This is a good article. Click here for more information.

Cormac McCarthy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cormac McCarthy
Photo portrait of a man with medium-length hair and a mustache crossing his arms and standing in front of a tree and a wooden shed
McCarthy in 1973 (Child of God dust jacket)
BornCharles Joseph McCarthy Jr.
(1933-07-20) July 20, 1933 (age 88)
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
  • Novelist
  • playwright
  • screenwriter
Alma materUniversity of Tennessee (no degree)
GenreSouthern gothic, western, post-apocalyptic
Notable worksSuttree (1979)
Blood Meridian (1985)
The Border Trilogy (1992-1998)
No Country for Old Men (2005)
The Road (2006)
Lee Holleman
(m. 1961; div. 1962)

Anne DeLisle
(m. 1966; div. 1981)

Jennifer Winkley
(m. 1997; div. 2006)

Cormac McCarthy (born Charles Joseph McCarthy Jr.,[1] July 20, 1933) is an American writer who has written twelve novels, two plays, five screenplays and two short stories, spanning the Western and post-apocalyptic genres. He is well known for his graphic depictions of violence and his unique writing style, recognizable by a sparse use of punctuation and attribution. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest contemporary American writers.[2][3][4]

McCarthy was born in Providence, Rhode Island, although he was raised primarily in Tennessee. In 1951, he enrolled in the University of Tennessee, but dropped out to join the US Air Force. His debut novel, The Orchard Keeper, was published in 1965. Awarded literary grants, McCarthy was able to travel to southern Europe, where he wrote his second novel, Outer Dark (1968). Suttree (1979), like his other early novels, received generally positive reviews, but was not a commercial success. A MacArthur Fellowship enabled him to travel to the American Southwest, where he researched and wrote his fifth novel, Blood Meridian (1985). Although it initially garnered a lukewarm critical and commercial reception, it is now regarded as his magnum opus, with some even labeling it the Great American Novel.

McCarthy first experienced widespread success with All the Pretty Horses (1992), for which he received both the National Book Award[5] and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was followed by The Crossing (1994) and Cities of the Plain (1998), completing the Border Trilogy. His 2005 novel No Country for Old Men received mixed reviews. His 2006 novel The Road won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. Many of McCarthy's works have been adapted into film. No Country for Old Men was adapted into a 2007 film, winning four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. All the Pretty Horses, The Road, and Child of God have also been adapted into films, while Outer Dark was turned into a 15-minute short. McCarthy had a play adapted into a 2011 film, The Sunset Limited.

McCarthy currently works with the Santa Fe Institute (SFI), a multidisciplinary research center. At the SFI, he published the essay "The Kekulé Problem" (2017), which explores the human unconscious and the origin of language. He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2012.[6] His next novels, The Passenger and Stella Maris, will be published on October 25, 2022, and November 22, 2022, respectively.[7] The boxed set goes on sale December 6, 2022.[8]


Early life[edit]

McCarthy was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on July 20, 1933, one of six children of Gladys Christina McGrail and Charles Joseph McCarthy.[9] His family were Irish Catholics.[10] In 1937, the family relocated to Knoxville, Tennessee, where his father worked as a lawyer for the Tennessee Valley Authority.[11] The family first lived on Noelton Drive in the upscale Sequoyah Hills subdivision, but by 1941 had settled in a house on Martin Mill Pike in South Knoxville.[note 1][12] McCarthy would later say, "We were considered rich because all the people around us were living in one- or two-room shacks."[13] Among his childhood friends was Jim Long (1930–2012), who would later be depicted as J-Bone in Suttree.[14]

McCarthy attended St. Mary's Parochial School and Knoxville Catholic High School,[15] and was an altar boy at Knoxville's Church of the Immaculate Conception.[14] As a child, McCarthy saw no value in school, preferring to pursue his own interests. He described a moment when his teacher asked the class about their hobbies. McCarthy answered eagerly, as he later said, "I was the only one with any hobbies and I had every hobby there was... name anything, no matter how esoteric. I could have given everyone a hobby and still had 40 or 50 to take home."[16]

In 1951, he began attending the University of Tennessee (UTK) but dropped out in 1953 to join the United States Air Force. While stationed in Alaska, McCarthy read books voraciously, which he claimed was the first time he had done so.[13] He returned to UTK in 1957, where he published two stories, "A Drowning Incident" and "Wake for Susan" in the student literary magazine, The Phoenix, writing under the name C. J. McCarthy, Jr. For these, he won the Ingram-Merrill Award for creative writing in 1959 and 1960. But in 1959, he dropped out of UTK for the final time and left for Chicago.[11][13]

For purposes of his writing career, McCarthy changed his first name from Charles to Cormac to avoid confusion, and comparison, with ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's dummy Charlie McCarthy.[17] Cormac had been a family nickname given to his father by his Irish aunts.[13] Other sources say he changed his name to honor the Irish chieftain Cormac MacCarthy, who constructed Blarney Castle.[18]

After marrying fellow student Lee Holleman in 1961, McCarthy "moved to a shack with no heat and running water in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains outside of Knoxville". There the couple had a son, Cullen, in 1962.[19] When writer James Agee's childhood home was being demolished in Knoxville that year, McCarthy used the site's bricks to build fireplaces inside his Sevier County shack.[20] While Lee cared for the baby and tended to the chores of the house, Cormac asked her to get a day job so he could focus on his novel writing. Dismayed with the situation, she moved to Wyoming, where she filed for divorce and landed her first job teaching.[19]

Early writing career (1965–1991)[edit]

Photograph of the cover of The Orchard Keeper
The Orchard Keeper (1965) was McCarthy's first novel.

