The Cretin

This topic contains 52 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Candy Minx 5 years, 8 months ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 21 through 30 (of 53 total)
  • Author
    Posts Mark Topic Read  | 
  • 09 May 2012 at 12:51 am #1152

    cantona
    Member

    Mike,

    I agree – because as books are made out of other books, so too is the Judge a composite of many philosophies. No wonder, then, he can outgun poor little Sartre. The bloody big bully!


      Quote
    09 May 2012 at 7:58 am #1154

    Candy Minx
    Member

    Of course the judge could eat Sartre or Nietzsche or a leftie for breakfast. That has never been an issue with readers.

    But the judge could eat Aden for a mid-meal snack.

    And eat o trolley and lombuagh and Palin and the whole bush family. He could eat lefties, righties and extremists. Duh.

    The funniest thing is though Aden doesn’t know this. He is like Steve Irwin or siegfried and roy.thinks he can swim with sharks and sting rays because he’s studied them and considers himself an expert.

    The only thing the judge can’t eat is a community.

    We win!

    Ha ha ha ha ha


      Quote
    09 May 2012 at 10:59 am #1158

    peterfranz
    Member

    Bob and Aden,

    The two posts I’ve put on this thread only discuss the matter of who the judge is referring to when he uses the term cretin; nothing else. The post that starts the thread shows some confusion about this and suggests the poster at some point thought that it was Tobin being referred to as a cretin. Bob’s post agrees with that, hence my reply to it. There is however absolutely no question that the Judge uses the term in relation to the fool (see my reply to Bob). Aden in his response to me seems to have misunderstood and I can’t see its relevance to my comment since it doesn’t discuss who is being referred to with cretin but who is being talked to when the term is used.
    pf


      Quote
    09 May 2012 at 1:09 pm #1159

    The Judge is a liar. McCarthy tells us this on pg 9 when the Judge admits he’d never seen or known of Rev. Green before he began spinning detailed accusations about him in the revival tent. He lets us know upfront, before the mesmerizing philosophical reveries come, that the Judge lies. He lies easily, gleefully, arbitrarily, articulately, randomly, maliciously, convincingly, arrogantly and pointlessly, but lie he does. It’s a riddle-like set up for sure — when what sounds like truth comes out of a liar’s mouth is it always a lie? When what sounds like a lie comes out of a liar’s mouth, is it therefore true? You can certainly read the Judge’s later pronouncements and wrestle with them, riddle-like. But you can’t ignore the information McCarthy provides when he first introduces us to this character: he lies.


      Quote
    09 May 2012 at 2:19 pm #1160

    Mike
    Member

    Laurie Stewart,

    Unlike most on the forum, I have never made any commentary on the all-out, definitive relevance of the book. So, you make some great points that I’d like to open up.

    “The Judge is a liar.”

    -I agree. WIth his lies he’s able to create a congregation whether they “believe” or not. This interests me.

    “He lies easily, gleefully, arbitrarily, articulately, randomly, maliciously, convincingly, arrogantly and pointlessly, but lie he does.”

    -I don’t agree that he lies arbitrarily or randomly or pointlessly, however, I do agree that he lies easily, articulately, convincingly. As for lying gleefully, maliciously, and arrogantly: I’ll hold off on those judgements.

    ” It’s a riddle-like set up for sure — when what sounds like truth comes out of a liar’s mouth is it always a lie? When what sounds like a lie comes out of a liar’s mouth, is it therefore true? ”

    -I am thinking that this commentary and line of questioning is right on.

    Mike


      Quote
    09 May 2012 at 6:03 pm #1161

    aden
    Member

    There is no doubt that the judge is a sophisticated villain who is portrayed by McCarthy in a way that is intended to invoke metaphysical, not to say supernatural and godlike, qualities. Be that as it may, the judge as literary character is still a product of human imagination that can be explained by the same cognitive principles that were called upon to manifest the character in the first place. In general, because substance is itself or implicitly subject, all content is its own reflection. The subsistence or substance of anything is its self-identity; for the failure of its self-identity would be its annihilation. Self-identity thus delineated is pure abstraction; but it is still thinking, and it is through human cognition that the self-identity of the subject in question is substantively manifested. Not even the judge can compete against that.


