A great article in Slate bout Cormac McCarthy and what went on behind the scenes in the creation of Blood Meridian. Not from interviews with McCarthy, but distilled from the drafts of his work.
There is a bit in this that mirrors the creative process highlighted in the Seinfeld interview.
It’s easy to forget that McCarthy is blood and bones. We often fall into the trap of thinking about artists, particularly the reclusive ones, as single-minded and stoic. But releasing your personal papers is, invariably, an exercise in vulnerability—and there are moments of it in McCarthy’s notes. In a letter sent around 1979, he told a close friend that he had not touched the Blood Meridian manuscript in six months out of frustration. In his notebooks he searched for inspiration, jotting down quotes from William James, Joseph Heller, Lord Byron, Martin Luther King Jr., Flaubert, and Wagner. And he was certainly not immune to bad ideas: Early on he fancied Blood Meridian to include period prints, mainly lithographs and woodcuts, illustrating the gang’s Western journey.
Work. No matter who you are, the creative process is work. And sometimes you have to fight your way through until you come up with something you love. Or at least like enough to release it into the world.
Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian: Early drafts and history | via Slate.com