Random House published McCarthy's first novel, The Orchard Keeper, in 1965.[13] He had finished the novel while working part-time at an auto-parts warehouse in Chicago and submitted the manuscript "blindly" to Albert Erskine of Random House.[13][21] Erskine continued to edit McCarthy's work for the next 20 years.[21] Upon its release, critics noted its similarity to the work of Faulkner and praised McCarthy's striking use of imagery.[22][23] The Orchard Keeper won a 1966 William Faulkner Foundation Award for notable first novel.[24]

While living in the French Quarter in New Orleans, McCarthy was expelled from a $40-a-month room for failing to pay his rent.[13] When he traveled the country, McCarthy always carried a 100-watt bulb in his bag so he could read at night, no matter where he was sleeping.[16]

In the summer of 1965, using a Traveling Fellowship award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, McCarthy shipped out aboard the liner Sylvania hoping to visit Ireland. On the ship, he met Englishwoman Anne DeLisle, who was working on the ship as a dancer and singer. In 1966, they were married in England. Also in 1966, he received a Rockefeller Foundation Grant, which he used to travel around Southern Europe before landing in Ibiza, where he wrote his second novel, Outer Dark (1968). Afterward, he returned to the United States with his wife, where Outer Dark was published to generally favorable reviews.[25]

Photographic portrait of McCarthy
McCarthy in 1968

In 1969, the couple moved to Louisville, Tennessee, and purchased a dairy barn, which McCarthy renovated, doing the stonework himself.[25] According to DeLisle, the couple lived in "total poverty", bathing in a lake. DeLisle claimed, "Someone would call up and offer him $2,000 to come speak at a university about his books. And he would tell them that everything he had to say was there on the page. So we would eat beans for another week."[13] While living in the barn, he wrote his next book, Child of God (1973). Like Outer Dark before it, Child of God was set in southern Appalachia. In 1976, McCarthy separated from Anne DeLisle and moved to El Paso, Texas.[26]

In 1974, Richard Pearce of PBS contacted McCarthy and asked him to write the screenplay for an episode of Visions, a television drama series. Beginning in early 1975, and armed with only "a few photographs in the footnotes to a 1928 biography of a famous pre-Civil War industrialist William Gregg as inspiration", he and McCarthy spent a year traveling the South to research the subject of industrialization there.[27] McCarthy completed the screenplay in 1976 and the episode, titled The Gardener's Son, aired on January 6, 1977. Numerous film festivals abroad screened it.[28] The episode was nominated for two primetime Emmy awards in 1977.[27]

In 1979, McCarthy published the semi-autobiographical Suttree, which he had written over 20 years, based on his experiences in Knoxville on the Tennessee River. Jerome Charyn likened it to a doomed Huckleberry Finn.[29][30][31]

In 1981, McCarthy was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship worth $236,000. Saul Bellow, Shelby Foote, and others had recommended him to the organization. The grant enabled him to travel to the South-West, where he could research his next novel: Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West (1985).[21] The book is well known for its violence, with The New York Times declaring it the "bloodiest book since the Iliad".[26] Although initially snubbed by many critics, the book has grown appreciably in stature in literary circles; Harold Bloom called Blood Meridian "the greatest single book since Faulkner's As I Lay Dying".[32] In a 2006 poll of authors and publishers conducted by The New York Times Magazine to list the greatest American novels of the previous quarter-century, Blood Meridian placed third, behind Toni Morrison's Beloved (1987) and Don DeLillo's Underworld (1997).[33][34] Some have even suggested it is the Great American Novel.[35] Time included it on their 2005 list of the 100 best English-language books published since 1923.[36] At the time, McCarthy was living in a stone cottage behind an El Paso shopping center, which he described as "barely habitable".[13]

As of 1991, none of McCarthy's novels had sold more than 5,000 hardcover copies, and "for most of his career, he did not even have an agent". He was labelled the "best unknown novelist in America".[26]

Success and acclaim (1992–2013)[edit]

External video
video icon McCarthy's 2007 interview with Oprah on YouTube

After working with McCarthy for twenty years, Albert Erskine retired from Random House. McCarthy turned to Alfred A. Knopf, where he fell under the editorial advisement of Gary Fisketjon. As a final favor to Erskine, McCarthy agreed to his first-ever interview with Richard B. Woodward of The New York Times.[11]

