I Seem to Have Lost My Head Again

This topic contains 14 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Glass 4 years, 2 months ago.

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  • 25 Oct 2013 at 7:11 pm #4309

    Glass
    Member

    On p. 19 of The Counselor screenplay the diamond dealer paraphrases a quote from the German poet/philosopher Friedrich Schiller when the jeweler says: “When gods were human men were more divine.” Hegel quoted Schiller as well in his Philosophy of History in a discussion of Greek Gods and the Christian God: “While the Gods remained more human, the men were more divine.” While I find all of that interesting, what I find somewhat mind-blowing and meta-connective to the McCarthy motif of beheading, skulls, bone mysteries, etcetera is the history of Schiller’s skull which, as it turns out, spent some time under a bell jar at the home of his great friend Goethe (at least Goethe thought it was his friend’s skull). Also interesting is the fact that Schiller’s coffin fell apart and his remains ended up mixed with those of some others in a mass grave (Wiki), bringing to mind the bursting coffins of Suttree.

    For more, here are some details on the Schiller skull mystery:
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Schiller%27s_skull


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    25 Oct 2013 at 7:14 pm #4310

    Glass
    Member
    26 Oct 2013 at 8:24 am #4318

    Richard L.
    Member

    Beheading is just scalping, only a bit lower.

    Is there significance in the three beheadings? Or is this just another instance of the mind/body devide taken to the surface level?


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    26 Oct 2013 at 9:54 am #4319

    wesmorgan
    Participant

    Really funny Richard.

    Rene Descartes seems to have had his own mind-body, or at least skull-body problems. After his death in 1650 he was buried in Stockholm, where he had been tutoring Queen Christiana, in a graveyard used predominately for unbaptized infants. A few years later his body was exhumed and the plan was for it to be moved to Paris. His body is now buried in the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Pres. But before the body left Stockholm the Chevalier de Terlon removed a finger from it, the “instrument of the defunct’s immortal writings.” Alexander Lenoir scavenged a bone from which a number of rings were made. And Descartes’ skull remained in Stockholm as well and was exhibited in a tavern there. The skull supposedly is now in the Musee de l’Homme in Paris although four other collections apparently also claim to have his skull.

    Even so, beheading after death doesn’t have quite the panache as beheading before death.


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    27 Oct 2013 at 1:23 pm #4352

    Candy Minx
    Member

    Oh great posts here and very funny!


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    28 Oct 2013 at 7:44 pm #4396

    Glass
    Member

    Good stuff. Appreciate the comments.

    Researching Westray’s reference to “hellbound train/Tom Gray” on p. 62 has yielded some interesting information and, like the skull stuff, is multi-allusively intertextual. Here are a few things I found for anyone interested:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=AY7St4-8x10C&pg=PA638&lpg=PA639&ots=Od2Njx6sBb&focus=viewport&dq=tom+gray%27s+dream&output=html_text

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Gray's_Dream


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    28 Oct 2013 at 8:49 pm #4398

    Candy Minx
    Member

    Peter that was some poem… I never heard of it before or if I did I don’t remember ( I would have thought it would be in the ken burns doc about prohibition).

    We also say a man loses his head over a woman.

    The line about Mickey rourke is referring to the movie BODY HEAT which I guess is what McCarthy was hoping for this script to be that kind of story. And William hurt does not heed rourke a advice… And he sure loses his head over Kathleen turner


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    28 Oct 2013 at 9:04 pm #4399

    Glass
    Member

    Candy, I also like the poem and don’t believe I’ve ever heard of it before either. And I definitely remember liking Body Heat a lot as well and it’s probably been 30 years since I saw it. William Hurt had some memorable roles. Funny McCarthy is putting names with the quotes nowadays instead of hiding or obfuscating them allusively or whatever as he did in the older books. With The Sunset Limited he did some of that, if I’m recalling correctly. I see the judge smiling in that hellbound train poem when it says the devil is driving it down the tracks! Or Cassady. Beware the Demon Rum. And something about the couple of times “pilsner” is said in The Counselor made me think McCarthy was making some kind of statement or wanting us to notice that, but why that might be I’m not sure.

    The hellbound train poem also connects with Richard’s comments about The Counselor and addictions quite nicely.


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    29 Oct 2013 at 6:06 am #4402

    travis
    Member

    Glass: Researching Westray’s reference to “hellbound train/Tom Gray” on p. 62 has yielded some interesting information and, like the skull stuff, is multi-allusively intertextual. Here are a few things I found for anyone interested:

    Thanks. That’s fascinating. Another possible link between the movie and dreaming, addiction, and awakening.


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    29 Oct 2013 at 5:10 pm #4413

    Glass
    Member

    Travis, thanks! I thought of your intriguing dreaming/awakening ideas after thinking a little more about this Hellbound Train stuff. It does work quite nicely with your interpretation.


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