Building The Perfect Beast

Reading, Writing, Wanderlust, and Commentary

Archive for the ‘Cormac McCarthy’ tag

Speaking of Creativity…

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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

Written by Jeffery Battersby

December 20th, 2012 at 11:43 am

HBO Set to Premiere Cormac McCarthy’s “The Sunset Limited”

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Just saw a trailer on HBO the other night for Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited. Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson are set to play the two characters, one of whom saves the other from jumping in front of a train.

The trailer looked great.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

January 18th, 2011 at 6:56 pm

What @Gruber Said…

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Two great posts from John Gruber’s Daring Fireball yesterday.

First, a piece in the New Yorker about the recent auction of Cormac McCarthy’s ancient Olivetti Lettera 32, the typewriter that McCarthy bought in a Knoxville, TN pawnshop for $50 and on which McCarthy says that he has,

…typed on this typewriter every book I have written including three not published. Including all drafts and correspondence I would put this at about five million words over a period of 50 years.

50 years. Wow. What an amazing run for a single machine and what a tremendous $50 investment. (According to the Inflation Calculator, McCarthy’s initial investment in 1960 is about $360 in 2008 dollars.)

Gruber’s second post of interest was about OmmWriter, which adds a very interesting twist to the idea of “distraction free writing.” (Said idea of which I’m a fan indeed and proven by my constant use of the Hog Bay Software series of apps, WriteRoom,, and WriteRoom for iPhone.)

The creators of OmmWriter designed their app as:

…a humble attempt to recapture what technology has snatched away from us today: our capacity to concentrate.

Ommwriter is a simple text processor that firmly believes in making writing a pleasure once again, vindicating the close relationship between writer and paper. The more intimate the relation, the smoother the flow of inspiration.

Writing while using OmmWriter is a bit like playing Zen Bound, and is designed to be immersive, i.e., best suited to sitting with a set of headphones on your head and tip, tap, typing away. The results can be, well… interesting.



OmmWriter is currently in beta and looks like it may be free once it’s released. You can get your own copy to play with by giving the folks at Herraiz Soto & Co, the creators of OmmWriter, your email address.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

December 10th, 2009 at 9:34 am

John Hillcoat, Chasing Humanity on a Grim ‘Road’ | via NPR

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There was a great interview today on NPR’s Morning Edition with director John Hillcoat, whose film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road hits theaters tomorrow. In the interview Hillcoat says that McCarthy’s novel:

…just hit me like a freight train, emotionally, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It’s just fundamental issues about how people behave under pressure, and how much we take for granted.

I couldn’t agree more. The Road is a powerful, moving book. As I read it I always found my mind turning to my son and thinking about the relationship between Man and Boy and my relationship with Colin. (Yes, I do also have two daughters who I dearly love, but something about the book always turned my mind toward my son.)

While I have no expectation that the movie will rise to the level of the book or hold the same emotional currency for me, I do look forward to seeing The Road.

The last link is to the Quicktime Movie Trailers site. Along with the trailer there’s also an excellent “Making of” video.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

November 24th, 2009 at 9:20 am

“The Road” On iTunes

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This is a book better read in your head, but if you’re an audio book kinda reader, the iTunes music store has Cormac McCarthy’s The Road on sale for the rest of the month for a mere $5.

It’s stunning.

While you’re there have a listen to Elbow’s The Seldom Seen Kid. You’ll find this brilliant too.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

March 9th, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Posted in Asides,On miPod

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