McCarthy finally received widespread recognition following the publication of All the Pretty Horses (1992), when it won the National Book Award[37] and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It became a New York Times bestseller, selling 190,000 hardcover copies within six months.[11] It was followed by The Crossing (1994) and Cities of the Plain (1998), completing the Border Trilogy.[38] In the midst of this trilogy came The Stonemason (first performed in 1995), his second dramatic work.[39][40]

A graffiti portrait of Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurgh in the film No Country for Old Men
Graffito depicting the film version of the No Country for Old Men character Anton Chigurh in London

McCarthy originally conceived his next work, No Country for Old Men (2005),[note 2] as a screenplay before turning it into a novel.[42] Consequently, the novel has little description of setting and is composed largely of dialogue.[2] A western set in the 1980s,[43] No Country for Old Men was adapted by the Coen brothers into a 2007 film of the same name, which won four Academy Awards and more than 75 film awards globally.[42]

In the early 2000s, while sleeping at an El Paso motel with his son, McCarthy imagined the city in a hundred years: "fires up on the hill and everything being laid to waste".[16] He wrote two pages covering the idea; four years later in Ireland he would expand the idea into his tenth novel, The Road. It follows a lone father and his young son traveling through a post-apocalyptic America, hunted by cannibals.[note 3] Many of the discussions between the two were verbatim conversations McCarthy had had with his son.[16][45] Released in 2006, it won international acclaim and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.[42] McCarthy did not accept the prize in person, instead sending Sonny Mehta in his place.[46] John Hillcoat directed the 2009 film adaptation, written by Joe Penhall, and starring Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee. Critics reviews were mostly favorable: Roger Ebert found it "powerful" but lacking "emotional feeling",[47] Peter Bradshaw noted "a guarded change of emphasis",[48] while Dan Jolin found it to be a "faithful adaptation" of the "devastating novel".[49]

Photograph of a copy of The Road
First edition of McCarthy's tenth novel, The Road (2006), for which he received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

McCarthy published the play The Sunset Limited in 2006. Critics noted it was unorthodox and may have had more in common with a novel, hence McCarthy's subtitle: "a novel in dramatic form".[50][51] He later adapted it into a screenplay for a 2011 film, directed and executive produced by Tommy Lee Jones, who also starred opposite Samuel L. Jackson.[51][50] Oprah Winfrey selected McCarthy's The Road as the April 2007 selection for her Book Club.[2][52] As a result, McCarthy agreed to his first television interview, which aired on The Oprah Winfrey Show on June 5, 2007. The interview took place in the library of the Santa Fe Institute. McCarthy told Winfrey that he does not know any writers and much prefers the company of scientists. During the interview, he related several stories illustrating the degree of outright poverty he endured at times during his career as a writer. He also spoke about the experience of fathering a child at an advanced age, and how his son was the inspiration for The Road.[53]

In 2012, McCarthy sold his original screenplay The Counselor to Nick Wechsler, Paula Mae Schwartz, and Steve Schwartz, who had previously produced the film adaptation of McCarthy's novel The Road.[54] Directed by Ridley Scott, production finished in 2012. It was released on October 25, 2013, to polarized critical reception. Mark Kermode of The Guardian found it "datedly naff";[55] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone described it as "a droning meditation on capitalism";[56] however Manohla Dargis of The New York Times found it "terrifying" and "seductive".[57]

Santa Fe Institute (2014–present)[edit]

McCarthy is a trustee for the Santa Fe Institute (SFI), a multidisciplinary research center devoted to the study of complex adaptive systems.[58] Unlike most members of the SFI, McCarthy does not have a scientific background. As Murray Gell-Mann explained, "There isn't any place like the Santa Fe Institute, and there isn't any writer like Cormac, so the two fit quite well together."[21] From his work at the Santa Fe Institute, McCarthy published his first piece of nonfiction writing in his 50-year writing career. In the essay entitled "The Kekulé Problem" (2017), McCarthy analyzes a dream of August Kekulé's as a model of the unconscious mind and the origins of language. He theorizes about the nature of the unconscious mind and its separation from human language. The unconscious, according to McCarthy, "is a machine for operating an animal" and "all animals have an unconscious." McCarthy postulates that language is a purely human cultural creation and not a biologically determined phenomenon.[59]

In 2015, McCarthy's next novel, The Passenger, was announced at a multimedia event hosted in Santa Fe by the Lannan Foundation. Influenced by his time among scientists, SFI biologist David Krakauer described the unfinished book as "full-blown Cormac 3.0—a mathematical [and] analytical novel". In March 2022, the New York Times reported that The Passenger will be released on October 25, 2022, and a second companion novel, Stella Maris, will be released on November 22.[60] Stella Maris will be McCarthy's first novel since Outer Dark to feature a female protagonist.[24]

Writing approach and style[edit]


He left the beer on the counter and went out and got the two packs of cigarettes and the binoculars and the pistol and slung the .270 over his shoulder and shut the truck door and came back in.

