Appreciating all that makes America special

Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy,

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy, uploaded by

Most writers would love to have just one book recognized as being among the best novels of its time. Cormac McCarthy has four. Blood Meridian (1985) made Time’s list of the best 100 English-language books published between 1923 and 2005.  All the Pretty Horses (1992) won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. No Country for Old Men (2005) was adapted for film by Joel and Ethan Coen and won the 2007 Oscar as Best Picture. And The Road (2006) won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Cormac McCarthy,

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So, a writer of this caliber should have some good tips for those of us working at the craft, right? Oprah interviewed McCarthy when The Road was selected for her book club, and he had this to say, according to Wikipedia: “McCarthy told Oprah that he prefers ‘simple declarative sentences’ and that he uses capital letters, periods, an occasional comma, a colon for setting off a list, but ‘never a semicolon.’ He does not use quotation marks for dialogue and believes there is no reason to ‘blot the page up with weird little marks.'” I’d say that people with his gifts can get away with that style choice; the rest of us better keep blotting.

By the way, McCarthy’s original Olivetti typewriter that he purchased used for $50 at a pawn shop was recently sold at Christie’s, the auction house. It was expected to bring maybe $15,000. It sold for $254,500. Just think – if you’d offered $254,501, it might be yours today. Bummer.


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One Comment

  1. So I will just keep blotting; bummer! “Great post, Robin.”