20. Cormac McCarthy

This post is referring to the article from New York Times.

Cormac McCarthy is well known for his smooth, plot-driven writing style as well as blunt inclusions of violence and details in his pieces. Although Cormac McCarthy is said to be the pioneer of the style, he was greatly influenced by William Faulkner, as

Cormac McCarthy must be acknowledged as a talent equal to William Faulkner.

Cormac McCarthy’s unique writing style shines again when he describes the landscapes and animals in his famous novel, All the Pretty Horses. Just from the book’s title, the author focuses more on the environment’s details, rather than the main character, John Grady Cole.

In his sleep he could hear the horses stepping among the rocks and he could hear them drink from the shallow pools in the dark where the rocks lay smooth and rectilinear as the stones of ancient ruins and the water from their muzzles dripped and rang like water dripping in a well and in his sleep he dreamt of horses and the horses in his dream moved gravely among the tilted stones like horses come upon an antique site where some ordering of the world had failed and if anything had been written on the stones the weathers had taken it away again and the horses were wary and moved with great circumspection carrying in their blood as they did the recollection of this and other places where horses once had been and would be again. Finally what he saw in his dream was that the order in the horse’s heart was more durable for it was written in a place where no rain could erase it.

From the quote above, the readers can tell that the author has a really high affinity towards horses.

Another thing about Cormac McCarthy that has to be mentioned is his diction and dialogue. He rarely uses insignificant punctuations; when the characters converse, he omits the quotation marks, sometimes even question marks when asking questions. The words used in dialogues are simple as they could be, without any fancy words, but with the voice of the natural dialect and taste.

Just like he said in the interview, Cormac McCarthy never writes about a place he did not visit. He revives even the tiniest details in his pieces, leading the readers into the actual scenes.

cormac mccarthy