—Cormac McCarthy's polysyndetic use of "and" in No Country for Old Men

McCarthy uses punctuation sparsely, even replacing most commas with "and" to create polysyndetons;[61] it has been called "the most important word in McCarthy's lexicon".[2] He told Oprah Winfrey that he prefers "simple declarative sentences" and that he uses capital letters, periods, an occasional comma, or a colon for setting off a list, but never semicolons.[note 4][62] He does not use quotation marks for dialogue and believes there is no reason to "blot the page up with weird little marks".[63] Erik Hage notes that McCarthy's dialogue often lacks attribution, but that "Somehow...the reader remains oriented as to who is speaking."[64] His attitude to punctuation dates to some editing work he did for a professor of English while enrolled at the University of Tennessee, when he stripped out much of the punctuation in the book being edited, which pleased the professor.[65] McCarthy edited fellow Santa Fe Institute Fellow W. Brian Arthur's influential article "Increasing Returns and the New World of Business", published in the Harvard Business Review in 1996, removing commas from the text.[66] He has also done copy-editing work for physicists Lawrence M. Krauss and Lisa Randall.[67]

Saul Bellow praised his "absolutely overpowering use of language, his life-giving and death-dealing sentences". Richard B. Woodward has described his writing as "reminiscent of early Hemingway".[13] Unlike earlier works such as Suttree and Blood Meridian, the majority of McCarthy's work after 1993 uses simple, restrained vocabulary.[2]


There's no such thing as life without bloodshed. The notion that the species can be improved in some way, that everyone could live in harmony, is a really dangerous idea. Those who are afflicted with this notion are the first ones to give up their souls, their freedom. Your desire that it be that way will enslave you and make your life vacuous.

—Cormac McCarthy explaining his philosophy[16]

McCarthy's novels often depict explicit violence.[16] Many of his works have been characterized as nihilistic,[68] particularly Blood Meridian.[69] Some academics dispute this, saying Blood Meridian is actually a gnostic tragedy.[70][71] Many of his later works have been characterized as highly moralistic. Erik J. Wielenberg argues that The Road depicts morality as secular and originating from individuals, such as the father and separate from God.[72]

The bleak outlook of the future, and the inhuman foreign antagonist Anton Chigurh of No Country for Old Men is said to reflect the apprehension of the post-9/11 era.[73] Many of his works portray individuals in conflict with society and acting on instinct rather than on emotion or thought.[74] Another theme throughout many of McCarthy's works is the ineptitude or inhumanity of those in authority and particularly in law enforcement. This is seen in Blood Meridian with the murder spree the Glanton Gang initiates because of the bounties, the "overwhelmed" law enforcement in No Country for Old Men, and the corrupt police officers in All the Pretty Horses.[75] As a result, he has been labelled the "great pessimist of American literature".[16]

Bilingual narrative practice[edit]

Cormac McCarthy is fluent in Spanish, having lived in Ibiza, Spain, in the 1960s and later residing in El Paso, Texas, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.[76] Isabel Soto argues that after he learned the language, in his novels "Spanish and English modulate or permeate each other," as it is "an essential part of McCarthy's expressive discourse."[77] Katherine Sugg observes that McCarthy's writing is "often considered a 'multicultural' and 'bilingual' narrative practice, particularly for its abundant use of untranslated Spanish dialogue."[78] Jeffrey Herlihy-Mera observes: "John Grady Cole is a native speaker of Spanish. This is also the case of several other important characters in the Border Trilogy, including Billy Parhnam (sic), John Grady's mother (and possibly his grandfather and brothers), and perhaps Jimmy Blevins, each of whom are speakers of Spanish who were ostensibly born in the US political space into families with what are generally considered English-speaking surnames...This is also the case of Judge Holden in Blood Meridian."[76]

Work ethic and process[edit]

Photograph of a turquoise-blue mechanical typewriter
McCarthy wrote all of his fiction and correspondence with a single Olivetti Lettera 32 typewriter between the early 1960s and 2009. At that time he replaced it with an identical model.[79]

McCarthy has dedicated himself to writing full time, choosing not to work other jobs to support his career. "I always knew that I didn't want to work," McCarthy has said. "You have to be dedicated, but it was my number-one priority."[80] Early in his career, his decision not to work sometimes subjected him and his family to poverty.[53]

Nevertheless, according to scholar Steve Davis, McCarthy has an "incredible work ethic".[81] He prefers to work on several projects simultaneously and said, for instance, that he had four drafts in progress in the mid-2000s and for several years devoted about two hours every day to each project.[79] He is known to conduct exhaustive research on the historical settings and regional environments found in his fiction.[82] He continually edits his own writing, sometimes revising a book over the course of years or decades before deeming it fit for publication.[81] While his research and revision are meticulous, he does not outline his plots and instead views writing as a "subconscious process" which should be given space for spontaneous inspiration.[83]

