Re: RARA-AVIS: "Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy

From: Patrick King (
Date: 15 Jul 2009

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    What I get from Myers’s essay is a call to arms for simplicity, for good old fashioned storytelling, for excitement, for plot, for clarity.


    You can't blame the writers for this state of affairs. No publisher today is willing to publish 160 page book. They apparently just want it long. I've sat down with agents who say: "Look here, you say 'he checked the real estate listings.' Tell them what he checked. House on Oak Street, 3 bedrooms, $286,779; house on Waltham Rd, 1 bedroom, 2 bath, efficiency kitchen, $189,737... You can add a whole page like this." 'Clear, concise' no longer cuts it. Everything you were taught in college writing class is wrong. McCarthy's writing will almost certainly be the measuring stick by which the next generation of writers is measured. Hemingway, Faulkner, Chandler & Hammett all faced this same type of criticism by critics who can't sell their own novels (published or unpublished) so feel the need to tell those who can what they're doing wrong. Personally, I'm reading John Buchan right now, but I wish I was Cormac McCarthy.

    Patrick King


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