Blood Meridian Title

This topic contains 12 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Richard L. 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • 22 Oct 2015 at 11:58 am #7794

    Candy Minx

    I just found this thread and wondered if either of you have done anymore reading or writing on this awesome group of ideas? I am writing out an theory about Blood Meridian title right now. It has a little to do with a little of this thread but different. I just love this topic. It keeps on giving.

    24 Oct 2017 at 1:26 am #9859

    Greg S.

    I just stumbled across an article about a French war novel titled (in translation presumably) Blood Dark by Louis Guilloux.

    New Republic Article

    Written in 1935. Admired by Camus.

    Sang Noir (Black Blood or Blood Black) is the original French title. If I read the article correctly, the current English title is a new translation (possibly intentionally selected to be redolent of the Blood Meridian title?). The original English title was Bitter Victory.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  Greg S..
    24 Oct 2017 at 1:46 pm #9861

    Richard L.

    Well, we discussed several other usages–some classic, others obscure–none more compelling than the Byron which is now documented. But like Ken said upthread, McCarthy liked the ambiguous, multi-meaning phrase and thus choose good ones for his titles. Elsewhere we have discussed the alternate title and twilight, which was Faulkner’s first title for THE SOUND AND THE FURY and much later the title of William Gay’s best southern gothic. Twilight, Sunset, The Evening Redness in the West. The Platters knew how to sing it, at last at twilight time.

    Crews, in his excellent BOOKS ARE MADE OF BOOKS, has a section on Byron which extends McCarthy’s reading of him. An excerpt:

    In a letter postmarked 22 June 1981, McCarthy wrote: “I don’t know if I agree about writers being the only dependable readers. I remember reading once the names of the writers Byron admired–none of whom anyone has heard of since.”

    Crews says, “The reference suggests two things. The first is that Cormac McCarthy has read Byron, which is not surprising. The second, however, is more interesting. It suggests that McCarthy’s interest in Byron is deep enough to motivate the kinds of secondary investigations into a writer’s life and thought that deep admiration often engenders.”

    Crews then goes on to discuss Charles Bailey’s vision of Byron in “The Last State of the Hero’s Evolution: Cormac McCarthy’s CITIES OF THE PLAIN.”

    Good stuff, too.

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