Since 1958, McCarthy has written all of his literary work and correspondence with a mechanical typewriter. He originally used a Royal but went looking for a more lightweight machine ahead of a trip to Europe in the early 1960s. He bought a portable Olivetti Lettera 32 for $50 at a Knoxville pawn shop and typed about five million words over the next five decades. He maintained it by simply "blowing out the dust with a service station hose". Book dealer Glenn Horowitz said the modest typewriter acquired "a sort of talismanic quality" through its connection to McCarthy's monumental fiction, "as if Mount Rushmore was carved with a Swiss Army knife".[79] His Olivetti was auctioned in December 2009 at Christie's, with the auction house estimating it would fetch between $15,000 and $20,000. It sold for $254,500, with proceeds donated to the Santa Fe Institute.[84] McCarthy replaced it with an identical model, bought for him by his friend John Miller for $11 plus $19.95 for shipping.[79]

Personal life and views[edit]

Photograph of a wolf
In the 1980s, McCarthy considered secretly reintroducing wolves into southern Arizona.

McCarthy is a teetotaler. According to Richard B. Woodward: "McCarthy doesn't drink anymore – he quit 16 years ago [i.e. in 1976] in El Paso, with one of his young girlfriends – and Suttree reads like a farewell to that life. 'The friends I do have are simply those who quit drinking,' he says. 'If there is an occupational hazard to writing, it's drinking'."[85]

In the late 1990s, McCarthy moved to the Tesuque area of New Mexico, north of Santa Fe, with his third wife, Jennifer Winkley, and their son, John. McCarthy and Winkley divorced in 2006.[21]

In 2013, a Twitter account impersonating McCarthy (@CormacCMcCarthy) was created by Scottish writer Michael Crossan, quickly amassing several thousand followers and recognition by site owner Jack Dorsey. Five hours after the account's creation, McCarthy's publisher confirmed that the account was fake and that McCarthy did not own a computer.[86] In 2018, another account impersonating McCarthy (@CormacMcCrthy) was created. In 2021, it was briefly verified following a viral tweet, after which his agent confirmed that the account was fake.[87][88]

In 2016, a hoax spread on Twitter claiming that McCarthy had died, with USA Today even repeating the information.[89][90] The Los Angeles Times responded to the hoax with the headline, "Cormac McCarthy isn't dead. He's too tough to die."[91]


McCarthy has not publicly revealed his political opinions.[92] A resident of Santa Fe with a traditionalist disposition, he has expressed disapproval of the liberal-minded people and lifestyle there: "If you don't agree with them politically, you can’t just agree to disagree—they think you're crazy."[21] In the 1980s, McCarthy and Edward Abbey considered covertly releasing wolves into southern Arizona to restore their decimated population.[93]

Science and literature[edit]

In one of his few interviews, McCarthy revealed that he respects only authors who "deal with issues of life and death", citing Henry James and Marcel Proust as examples of writers who do not. "I don't understand them ... To me, that's not literature. A lot of writers who are considered good I consider strange," he said.[26] Regarding his own literary constraints when writing novels, McCarthy said he is "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."[94] He has cited Moby-Dick (1851) as his favorite novel.[21]

McCarthy has an aversion to other writers, preferring the company of scientists. He has voiced his admiration for scientific advances: "What physicists did in the 20th century was one of the extraordinary flowerings ever in the human enterprise."[21] At MacArthur reunions, McCarthy has typically shunned his fellow writers to fraternize instead with scientists like physicist Murray Gell-Mann and whale biologist Roger Payne. Of all of his interests, McCarthy stated, "Writing is way, way down at the bottom of the list."[26]


In 2003, literary critic Harold Bloom named McCarthy as one of the four major living American novelists, alongside Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon, and Philip Roth.[95] His 1994 book The Western Canon had listed Child of God, Suttree, and Blood Meridian among the works of contemporary literature he predicted would endure and become "canonical".[96] Bloom reserved his highest praise for Blood Meridian, which he called "the greatest single book since Faulkner's As I Lay Dying", and though he held less esteem for McCarthy's other novels he said that "to have written even one book so authentically strong and allusive, and capable of the perpetual reverberation that Blood Meridian possesses more than justifies him. ... He has attained genius with that book."[97]

A comprehensive archive of McCarthy's personal papers is preserved at the Wittliff Collections, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas. The McCarthy papers consists of 98 boxes (46 linear feet).[98] The acquisition of the Cormac McCarthy Papers resulted from years of ongoing conversations between McCarthy and Southwestern Writers Collection founder, Bill Wittliff, who negotiated the proceedings.[99] The Southwestern Writers Collection/Wittliff Collections also holds The Wolmer Collection of Cormac McCarthy, which consists of letters between McCarthy and bibliographer J. Howard Woolmer,[100] and four other related collections.[100]



  1. ^ This house burned down in 2009.[12]
  2. ^ Its title originates from the 1926 poem "Sailing to Byzantium" by Irish poet W. B. Yeats.[41]
  3. ^ The concept of post-apocalyptic cannibals spawned from a discussion McCarthy had with his brother.[44]
  4. ^ He has labelled semicolons as "idiocy".[21]