      Quote
    09 May 2012 at 8:40 pm #1162

    Peter Franz is right. I strayed from the question whether the cretin/Dr.of Divinity passage referred to Tobin or the fool after earlier saying Tobin. I went back to pp. 306 & 307 and checked where the judge is talking to the kid and mentions the cretin. Now I’m not sure what the hell Holden is really talking about. The big boy first mentions “cretin” after the kid asks, “Where’s Tobin?” After calling the cretin “a Doctor of Divinity,” Holden says, “that his wits had carried them as far west as the Aquarius Mountains. It was the ensuing country that carried them off. Together with his clothes.”

    Possibly the judge is talking about Tobin and the fool: Tobin’s wits carried them just so far before the country devoured Tobin, fool and Tobin’s clothes. For isn’t the fool usually naked? On the next page Holden seems to be talking to the kid about the fool: “Even the cretin acted in good faith according to his parts.”

    The next sentence carries the judge’s code or a major part of it (a code that Aden says he doesn’t have because it would be too limiting for Holden’s titanic intellect and far-ranging power): “For it was required of no man to give more than he possessed nor was any man’s share compared to another’s. Only each was called upon to empty out his heart into the common and one did not….What joins men together is not the sharing of bread but the sharing of enemies. But if I was your enemy with whom would you have shared me?….Our animosities were formed and waiting before ever we two met. Yet even so you could have changed it all.”


      Quote
    10 May 2012 at 7:50 am #1163

    aden
    Member

    Bob,

    What you are referring to as the judge’s code is actually the rhetorical game he plays with the kid/man. It is true that the judge judges the kid wanting or lacking, but this judgment is not based on the rhetorical speech which the judge gives to the kid but rather on the judge’s existence as the agent of death. The kid wants to hide from the reality of death, to blend in with everyone and everything else so as to avoid facing the truth that existence is war. One could argue that this description (“war is god”) is a “code,” but if it is it is not a code enunciated by the speech the judge gives the kid. Now, if the judge were as truly brilliant as thought by many, then he could “speak” war completely, thereby making his disjointed statements into a “code.” But the judge does not do that. Perhaps he is capable of doing so and merely adjusts his speech to the capacity of his interlocutors. But there is no evidence for this in the text as such. Like other moderns, McCarthy seems to be arguing that the judge exceeds rationalization as “code.” Differently stated, for the judge war is the code of codes, but not a code as such. The judge wants to raise the kid’s level of consciousness so the kid can recognize the truth. The kid can’t do it. The real question of the novel is not whether the kid can understand (he obviously can’t), but rather what the judge thinks. The judge does not think in code. He tries to think thought, but McCarthy can’t make him actually do it.


      Quote
    10 May 2012 at 8:02 am #1164

    peterfranz
    Member

    >>>The Judge is a liar. McCarthy tells us this on pg 9 when the Judge admits he’d never seen or known of Rev. Green before he began spinning detailed accusations about him in the revival tent. He lets us know upfront, before the mesmerizing philosophical reveries come, that the Judge lies. <<<

    Not really. The Judge's point is not to lie "easily, gleefully, arbitrarily, articulately, randomly, maliciously, convincingly, arrogantly" but to demonstrate (to his own satisfaction and certainly McCarthy's) just how easily manipulated people, especially in the form of a mob, really are (cf: The Glanton Gang for one example or 'For your ideas are terrifying and your hearts are faint. Your acts of pity and cruelty are absurd, committed with no calm, as if they were irresistible. Finally, you fear blood more and more. Blood and time.' for another). The judges view would be not that he is lying but is revealing a fundamental truth about the moral codes and practises that we live by. Broadly McCarthy uses Chigurh to make very much the same point.

    pf


      Quote
    10 May 2012 at 1:50 pm #1165

    Candy Minx
    Member

    “the judge despises the kid because the little peckerwood is a pansy”

    Whoooo Hoooo!!!!!

    The President of The United States of America thinks pansys should be able to get married.


      Quote
Viewing 10 posts - 21 through 30 (of 53 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.