A conversation between author Cormac McCarthy and the Coen Brothers, about the new movie No Country for Old Men

... Met Two Very Idiosyncratic Filmmaking Brothers

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Eric Ogden for TIME

From left, author Cormac McCarthy and Joel and Ethan Cohen.

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C.M. No, I didn't say it wasn't a rip-off. I understand it's a rip-off. I'm just saying it's good. [Everybody laughs.]

E.C. Do you ever get, in terms of novel writing, stuff that's too outrageous? One wouldn't guess that you reject stuff as being too outrageous.

C.M. I don't know, you're somewhat constrained in writing a novel, I think. Like, I'm not a fan of some of the Latin American writers, magical realism. You know, it's hard enough to get people to believe what you're telling them without making it impossible. It has to be vaguely plausible.

E.C. So it's not an impulse that you even have.

C.M. No, not really. Because I think that's misdirected. In films you can do outrageous stuff, because hey, you can't argue with it; there it is. But I don't know. There's lots of stuff that you would like to do, you know. As your future gets shorter, you have to ...

J.C. Prioritize?

C.M. Yeah. Somewhat. A friend of mine, who's slightly older than me, told me, "I don't even buy green bananas anymore." [He laughs.] I'm not quite there yet, but I understood what he was saying.

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