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The Evolution of Blood Meridian

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Must reading for all you McCarthyites out there.

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  • Semanticleo

    Thanks for the intro. I’ll put it on my list.

    Peepholes into the lives of writers are, in the end, delusive—and perhaps best left alone

    It’s like seeing the workings of a film. Curiosity sometimes spoils the magic of the man behind the curtain. After all, novels aren’t non-fiction whose details you seek to devil. And I might add, a simple narrative can be the most descriptive as it gives the imagination a chance to soar when the mind is free of prosaic clutter.

  • c u n d gulag

    Thanks, Erik!

    He’s my favorite living American author.

    “Suttree” was a great book.
    It was the Southern, and longer version of “Ironweed” – written BEFORE Kennedy published his terrific book.
    All of his Southern novels are really good.

    And then, he moved out West, and his style changed.

    And while I love “All the Pretty Horses,” and “The Crossing,” and all of his other books, it’s “Blood Meridian” that’s my favorite. It’s the bloodiest, most violent book I ever read. I’m non-violent by nature, but once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down.

    I reread it every few years, and, like other great works of literature, you keep finding something new in it every time.

    Hopefully, there are some AP HS classes, or college classes that teach this writers unique conversion of style, from good Southern writer, to ‘The Best of the New West.’

    • Sherm

      The Road is routinely assigned in non AP English classes. Blood Meridian would be a tough read for a high school kid, however.

  • mark f

    That made me think of how funny it would be to read a McCarthy equivalent of Roth’s Zuckerman series.

  • Karate Bearfighter

    It’s surprising to learn that the judge was added in later drafts; I thought the judge’s attempts to philosophically and morally seduce the kid were the central conflict in the book.

  • sam

    This raises a few interesting literary points, but does not answer the main question raised by McCarthy’s work: Who would win in a fight between the Glanton Gang and the army of cannibals from The Road? I figure the Glantons are better armed and better fighters, but the army is much bigger and probably marginally more desperate.

    • mark f

      The guy with the necklace would just keep using the ears — dried ears are like potato chips to a cannibal — to lure one cannibal at a time into the outhouse to meet the Judge.

      OBVIOUSLY.

      • Robert Farley

        “dried ears are like potato chips to a cannibal”

        And LGM has a new catchphrase.

  • One of the Blue

    “Blood Meridian” is the single darkest work of fiction I ever have read. McCarthy very literally creates a world of no hope at all. Ever.

    The book lends a certain, well, “perspective,” to the musings of a romanticized past spoken and thought by the sherrif in “No Country for Old Men,” and to his fear that the world is descending to an unprecedented bad place.

    Also semms to me “Blood Meridian,” “No Country . . .,”and “The Road” are among many other things McCarthy’s jaundiced take on three main types of the genre fiction that is so popular nowadays.

    God help us if he ever decides to tell a war story.

  • I hated Blood Meridian more than most books I’ve read. Like someone banging on a single piano key for six hours straight. And I’ll never understand why people think McCarthy’s overcooked, faux-Faulkner prose style is actually good.

  • billofwrites

    i’m with GeoX and d. parker.

    this book should not be put down lightly. it should be hurled with great force.

    (and jennifer egan could kick mccarthy’s ass.)

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