Description

    "I don't do anything really but write novels..."

    Cormac McCarthy. Autograph Letter Signed. [El Paso, TX, 5 Jan 1988]. Two octavo pages on two yellow ruled octavo leaves. Approximately 7.25 x 5 inches. Rectos only. With original mailing envelope (possibly in another hand). Upper margins just barely uneven, from where pages were removed from writing pad, one rusted paperclip mark at the top of the first leaf, mild creases. Still fine.

    The text of the letter reads, in full:

    "Dear George Spencer,

    Sorry to be so long in answering your nice letter. About the only way I can manage it is just to take a couple of days every few months and at least answer some mail. I appreciate the photos also. Some familiar landmarks there. The one of the river left me unsure of whether I was looking toward the north bank or the south. Is that a paddlewheel boat?

    The incident about the boxing ape happened to a friend of mine - Billy Rhodes - now dead I'm sorry to say. I wish I could have told it as well as he did. Thank you for the nice comments on books by CM. I am working on a couple of books but I doubt I'll have anything in any sort of finished state in time for your magazine. I don't do anything really but write novels and don't even have short pieces except as someone might excerpt from a book occasionally. Maybe at some later date I'll have a book done that you can pick something from before publication. I think the magazine sounds like a good one and I hope it gets the support it needs. Thanks again for writing. All the best

    Cormac McCarthy."

    The recipient of this letter is George Spencer, editor of Tennessee Illustrated, a monthly magazine similar to Texas Monthly, which was published by Time, Inc. Mr. Spencer, as editor, sought out the finest writers born in Tennessee. At the time, McCarthy was not yet the nationally-known author he is today, but Mr. Spencer recognized his genius, and began a correspondence with him in the hopes of getting McCarthy to contribute original material (or an except from his novels) to Tennessee Illustrated, which, unfortunately, McCarthy never did. Mr. Spencer states: " I recall telling him I thought he was a master of what Faulkner called "maniacal risibility. He was and is."


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    October, 2013
    17th Thursday
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