandra.

The chapter's end sees Rawlins on a bus home, and John Grady hitchhiking a ride back north towards Don Hector's ranch. Commentary Cormac McCarthy's sentences have a balance and flow that make their author a worthy heir to one of America's greatest prose stylists, William Faulkner. One of McCarthy's most striking techniques is his variation of pace. In general although not a hard-and-fast rule , McCarthy's descriptions of thoughts and observations tend toward the staccato exhilaration of quick movement, the outpouring of richly evocative phrases piled behind and on top of each other; his descriptions of action, somewhat paradoxically, seem relatively still and serene.

Contrast the rush of John Grady's dream of horses, which flows toward and past the reader in a stream of sensation, with the novel's many crisp, terse descriptions of action, so detailed and dry as to be matter-of-fact, even in the crucial scene when John Grady kills the assassin. The action comes without melodrama, simply and directly. If you read too fast, you might miss it. Throughout All the Pretty Horses, there is the sense that some things cannot be adequately expressed.

This is a belief cherished by John Grady, but it is also evident that the novel itself accepts this attitude stylistically and philosophically.

It is a curious attitude for a novel. The idea that a novel must necessarily fail in conveying some motions or describing some things seems self-defeating. And yet we have it clearly. Speaking of John Grady's dream of running horses, the novel praises the "resonance" of the world itself, which "cannot be spoken but only praised. This attitude is expressed most clearly by John Grady in his rejection of the falsehoods offered by the captain: he says that the truth is "what happened," not words out of someone's mouth.

If John Grady's code of honor approaches a religion of courage, endurance, stoicism, honesty, faithfulness, and skill unlike Rawlins, John Grady rarely talks about God or heaven, preferring instead to be guided by his own absolute moral principles , then action is his preferred mode of ceremonial worship.

John Grady, it has been noted, is laconic to the extreme. He believes that actions, in their purity, speak for themselves. Perhaps one of the clearest indicators of this novel's belief in the deceptiveness of speech is evident in the fact that the novel's great talkers and ideologues--Alfonsa, Don Hector, the captain, and Perez--are all either fundamentally evil or at least antagonists to John Grady.

Alfonsa and Perez, especially, cloak their actions in complicated philosophical rationalizations. They are, in fact, the most eloquent characters in the novel.

To combat them, John Grady has only his commitment to his idea of what is right, expressed plainly and honestly: Alfonsa tells him that it is not a matter of what is right, but of "who must say. In the prison, Perez presents John Grady with his version of a moral code: realism.In Cities of the Plain, McCarthy provides more stories of ranching life.

Horses carry with them centuries of meaning, tied to legend and myth, romance and battle. The two little girls in the family enjoy laughing at Blevins when he leans back and falls off the bench at the table.

He goes back to the ranch, where Alfonsa meets with him, delivering a long discourse about human powerlessness and about the foolishness of romantic dreams.

The companions ride into the village of Encantada, where they find Blevins' horse and pistol: but someone else has found them first and appropriated them. When John Grady was a child, an oil painting of horses hung above the sideboard in the formal dining room of the ranch house.

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