Cormac McCarthy: A Literary Genius Essay

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Regarding the literary successes of The Road and No Country for Old Men and the research of various critical essays about the author, Cormac McCarthy, it is evident that McCarthy’s barren outlook of humanity and his blunt, economic use of words and scarcity of punctuation are the most notable aspects regarding the success of his novels. McCarthy’s position is primarily influenced by the historical and social concerns of his time. His unique form, lack of punctuation and his simplistic use of grammar and rhetoric all hold a significant role. This rationed use of writing, however, does not prevent him from displaying his grim opinions of the state of future of society in his novels.
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Two of McCarthy’s four years of service were based in Alaska. Although never receiving his degree, he later returned to the University of Tennessee, where his writing career began.
Although McCarthy is considered to be among the greatest living American authors, success did not find him immediately. His first five written novels struggled to leave the shelves of book stores, barely selling 2,500 hard copy editions. Later, however, success found him and he produced ten novels receiving many prestigious awards. Beginning with The Orchard Keeper in 1965 and ending with The Road in 2006. McCarthy’s works are frequently praised and acknowledged for various accolades. Among these were:
• William Faulkner Foundation Award for notable first novel (1966, The Orchard Keeper)
• National Book Award (1992, All the Pretty Horses)
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• Pulitzer Prize for fiction (2007, The Road)
• PEN/Saul Bellow Award for achievement in American fiction (2008) Contributing to his success is McCarthy’s unorthodox style of writing. Often being praised for his command of language and writing techniques, his use of punctuation is deliberately limited. McCarthy has stated, “There’s no reason to blot the page up with weird little marks. I mean, if you write properly you shouldn’t have to punctuate,” and “I believe in periods, in capitals, in the occasional

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