  1. ^ Don Williams. "Cormac McCarthy Crosses the Great Divide". New Millennium Writings. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Cowley, Jason (January 12, 2008). "A shot rang out ..." The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on October 17, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  3. ^ Draper, Robert (July 1992). "The Invisible Man". Texas Monthly. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  4. ^ Parker, Nicholas (July 20, 2017). "Where to Start with Cormac McCarthy". New York Public Library. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  5. ^ National Book Foundation; retrieved March 28, 2012.
    (With acceptance speech by McCarthy and essay by Harold Augenbraum from the Awards 60-year anniversary blog.)
  6. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved March 19, 2021.
  7. ^ "Sixteen Years After ‘The Road,’ Cormac McCarthy Is Publishing Two New Novels." The New York Times. March 8, 2022.
  8. ^ "Cormac McCarthy is publishing two new novels this fall". March 8, 2022.
  9. ^ Brown, Fred (January 29, 2009). "Sister: Childhood home made Cormac McCarthy". Knoxville News Sentinel. Archived from the original on November 24, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  10. ^ Jurgensen, John (November 13, 2009). "Hollywood's Favorite Cowboy". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on August 2, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d "Biography". Archived from the original on April 13, 2012. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  12. ^ a b Neely, Jack (February 3, 2009). "'The House Where I Grew Up': A eulogy for a neglected landmark". metropulse. com. Archived from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Woodward, Richard B. (April 19, 1992). "Cormac McCarthy's Venomous Fiction". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 3, 2018. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  14. ^ a b Neely, Jack (September 19, 2012). "Jim "J-Bone" Long, 1930-2012: One Visit With a Not-Quite Fictional Character". Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  15. ^ Wallach, Rick (2013). You Would Not Believe What Watches: Suttree and Cormac McCarthy's Knoxville. Louisiana State University Press. p. 59. ISBN 9780807154229. Archived from the original on July 29, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Adams, Tim (December 19, 2009). "Cormac McCarthy: America's great poetic visionary". The Guardian. Archived from the original on January 11, 2020. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  17. ^ Giemza, Bryan (July 8, 2013). Irish Catholic Writers and the Invention of the American South. LSU Press. ISBN 9780807150924. Retrieved November 29, 2017 – via Google Books.
  18. ^ Hall, Michael (July 1998). "Desperately Seeking Cormac". Texas Monthly. Archived from the original on January 31, 2020. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  19. ^ a b "Obituary: Lee McCarthy". The Bakersfield Californian. March 29, 2009. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
  20. ^ Brown, Paul F. (2018). Rufus: James Agee in Tennessee. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press. pp. 251–52. ISBN 978-1621904243.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i Woodward, Richard B. (August 2005). "Cormac Country". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on August 15, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  22. ^ "Still Another Disciple of William Faulkner". Archived from the original on February 7, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  23. ^ "The Orchard Keeper by Cormac McCarthy". Kirkus Reviews. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  24. ^ a b "New Cormac McCarthy Book, 'The Passenger,' Unveiled". Newsweek. August 15, 2015. Archived from the original on March 18, 2020. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  25. ^ a b Arnold, Edwin (1999). Perspectives on Cormac McCarthy. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1-57806-105-9.
  26. ^ a b c d e Woodward, Richard (May 17, 1998). "Cormac McCarthy's Venomous Fiction". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 20, 2020. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  27. ^ a b "The Gardener's Son". Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  28. ^ McCarthy, Cormac. The Gardener's Son. The Ecco Press, September 1, 1996. Retrieved December 6, 2010. Front and back book flaps.
  29. ^ Charyn, Jerome (February 18, 1979). "Suttree". The New York Times. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
  30. ^ "Cormac McCarthy Papers". The Wittliff Collections. Archived from the original on June 13, 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  31. ^ Broyard, Anatole (January 20, 1979). "Books of The Times". The New York Times. New York. Archived from the original on August 20, 2020. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  32. ^ Bloom, Harold (June 15, 2009). "Harold Bloom on Blood Meridian". A.V. Club. Archived from the original on December 25, 2020. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
  33. ^ "What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years?". The New York Times. May 21, 2006. Archived from the original on August 8, 2020. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
  34. ^ "Bloom on "Blood Meridian"". Archived from the original on March 24, 2006.
  35. ^ Dalrymple, William. "Blood Meridian is the Great American Novel". Reader's Digest. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved May 4, 2020. McCarthy's descriptive powers make him the best prose stylist working today, and this book the Great American Novel.
  36. ^ Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo (October 16, 2005). "All Time 100 Novels – The Complete List". Time. Archived from the original on April 25, 2010. Retrieved June 3, 2008.
  37. ^ Phillips, Dana (2014). "History and the Ugly Facts of Blood Meridian". In Lilley, James D. (ed.). Cormac McCarthy: New Directions. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press. pp. 17–46.
