By Tea Krulos QWERTYFEST MKE mourns the loss of author Cormac McCarthy, who passed away yesterday. McCarthy was a Pulitzer Prize winner who authored titles like Blood Meridian, No Country for Old Men, The Road, and many others. McCarthy wrote his novels on a typewriter. His machine of choice was a Olivetti Lettera 32. He bought his at a pawn shop in 1963 for $50 and used it all the way up until 2009, putting an estimated 5 million words on it. Not bad, considering the life of a laptop is usually only a few years. After it began to falter, he put the typer on the auction block, where it sold for $254,500. McCarthy then switched to another Olivetti, which a friend bought for him for $11.
In our first issue of QWERTY Quarterly, author Becky Franzel wrote a piece titled "Cormac McCarthy's The Road." Today, Becky posted: Kinda like Hunter S Thompson’s obsession with The Great Gatsby, my first obsession that drove me to write into late hours of the night was Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. It was something in the way everything was bleak, yet not exaggerated. It just “was”. This helped me carry through some difficult chapters in my own life, and shaped how I wrote inner conflict in my own writing.
There are several lines in this book that I’ve committed to memory, but this is a line that rings in my head almost every time I sit to write. I’ve doctored it here for my own purposes, but today would be a good day to start reading The Road for yourself, if you’re up for it.
Also, strangely coincidental (or perhaps a portent?) QWERTYFEST co-organizer Molly Snyder happened to get a tattoo based on the Olivetti style McCarthy preferred on the day he passed away.