Brown "in durance vile."

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  • 11 Oct 2012 at 12:14 pm #2201


    In a recent re-read of Blood Meridian, I noted one of the chapter subheadings in Chapter 19 is “Brown in durance vile.” I randomly typed this phrase into Google search, and saw that there was a very famous novel entitled In Durance Vile, written by a fellow named John Brown. Brown was a British regular who was captured at Dunkirk in May 1940 and remained a prisoner of war until 1945. His wartime memoir was published in 1981, around the time McCarthy was still hard at work on Blood Meridian. I’m certain someone must have noticed this before, but I thought it was an interesting tidbit to share.

    13 Oct 2012 at 10:18 am #2210


    Psifonian:  It may be a coincidence, but it is a nice and interesting find anyway.  I don’t remember anyone else mentioning John H. O. “Busty” Brown before in this context.  Shane Schimpf (2006)  in his Reader’s Guide noted that “in durance vile” is a euphemism for being in jail (p. 274), but he had no mention of the British agent.  And John Sepich (2008) treats the historic David Brown of  Blood Meridian in a fair amount of detail in his revised Notes




    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  wesmorgan.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  wesmorgan.
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