  38. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (April 2, 2020). "Binge It! The Allure of Cormac McCarthy's Beautifully Desolate Border Trilogy". IGN. Archived from the original on December 25, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  39. ^ The Stonemason. UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 1994. ISBN 9780880013598. Archived from the original on March 20, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  40. ^ Battersby, Eileen (October 25, 1997). "The Stonemason by Cormac McCarthy". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on December 25, 2020. Retrieved October 24, 2020.
  41. ^ Frye, S. (2006). "Yeats' 'Sailing to Byzantium' and McCarthy's No Country for Old Men: Art and Artifice in the New Novel". The Cormac McCarthy Society Journal. 5.
  42. ^ a b c "Fiction: The Pulitzer Prize". Archived from the original on April 2, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  43. ^ Proulx, Annie (October 28, 2005). "Gunning for trouble". The Guardian. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  44. ^ John Jurgensen (April 25, 2020). "Hollywood's Favorite Cowboy". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on December 24, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
  45. ^ Winfrey, Oprah. "Oprah's Exclusive Interview with Cormac McCarthy Video". Oprah Winfrey Show. Harpo Productions, Inc. Archived from the original on July 1, 2014. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  46. ^ "The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (Alfred A. Knopf)". Archived from the original on May 26, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  47. ^ "Walking from here to anywhere through nowhere, and worse". Archived from the original on January 16, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  48. ^ "The Guardian review of The Road". The Guardian. January 7, 2010. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  49. ^ "The Road Review". Archived from the original on January 16, 2020. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  50. ^ a b Jones, Chris (May 29, 2006). "Brilliant, but hardly a play". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on September 14, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  51. ^ a b Zinoman, Jason (October 31, 2006). "A Debate of Souls, Torn Between Faith and Unbelief". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 1, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  52. ^ Van Gelder, Lawrence (March 29, 2007). "Arts, Briefly". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 5, 2015.
  53. ^ a b Conlon, Michael (June 5, 2007). "Writer Cormac McCarthy confides in Oprah Winfrey". Reuters. Archived from the original on January 16, 2019.
  54. ^ "Cormac McCarthy Sells First Spec Script". TheWrap. Archived from the original on July 7, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  55. ^ "The Counsellor – review Mark Kermode". The Guardian. November 17, 2013. Archived from the original on January 16, 2020. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  56. ^ "Rolling Stone review". Rolling Stone. October 24, 2013. Archived from the original on January 16, 2020. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  57. ^ Dargis, Manohla (October 24, 2013). "NY Times review". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 16, 2016. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  58. ^ Romeo, Rick (April 22, 2017). "Cormac McCarthy explains the unconscious". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on July 9, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  59. ^ McCarthy, Cormac (April 20, 2017). "The Kekulé Problem: Where did language come from?". Nautilus. No. 47. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  60. ^ "Sixteen Years After ‘The Road,’ Cormac McCarthy Is Publishing Two New Novels." The New York Times. 8 March 2022.
  61. ^ Jones, Josh (August 13, 2013). "Cormac McCarthy's Three Punctuation Rules, and How They All Go Back to James Joyce". Open Culture. Archived from the original on May 20, 2020. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
  62. ^ Lincoln, Kenneth (2009). Cormac McCarthy. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 14. ISBN 978-0230619678.
  63. ^ Crystal, David (2015). Making a Point: The Pernickity Story of English Punctuation. London: Profile Books. p. 92. ISBN 978-1781253502.
  64. ^ Hage, Erik (2010). Cormac McCarthy: A Literary Companion. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. p. 156. ISBN 978-0786443109.
  65. ^ Greenwood, Willard P. (2009). Reading Cormac McCarthy. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 4. ISBN 978-0313356643.
  66. ^ Tetzeli, Rick (December 7, 2016). "A Short History Of The Most Important Economic Theory In Tech". Fast Company. Archived from the original on August 1, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  67. ^ Flood, Alison (February 21, 2012). "Cormac McCarthy's parallel career revealed – as a scientific copy editor!". The Guardian. Archived from the original on June 1, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  68. ^ Bell, Vereen M. (Spring 1983). "The Ambiguous Nihilism of Cormac McCarthy". Southern Literary Journal. 15 (2): 31–41. JSTOR 20077701.
  69. ^ "Harold Bloom on Blood Meridian". The A.V. Club. June 15, 2009. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  70. ^ Daugherty, Leo (1999). "Gravers False and True: Blood Meridian as Gnostic Tragedy". In Arnold, Edwin; Luce, Dianne (eds.). Perspectives on Cormac McCarthy. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. Project MUSE. ISBN 9781604736502. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  71. ^ Mundik, Petra (2009). ""Striking the Fire Out of the Rock": Gnostic Theology in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian". South Central Review. 26 (3): 72–97. doi:10.1353/scr.0.0057. S2CID 144187406. Archived from the original on June 2, 2018. Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  72. ^ Wielenberg, Erik J. (Fall 2010). "God, Morality, and Meaning in Cormac McCarthy's The Road" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on January 10, 2020. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  73. ^ Hwang, Jung-Suk (2018). "The Wild West, 9/11, and Mexicans in Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men". Texas Studies in Literature and Language. 60 (3): 346–371. doi:10.7560/TSLL60304. S2CID 165691304.
