Stephen King: ‘There is no way to convey the loss I feel’
American author of horror and fantasy novels
Early this year, while Cormac McCarthy was still alive, I had an idea for a story called The Dreamers. I wrote it while reading Cormac McCarthy’s penultimate book, The Passenger. The story that emerged was very much under the influence of McCarthy’s prose. I was, in fact, almost hypnotised by The Passenger, as I was when reading such McCarthy novels as All the Pretty Horses and his masterpiece, Blood Meridian. Because my story was very much in McCarthy’s style, I dedicated it to him.
Every story is a locked door. Sometimes – not always, but sometimes – style is the key that opens it. That was the case with The Dreamers. At one point in it I wrote this:
He looked like a bird colonel I knew over there in that other world watching through his binoculars as the F-100Ds and Super Sabres of the 352nd came in low over Bien Hoa, pregnant with the firejelly they would drop in an orange curtain, burning a miscarriage in the green, turning part of the overstory to ash and skeleton palms. The men and women too, them calling nahn tu, nahn tu to no one who could hear or care if they did.
This is not McCarthy, I simply do not have his talent, but it would have been an impossible passage to write, or even think of, without him. It shows not just his influence but the spell he cast over both his readers and those writers of lesser abilities who admired his work. He was, simply put, the last great white male American novelist.
Read the full article here