Blood Meridian: Your First Experience with the Book

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  sjreents 1 week, 2 days ago.

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  • 15 Jun 2017 at 7:19 pm #9632

    Glass
    Member

    Rick,

    Really hoping to make it, Renee and I. Mag is great. She has recently taken a cool job in Omaha as artistic director of an old theater built in 1923 they are in the process of raising money for to bring it into the modern era while retaining its 1923 appearance and charm. They hope to be up and running in about a year after the $3 million renovation is complete. Good gig for her.


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    16 Jun 2017 at 9:06 am #9635

    Candy Minx
    Member

    I picked up Blood Meridian because of it’s cover in 1986.

    I liked the cover. So simple a reason to buy it. I liked the description or blurb on the back of it. It took me about a week to read it and I carried it around with me and just kept re-reading certain lines. I was fascinated by the chapter headings that reminded me of some of my favorite Renaissance poems and Victorian novels. I literally kept thinking…”who is this guy?” I finished the novel and I didn’t know what to do. I worked at a nightclub where my co-workers were avid readers. I forced a couple of them to go get copies so I could talk about it with them. I forced my painter friend Mister Anchovy to read my copy and then he passed it on to our sculptor friend Scott. I phoned my sister and begged her to read it. As weird sister things would go she also had bought a copy because of the cover. She read it and freaked out because she had just been traveling in Mexico and Texas and the landscapes spoke to her in reality and in the novel. We both could not believe we had found this weirdo book at almost the same time.

    My sister and I obsessed over the novel for about 10 years ruining parties because all we would do is land up arguing/discussing exploring in a corner with each other and our friends hated us. So we made more of our friends read the novel. My friend Mister Anchovy and I argued about it for years. I eventually had a zine in 1990-1992 called KUNTGEIST and I got Mister Anchovy to write a review of the novel.

    I went to the Reference library in downtown Toronto in 1988 to find literary criticism on the Cormac McCarthy. There was only one pice and it was a huge volume called “The Accomplishment of Cormac McCarthy”. One couldn’t take any books out of the reference library so every day before work I would go read this book by Vereen Bell. Then I ordered up Chamberlain’s book and gave it to my sister.

    I obsessed over Bell’s book and brought his views to my friends to continue our arguments. I was using computers in the 1980’s at Coach House Press. (this is a connection to Christopher Dwdney!!) but domestic internet was not easily available. I was visiting BBS’s….did not find prodigy until later.

    At some point in the 90’s …like 994 or 1996 ish…I searched “Blood Meridian” and I found two links. One was a web site by a goth chick who wrote about Blood Meridian. The other was a rough forum for the Cormac McCarthy Society.

    I was home.

    I followed and lurked for a few days reading the threads and comments and I was so curious…”who are these folks?”

    I remember my very first post. I wrote “The Judge is an asshole and the kid is a loser”

    I look back on the friendly kindness of Rick Wallach and Marty Priola and some of those early years with so much kindness. It was so great to find people to discuss all this shit with. Ibasically blame Rick and Marty because they pretty much created a monster in me. LOL


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    16 Jun 2017 at 7:29 pm #9636

    sjreents
    Member

    Hi to everyone,

    Thank you so much for sharing your stories. These are absolutely wonderful — and they mirror my first experience with the book in 1992. I was a senior in college, and I’d just read the interview with McCarthy in the New York Times. Here was a man who had dropped out of college twice, who had turned his back on fame and fortune (and even stability) by refusing to go on book tours, give readings, or take on teaching gigs. And there I was, a super conventional senior at Amherst College, clinging insecurely to the notion that the foundation of all my success was my work ethic, and not any innate talent. McCarthy was a rebel; I was a rule follower. He was a 58-years-old man; I was twenty-two year-old-woman. I don’t think I’d be exaggerating too much to say that I wanted to be Cormac McCarthy, just as when I was a little girl I’d feathered my strawberry blonde hair with a big plastic comb that I carried around in my back pocket and stood in front of the Shaun Cassidy poster that hung in my bedroom and begged my mother to tell me that I looked like Shaun, my girlhood crush, beloved singer of Da Doo Ron Ron, the number one hit single of my seventh year in 1977.

    I was so taken with McCarthy I immediately read everything he’d written, and of course, Blood Meridian freaked me out like no other book ever had. I had to keep closing it, and then, when I got to the end, I felt incredibly sad, though I wasn’t actually sure what had happened in the final pages. I’ve returned to it again and again–and increasingly I’ve found myself obsessed with the kid.

    I’m coming to the McCarthy conference in September. I do hope I get to meet a few of you in person.


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