Cormac McCarthy in 1973 (public domain photo)
For the past few weeks, I've been reading many obituaries/articles about Martin Amis and Cormac McCarthy, two prominent literary novelists who recently died. I'm pretty well read with Amis -- I've missed quite a few, but I've also read many of his books, including I think all of the ones that are highly regarded. I have read nothing by McCarthy.
Even if you read a lot -- I read dozens of books a year -- there will always be articles that make you think you aren't well read. After I read Bobby's and Prop's comments to my Mark Twain post,
There's a place in Prop's 2003 interview that addresses the idea of "Oh, no, I'm not well read after all, I haven't read Cormac McCarthy."
Prop: Have you read Charles Bukowski? What are your impressions of Charles Bukowski both as a poet and a writer?
Wilson: No I have not read Charles Bukowski.
Prop: Never came across any of his books?
Wilson: No. I have lived 71 years, in which there are 365 days in each year, and only 24 hours in each day. My areas of ignorance are absolutely staggering. And I’m more and more aware of that, because my knowledge of most of the subjects I’ve written about is either five years or twenty years out of date now. So, if I ever did another lecture tour, I’d have to spend a month before the tour doing research on-line to try to figure out what is scientific matter that is still accepted.
Prop's interview by the way is quite interesting and you should take a look if you've never read it. And I admit, I've never read Bukowski either.