Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy 81st Birthday, Cormac McCarthy

I have to remind myself that most of the writers I like were born in 1920 or so, which puts them in their 90s, if not dead already. Cormac McCarthy was born in 1933. I don’t know if this is an in loco parentis thing I have with my favorite writers, but I find it difficult to even think of looking up to writers born long after 1940. I know a lot of it has to do with these writers being soft, smug, gimmicky little snots who never encountered anything I would call adversity in their soft, smug little lives, but that’s a rant for another time.

I should write something what-the-fuck-did-I-just-read ultraviolent in McCarthy’s name today. Better still, I should work harder on getting a handle on what he, Shirley Jackson, and Flannery O’Connor alone among authors understand/understood and were able to convey better than anyone, the sheer, perverse meanness of people. The Sisyphean hopelessness/worthlessness of saving the human race will be a major theme in The Wrong Kind of Dead.

Yeah, check me out, a zombie apocalypse hack writing about the America’s Last Great Literary Lion. I look at it as one sick fuck wishing Many Happen Returns to the Sickest Fuck of Them All (seriously, did you read Blood Meridian?), with all the respect and affection you couldn’t force out of me at gunpoint for these weak, “politically correct” little fussbudgets out there killing the joy of reading for everyone else.

Happy Birthday to Cormac McCarthy, the only writer alive today I feel obliged to read: