Cormac McCarthy: A writer’s writer


I’m not in the business of writing books, and I don’t think I ever could be. Things change, of course, but for now I’ll stick to what I know and continue to read what I don’t.

What I don’t know isn’t just limited to the typical “book smart” topics, either. Plenty of authors, journalists and poets have opened my eyes to the different ways the written word can convey so many things, even the ones we often view as mundane.

Cormac McCarthy, an author who I did and will continue to marvel at, passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 89. He was one of those eye-opening writers for me.

The 2007 Coen brothers film “No Country For Old Men” has been one of my favorite movies ever for quite some time. While doing some research on it late last year, I discovered that it was actually based on a book (as many movies are) and that I should see how that book compares to the movie.

And like it typically is, the book was better.

From that point on, I decided to commit myself to reading more of McCarthy’s work. Earlier this year I read “The Road,” which is the harrowing post-apocalyptic tale of a father and son’s fight for survival in a world where glimpses at the better side of humanity are few and far between.

The glimpses you do get, though, are beautifully told by the author.

As of right now, those two books are all I’ve read, and yet I was quite sad to hear of McCarthy’s passing. There are plenty of passages from those books that I still think about, and I know I have many more to discover with some of the unread books on my shelf that show “McCarthy” on the spine.

There’s a McCarthy quote I’m quite familiar with, even though it’s from one of those books I haven’t found the time for yet: “Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.”

I’m sure that, between those books that I hope to complete collecting dust on the shelf and my closing them after finishing the last sentence, there will be many worlds composed of McCarthy’s words to discover.


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