The Crossing and Persistence of Identity

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  • 21 Apr 2012 at 8:42 am #968

    Glass
    Member

    Rereading the part of The Crossing in which the gitano shares with Billy the three histories of the plane(s) starting on about p. 400, made me wonder whether this, among other things, is McCarthy’s take on the Ship of Theseus paradox and the problem of persistence of identity over time.

    Thinking of the story in these terms of object identity over time has, for me, helped illuminate some aspects of the ideas explored there and in other areas of McCarthy. It has also raised more questions.

    This plane or some other plane? Is Nino still Billy’s father’s horse or some other horse?

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus

    http://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/320/theseus.html


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    26 Apr 2012 at 9:54 pm #1075

    Glass
    Member

    Curious parallels…

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/She_Said_She_Said

    “In the dream he knew that Boyd was dead…When finally he did ask him what it was like to be dead Boyd only smiled…” (The Crossing 400)

    She said “I know what it’s like to be dead. I know what it’s like to be sad.” (The Beatles She Said, She Said)

    John Grady Cole: You wouldnt of been born at all….So you wouldnt of been born.

    Lacey Rawlins: I’d of been born somewheres.

    “Rawlins lay watching the stars. After a while he said: I could still be born. I might look different or somethin. If God wanted me to be born I’d be born.” (Horses 26-27)

    I said, “Who put all those things in your head?
    Things that make me feel that I’m mad.
    And you’re making me feel like I’ve never been born.” (She Said, She Said)

    John Grady Cole: I'm already gone.

    "I know that I'm ready to leave." (She Said, She Said)

    http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/She-Said-She-Said-lyrics-The-Beatles/5DF1D47649D3BAE948256BC20013BDDA


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    28 Apr 2012 at 9:29 am #1093

    Richard L.
    Member

    I seriously doubt that such things are linked, but David Foster Wallace, on page 32 of INFINITE JEST, uses the same dialogue as in the Beatles’ song, “I WANT TO TELL YOU.”

    Source: Link.

    I want to tell you

    My head is filled with things to say

    I don’t mind

    I could wait forever, I’ve got time

    There’s also the bit from “I Am The Walrus.”

    Sometimes synchronicity seems like an earworm or at least the wormhole of one, when actually it is just McCarthy’s fictional character, Boyd, mooning you with his cheshire grin.


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    28 Apr 2012 at 10:54 am #1094

    Glass
    Member

    I just had to look, having read the book(s).

    Good stuff, Richard. Love that moon pic a lot. The Beatles were one of my first big interests/obsessions which led me to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Tim Leary, Alpert, all that trippy ’60s stuff. I met Leary once, and he autographed my copy of his autobiography Flasbacks. That line in McCarthy about the guy whose hair was electric always makes me think of my meeting with Leary, and another line about a character whose eyes had the look of demented enthusiasm does too.


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    28 Sep 2012 at 7:03 pm #2030

    Glass
    Member

    Several months ago on the old Forum, someone posted on a Crossing thread with an interesting idea about a cross image being formed on a wall when light shines through a window during the false dawn/atomic bomb test Billy witnesses at the end of that book. Or something close to that.

    OK, so this week I gave a copy of The Crossing to
    a friend of mine and he’s enjoying it a lot as I thought he would (he’s a degreed wildlife biologist, incidentally). I mentioned to him today there are quite a few instances of cross imagery in the novel and brought up the light-through-the-window image referenced above. He said that reminded him of a scene in Outlaw Josey Wales wherein Josey or some other character (I can’t think of the scene) is at Grandma’s house and notes that the wooden crossbar in the window facilitates shooting out of it. He told the story better but Josey Wales fans surely will know this scene. Thought it interesting enough to share here. in incidentally(


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    22 Mar 2014 at 11:33 am #5225

    Glass
    Member

    Anyone else think of the stories of the airplanes the gitano tells Billy in The Crossing after that Malaysian airplane disappeared?


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