The End of Blood Meridian

This topic contains 36 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  efscerbo 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • 24 Oct 2016 at 10:12 pm #8653

    mother_he
    Member

    …what the hell did I just read?


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    01 Dec 2016 at 5:10 pm #8702

    Toejac
    Member

    Rabies man.


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    30 May 2017 at 4:18 am #9476

    mcatherine
    Member

    The Judge simply killing the Kid ignores the details of him not being able to perform sexually with the whore, it ignores the abducted little girl, it ignores that the Kid survived everything from the demonic Comanche horde to the death defying mountain pass as a mere boy only to get gathered up and killed in an outhouse as a grown man, and it ignores the fact that some man is casually pissing by the jakes after seeing at least the by-product of some indescribable atrocity in a book of glorious atrocities.

    His killing the murderous Elrod on his way to the town shows the Kid/Man as still wanting to live rather than being suicidal, so just letting the Judge kill him is not backed by evidence. That the other man, or “the first man” as to which he was referred, was then startled by what he saw negates the counter theory that McCarthy’s book is full of hardened men, and that anyone in McCarthy’s hyper-reality would not be phased by seeing that. The first man was startled, his friend was likely startled since their uniformity in action suggests them to be of a same ilk though it merely says he looks inside and so is not provable, and the “third man” pissing casually to the side is an exemption to these two general extras in the novel since he is not phased at all. That the third man then walked “toward the lights” could even be a little joke by McCarthy that people will likely think the Kid died.

    The sexual disfunction with the whore explains him wanting gathered up in the Judge’s arms, both being symptoms of past sexual abuse as encounters between the Kid and the Judge suggested throughout the book. The sexual encounter in the jakes likely involved the abducted child, and her remains were likely the horror in the jakes that disturbed the man who looked inside and who would laugh at a dead bear but grimace at seeing a dead child.


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    30 May 2017 at 10:37 am #9477

    Richard L.
    Member

    Re: “killed in an outhouse”

    It’s a bardo thing, nothing personal.


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    31 May 2017 at 12:40 am #9479

    mother_he
    Member

    I will never understand this theory. I thought it was interesting speculation when I first encountered it, but when I later reread the novel with it in mind, I just couldn’t see how anybody would arrive at that conclusion. There are accounts of lost children whose fate the reader isn’t privy to throughout the narrative.
    If we’re really supposed to think the Kid succumbed to pedophilia at the end, this would be a demerit to McCarthy’s technique. It’s such a contrived and deranged way to read the novel, reminiscent of something out of Room 237 – a lot of vaguely plausible speculation arriving at an absolutely preposterous conclusion.


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    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  mother_he.
    31 May 2017 at 9:25 am #9480

    Richard L.
    Member

    Re: mcatherine’s post

    I’m not saying that you could not make such a case, but I would not agree with it.

    Like the incest in CHILD OF GOD and OUTER DARK, it owes more to Sophocles and after him, Freud, than to modern penny dreadfuls concerning pedophilia. Before the fall of consciousness into animal man, men indeed behaved like animals and there was no prohibition against sex with any available female, a darwinian advantage.

    That the kid couldn’t perform with a prostitute would speak highly of him, as a belated cry against the material commercial emptiness all around–and as a man who can make decisions, rather than a kid who yields to compulsions.


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    31 May 2017 at 9:57 pm #9481

    mcatherine
    Member

    General pedophilia might be a bit broad, since as many have commented over the years he seems in a way sexually impotent with his physical descriptions and with the voyeuristic streak that so excited him; but some species of pedophilia seems sewn among the nature of the Judge. He enjoys, so consistently, the abjection of the weak at the hands of the strong. He likes to do it. He likes to watch it. He likes it as a foundation in his philosophical waxings—culling the weak among us as children, as he recommends in the conversation by the fire where he says a child should be raised by throwing him into a pit of wild animals and trusting him alone to somehow remedy his own predicament.

    Even if he is not a pedophile, he certainly speaks their language; and his own actions and proclivities are in a way those of a pedophile but among a greater scope. What is pedophilia if not exacting the yet-ripening essence from a child? The fly in the cream. The heedless footprint in the otherwise pristine snow. The contrast alone even harkens back to the name of his weapon.


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    31 May 2017 at 10:06 pm #9482

    mcatherine
    Member

    To Richard:

    That is a fascinating perspective, though the Kid’s unending reluctance to engage his surrounding civilization concerns me an indictment on the commerciality of otherwise natural elements of life would be beyond him. I can hear if it is in his subconscious, but still yet he did engage in various other modalities of then-modern life.

    That he only stayed with the wagon train a short while, before breaking off and finding them slaughtered, might however give your argument some additional credence. He again engages in an affair of then-modern man before disengaging and going his own way. Combine this with the whore, and we could see a pattern of hopelessly trying to assimilate with the various arbitrary elements of society, only to fail because it does not correspond with his nature—almost like a curse. This reminds me a bit of Culla, as well.


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    01 Jun 2017 at 12:09 am #9483

    Richard L.
    Member

    Re: “…but some species of pedophilia seems sewn among the nature of the Judge.”

    Sure, because on this McCarthy followed the historical lead of Chamberlain’s MY CONFESSION. There are not a lot of pedophiles in McCarthy’s entire work. There is the historical Judge and his false accusation against Rev. Green. And the farmer’s rape of his daughter in CHILD OF GOD, briefly implied, which is there to be Sophoclean/Freudian.

    I still think think that McCarthy meant his first three novels to be id/animal/child/Faulkner dominated, his next three novels to be ego/man/adult/Hemingway dominated, and the last three superego/old man dominated/Beckett. The autobiographical SUTTREE and the historical BLOOD MERIDIAN are both standalone novels. THE PASSENGER? Well, we’ll see.

    When you look at his arguments with his editors early on, it seems if he was determined to be a writer’s writer all along, and despite his failings in recent years, I still admire him that way. From Faulkner to Hemingway to Beckett.

    You can argue that he doesn’t do it for you, but you can’t really argue that McCarthy has no greater arc to his work. Not only is there the writing style evolution, from more lush to more spare, but there are the animals who get killed off, book to book. I think his starting point was the Eden parables in THE ORCHARD KEEPER, the Fall of consciousness into animal man, and I thought for a while that the ending point might have been THE ROAD.

    Or perhaps it will be THE PASSENGER and the life of the mind?


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    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by  Richard L..
    01 Jun 2017 at 9:59 am #9486

    Clement
    Member

    An interpretative flaw to call Elrod murderous. He is merely a dumb kid, and as such is killed by a ‘murderous’ man, the former Kid. Think of our runaway abuses of stand your ground laws. This murder accomplished upon the person of Elrod is precisely what calls forth the Judge. The Kid is killed by the Judge in the jakes. It couldn’t have been otherwise.


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