  74. ^ "Cormac McCarthy Writer Class of December 1981". MacArthur Foundation. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  75. ^ "Cormac McCarthy: An American Philosophy". The Artifice. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  76. ^ a b Herlihy-Mara, Jeffrey (2015). ""Mojado-Reverso" or, a Reverse Wetback: On John Grady Cole's Mexican Ancestry in Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses". MFS Modern Fiction Studies. Johns Hopkins University Press. 61 (3 Fall 2015): 469–492. doi:10.1353/mfs.2015.0046. S2CID 159643410. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  77. ^ Soto, Isabel (January 1, 2002). "Chapter 4:The Border Paradigm in Cormac McCarthy's The Crossing.". In Benito, Jesús (ed.). Literature and Ethnicity in the Cultural Borderlands. Brill. pp. 51–61.
  78. ^ Sugg, Katherine (2001). "Multicultural masculinities and the border romance in John Sayles's Lone Star and Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy". New Centennial Review. 1 (3): 117–154. doi:10.1353/ncr.2003.0071. S2CID 144132488.
  79. ^ a b c d Cohen, Patricia (November 30, 2009). "No Country for Old Typewriters: A Well-Used One Heads to Auction". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 16, 2020.
  80. ^ Jones, Josh (February 27, 2017). "Cormac McCarthy Explains Why He Worked Hard at Not Working: How 9-to-5 Jobs Limit Your Creative Potential". Open Culture. Archived from the original on October 4, 2019.
  81. ^ a b Davis, Steve (September 23, 2010). "Unpacking Cormac McCarthy". The Texas Observer. Archived from the original on July 10, 2020.
  82. ^ "News — Exhibition on McCarthy's Process". The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University. September 10, 2014. Archived from the original on July 30, 2020.
  83. ^ Kushner, David (December 2007). "Cormac McCarthy's Apocalypse". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on March 24, 2020 – via
  84. ^ Kennedy, Randy (December 4, 2009). "Cormac McCarthy's Typewriter Brings $254,500 at Auction". ArtsBeat. The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 10, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  85. ^ "The New York Times: Book Review Search Article". The New York Times. May 17, 1998. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  86. ^ Creamer, Matt (January 31, 2013). "An Unpublished Novelist's Week as Fake Cormac McCarthy". The Atlantic. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  87. ^ Gaynor, Jesse (August 2, 2021). "The obviously fake Cormac McCarthy Twitter account has been verified, for some reason". Lithub. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  88. ^ Blistein, Joe (August 2, 2021). "No Twitter for Old Men: No, That Cormac McCarthy Account Is Not Real". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  89. ^ Evon, Dan (June 28, 2016). "Cormac McCarthy Death Hoax". Snopes. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  90. ^ Kircher, Madison Malone (June 28, 2016). "Why USA Today Wrongly Tweeted That Cormac McCarthy Had Died". Intelligencer. New York Magazine. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  91. ^ Schaub, Michael (June 28, 2016). "Cormac McCarthy isn't dead. He's too tough to die". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 28, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  92. ^ "Why Don't Republicans Write Fiction?". March 6, 2007. Archived from the original on June 8, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  93. ^ Woodward, Richard B. (April 19, 1992). "Cormac McCarthy's Venomous Fiction". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 3, 2018. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  94. ^ "A conversation between author Cormac McCarthy and the Coen Brothers, about the new movie No Country for Old Men". October 18, 2007. Archived from the original on February 28, 2017.
  95. ^ Bloom, Harold (September 24, 2003). "Dumbing down American readers". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on June 8, 2020 – via
  96. ^ Bloom, Harold (1994). "Appendix D: The Chaotic Age: A Canonical Prophecy". The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages. Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Brace & Company. pp. 548–567. ISBN 0-15-195747-9 – via the Internet Archive (registration required).
  97. ^ Pierce, Leonard (June 15, 2009). "Harold Bloom on Blood Meridian". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on July 24, 2020.
  98. ^ "Cormac McCarthy Papers at The Wittliff Collections, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX". Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  99. ^ "Texas State acquires McCarthy archives". The Hollywood Reporter. Associated Press. January 15, 2008. Archived from the original on September 15, 2018. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  100. ^ a b "Woolmer Collection of Cormac McCarthy : The Wittliff Collections : Texas State University". September 21, 2016. Archived from the original on December 19, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Frye, Steven (2009). Understanding Cormac McCarthy. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 978-1570038396.
  • Frye, Steven, ed. (2013). The Cambridge Companion to Cormac McCarthy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1107644809.
  • Luce, Dianne C. (2001). "Cormac McCarthy: A Bibliography". The Cormac McCarthy Journal. 1 (1): 72–84. JSTOR 4290933. (updated version published 26 October 2011)
  • "Connecting Science and Art". Science Friday. April 8, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2015.

External links[edit]