It was heartbreaking to hear on Sunday what My Favorite Author From My High School Years (Nicholas Sparks) had to say about My Current Favorite Author (Cormac McCarthy). McCarthy has left his mark on American literature and it’s doubtful we’ll be forgetting about him anytime soon. Combine that with the fact that he has made this impression in such a short amount of time and it serves to make me even more flabbergasted as to why Sparks would just go off about McCarthy’s writing, while placing himself above such names as Shakespeare, Austen, and Hemingway in the same breath.
What is this guy thinking?!
Then it dawned on me.
Go back to the first line of this post. See that? Yeah. Umm…I guess I have some explaining to do.
When I read The Notebook something kinda clicked though. Your stories were starting to sound…familiar. Not in the way that makes a story relatable and not in the way that someone is taking what they know of your life and writing some trash piece of work in a creative writing course; just plain repetitive. And so I finished The Notebook and got started on a list of books that I felt like I needed to read before I went to college. Between me and my mom, I was still building a collection of your works, though to this day I have not read another one since The Notebook during (I believe) my sophomore year of high school. Still, I chose to go meet you because I thought that some day I would return and you would welcome me into the loving arms of one of your books.
Then along came Cormac. We met when I was in college and unlike many of the relationships I formed during those years, this one stuck. His voice was gravely and masculine. His words vivid and colorful. His pen a veritable brush against the canvas, making the dust and deep sunsets I’d grown up surrounded by seem so much more beautiful.
Since reading your words the other day I have wondered what it could be that led you to say such critical things about a fellow writer and in public. While this post was intended as a bit of a satire (I know very well that your little public breakdown and verbal vomit about how you are greater than the greats is not fueled by the fact that you are no longer my favorite author), however, I am as serious as can be in questioning — where has your southern sense of decorum gone? I’m not a proponent of using harsh words against someone or their work at any time, but couldn’t you have had the decency to keep your opinion to yourself? Simply saying, “I’m not a fan” would have been sufficient in letting the interviewer know that they weren’t going to get much out of that line of questioning. Instead you took the bait and ran with it, making us all privy to your innermost thoughts on Mr. McCarthy and his novel.
I am guessing the truth behind the feelings we see expressed in the interview lies in jealousy. It is understandable that you would be covetous of the talent of a writer, whose own works when set to film produce Academy Award winning pictures. But, sir…please. Remember the things your parents taught you. Use a little grace.
No one likes a whiner.
No one likes a bad sport.
No one likes a narcissist.
And you, sir, have placed yourself squarely in each of those camps.
P.S., There’s very little chance I’ll be reading any of your novels or seeing any films based on your work again. And really, we know that’s what cuts the deepest.