‘It Requires Genius and He Had It’: Readers on Cormac McCarthy

‘It Requires Genius and He Had It’: Readers on Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy in 2014.Credit…Beowulf Sheehan The death of the novelist Cormac McCarthy on Tuesday prompted an outpouring from readers, who shared favorite passages, memories of reading his books — and occasionally, encounters with the reclusive writer. Here is a selection of those comments, reflecting the many ways McCarthy's — often described as haunting and even devastating — left a lasting mark on readers. These responses have been edited for length and clarity. Some readers shared vivid memories of the first time they discovered McCarthy's work — and its lasting impression. “I was in my senior year of college in 1992-93 when I walked into a Borders bookstore on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. ‘All the Pretty Horses' had recently been published and was on the display table. I don't know how long I stood there, rooted to the spot, reading and turning pages. I bought the book, read it, then read everything he wrote to that time and since that time. So that's 30 years ago. That's the way it's been for me when it comes to his writing. It makes an impression, leaves a mark, leaves me somehow changed, such that I can look back now, from my 50s, and remember where I was when I was reading his novels, and what I felt when I finished one for the first time. He may not be the kind of writer that everyone would take to. But for me, he represents what writing and are capable of in terms of the alchemy by which words can grip, mold, and change you and how you see the world. What a writer.” — Milan Karol, Baltimore, Md. “I read ‘The Road' in one sitting, overnight, and it has never left me. I remain haunted by that vision, forever.” — Diana Dubrawsky, Silver Spring, Md. “Goodbye to one of the all-time greats. If I had to choose one book to carry in my broken shopping cart through a postapocalyptic world it would be ‘Suttree,' a book that gets better each time you read it.” — Yoav Grunstein, New York, N.Y. […]

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