Happy birthday to one of the two novelists who make me despair of ever writing anything as good: Cormac! I haven’t been reading him lately because I’ve been trying to keep an even emotional keel, but here’s something from All the Pretty Horses I posted back in 2007:

They rode out along the fenceline and across the open pastureland. The leather creaked in the morning cold. They pushed the horses into a lope. The lights fell away behind them. They rode out on the high prairie where they slowed the horses to a walk and the stars swarmed around them out of the blackness. They heard somewhere in that tenantless night a bell that tolled and ceased where no bell was and they rode out on the round dais of the earth which alone was dark and no light to it and which carried their figures and bore them up into the swarming stars so that they rode not under but among them and they rode at once jaunty and circumspect, like thieves newly loosed in that dark electric, like young thieves in a glowing orchard, loosely jacketed against the cold and ten thousand worlds for the choosing.

*The first writer who makes me want to give up is Virginia Woolf, of course.