Blood Meridian Tidbits

This topic contains 65 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Rick Wallach 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 11 through 20 (of 66 total)
  • Author
    Posts Mark Topic Read  | 
  • 14 Sep 2012 at 1:23 pm #1891

    Glass
    Member

    “He is the Napolean of crime, Watson. He is the organizer of half that is evil and nearly all that is undetected in this great city. He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. He has a brain of the first order. He sits motionless like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them.” (Description of Moriarty given by Sherlock Holmes in the 1893 story The Final Problem.

    Came across that great quote so reminscent of Holden while checking out an amazing illustration for that Sherlock Holmes story (see link for the art and a fuller quote on Moriarty) which made me think of the Blood & Mercury scene in BM when the mules go off the side of the cliff. Moriarty as the motionless spider resonates with the judge and it definitely took me to that scene where the judge sits silently at the fire with his palms up.

    http://www.tvacres.com/computers_beings_moriarity.htm


      Quote
    28 Nov 2012 at 6:38 pm #2578

    Glass
    Member

    “Superman, Superman, I want to be like Superman.” (The Kinks)

    There has been discussion here and there about McCarthy’s fondness as a youth for comic books. An image that bears a striking similarity to a famous scene in BM comes in the form of the cover of Action Comics No. 1, which introduced Superman and is the most valuable comic ever. On the cover, Superman is lifting a car and appears to be on the verge of giving it a heave, much like the judge with the gigantic meteorite when he “on a wager lifted the thing and on a further wager lifted it over his head.” (240)
    Here’s the cover of that first Superman comic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Action_Comics_1.jpg


      Quote
    29 Nov 2012 at 8:40 am #2579

    Rick Wallach
    Keymaster

    “It made me feel like Superman.”

    – Bedouin camel herder on hearing the Grateful Dead playing at the Great Pyramid in 1978.

    Really.


      Quote
    29 Nov 2012 at 3:39 pm #2580

    Glass
    Member

    Love that. Given your history of far-flung adventures, it almost wouldn’t surprise me if that camel herder told you that in person, Rick.


      Quote
    18 Oct 2013 at 12:01 pm #4164

    Glass
    Member

    Fichte’s conception/theory of the “Not I” or “Anstoss” has some nice resonances with Judge Holden and his relationship to the kid who, in this context, I see as a physical manifestation of the judge’s Not-I. Fichte thought that in pressing against something that resists us, we gain a sense of our own boundaries as a subject. The thought of the judge possessing any boundaries or limitiations might be anathema, though his killing of the kid or anything that seems to threaten his boundlessness might suggest otherwise. Zizek explains the Fichtean Anstoss in terms that evoke Holden, at least it seems so to me:
    “It is important to bear in mind the two primary meanings of Anstoss in German: check, obstacle, hindrance, something that resists the boundless expansion of our striving; and an impetus, a stimulus, something that incites activity. Anstoss is not simply the obstacle the absolute I posits to itself in order to stimulate its activity — so that, by overcoming the self-posited obstacle, it asserts its creative power, like the games the proverbial perverted ascetic saint plays with himself by inventing ever new temptations and then, in successfully resisting them, confirming his strength.” (The Ticklish Subject: The Absent Center of Political Ontology)

    So the judge, in the Fichtean sense of the Not-I, has successfully resisted killing a check or obstacle to him (the kid as Not-I) for 28 years but is also incted to activity by him for one reason or another, presses up against this obstacle or check on his freedom and eliminates that boundary to his limitlessness.


      Quote
    18 Oct 2013 at 12:07 pm #4165

    Glass
    Member

    “The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for.” (Wittgenstein)

    “A man’s at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with.” (Hermit, Blood Meridian 19)

    I’ve seen where this memorable line from the hermit has been compared to Cartesian dualism, and while I can certainly see that this is likely true, I wonder whether McCarthy in this case reworked the famous quote by Wittgenstein and put it in the mouth of the hermit, throwing in an “aught” in place of “all” just to obfuscate it a little bit.


      Quote
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by  Glass.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by  Glass.
    18 Oct 2013 at 12:26 pm #4168

    Glass
    Member

    Reading The Sleepwalkers by Arthur Koestler recalls the Epilogue to BM. Koestler’s book on the history of astronomy called to mind a possible parallel with the advancement of science delineated by Koestler and the BM wanderers advancing on the plain at dawn (interesting the first words in Koestler’s book are DAWN/Awakening as the chapter head and subhed of Ch. 1, while McCarthy opens the Epilogue “In the dawn there is a man progressing…”). I thought for a moment that this might be a new interpretation but then sort of vaguely remembered I’d read this interpretation before and, as it turns out, Shane Schimpf offered just such an interpretation of the Epilogue in his book A Reader’s Guide to Blood Meridian. So I won’t try to reinvent the wheel here and will close this post with a nice quote from a 1959 NY Times review of The Sleepwalkers:

    “Sleepwalkers somehow skirt disaster; they have an inner certainty that propels them although they cannot state what they seek or why they seek it. They move toward their goal by the most extraordinary and the most logically questionable methods; and when they have arrived where they always wished to go, they frequently do not realize that they are there.”


      Quote
    21 Oct 2013 at 10:17 am #4198

    Richard L.
    Member

    Good one. And Robert Penn Warren, in ALL THE KING’S MEN, had his protagonist, Jack, go through an unevolved period which he called THE GREAT SLEEP in which he recognized others who were also in THE GREAT SLEEP, the robotic stage when a man gives in to his animalistic impulses–the cycles of violence and revenge–and to what some philosophers have called the WILL FORCE. Death-in-life.

    Some years back, I read an article by a Raymond Chandler scholar who said that Chandler got his style using humorous metaphors and frequent hyperbole from ALL THE KINGS MEN, as well as the concept for THE BIG SLEEP, which Chandler later used as a title.


      Quote
    13 Nov 2013 at 7:43 pm #4585

    Glass
    Member

    Is “the eldress in the rocks” (BM 315) the Mexican Catholic folk saint Santa Muerte (Saint Death)? There are some interesting physical similarities between them. Additional textual evidence from that scene and from other episodes in the book could plausibly support such an interpretation.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Muerte

    Excellent article/book review on the Bony Lady: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/03/14/review-r-andrew-chesnut-devoted-death-santa-muerte-skeleton-saint


      Quote
    17 Nov 2013 at 12:22 pm #4622

    Candy Minx
    Member

    Really enjoyed these notes… Ha ha Lee!!


      Quote
Viewing 10 posts - 11 through 20 (of 66 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Comments are closed.