The End of BM: A Reading

This topic contains 70 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  dexel 1 year, 1 month ago.

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  • 06 Feb 2015 at 1:51 pm #6428

    Ed, Toni, 1850 and any other speculators in this thread,

    Whoo! Looks like I’ve touched a raw nerve in you, Ed, and in your disciples. Ed, You will recall I praised you when you were convincing and educated me, like your take on Ch. 15. So I certainly don’t think you’re “full of it.” Calm down.

    I should have been clearer when I said there is “absolutely no textual evidence for what you claim.” I meant there’s no textual evidence whatsoever that the kid snatches up the organ-grinder girl and kills her. Nor do any you really prove by convincing evidence that the man pissing outside the jakes is the kid. If you’ve got an ace in the hole of textual evidence on these matters that you’ve haven’t shown, time to put your card (s) on the table. Otherwise, you really don’t have a case, though I applaud your guesswork.

    06 Feb 2015 at 3:39 pm #6429


    Hey Bobby,

    just for the record: there are no sour feelings on my part,
    this is all good fun. I like the way you challenge ideas
    and how you write.

    – Toni

    • This reply was modified 3 years ago by  Toni.
    06 Feb 2015 at 6:43 pm #6431

    Thankee, good buddy.

    06 Feb 2015 at 7:34 pm #6432



    I totally agree w/ Toni. Far as I’m concerned, this is all in good fun. And I appreciate and acknowledge the kind words you’ve thrown my way. But when I said “if you just plain think I’m full of it”, I wasn’t being argumentative. Quite the opposite. I just meant that I didn’t want to belabor the point and try to convince you if you just plain didn’t buy it. I respect that everyone reads things his own way.

    Of course there’s no textual evidence for the kid snatching up the little girl. There’s no textual evidence for the judge killing the kid either. There’s not even any textual evidence for, say, the kid having only a single head. (Seriously.. McCarthy never tells us that the kid has one and only one head.) We all make some amount of inference/assumption in reading a book, and I think it’s fun to be a bit more creative and see if that illuminates things. And if it helps to explain things and I don’t feel like I’m assuming anything completely batshit (like the kid having multiple heads), I gradually start to take it more and more seriously. Which is what happened with my idea on the ending. But that’s why I post here, man. For constructive debate. If I just wanted to be “right”, I’d keep to myself and sit at home with my tinfoil hat on. So keep ’em coming.

    06 Feb 2015 at 7:51 pm #6433



    Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t really have much to add regarding McCarthy and “the witness”. I need to go back and reread the border trilogy. Haven’t touched those since I left the “McCarthy is a nihilist” camp. I’m hoping those will help me start to solidify some thoughts on the matter. Hopefully by the end of the year…

    And while I seriously appreciate what you said, I don’t think I’d know the first thing about writing a book on this stuff. I honestly wouldn’t even know where to begin. For now, I just like the forum, it’s a mellow place to meet nice people and talk about really cool stuff.

    Thanks again,

    07 Feb 2015 at 2:21 pm #6434


    Let’s just agree to disagree on the saloon-jakes scene, advice that Cormac himself gave to a guy on another matter on which they’d been arguing (forgot what it was).

    07 Feb 2015 at 5:16 pm #6435



    Of course, sounds good. This has been fun, though.


    02 Feb 2016 at 7:02 am #8133


    BobbyKnoxville: I meant there’s no textual evidence whatsoever that the kid snatches up the organ-grinder girl and kills her. Nor do any you really prove by convincing evidence that the man pissing outside the jakes is the kid. If you’ve got an ace in the hole of textual evidence on these matters that you’ve haven’t shown, time to put your card (s) on the table. Otherwise, you really don’t have a case, though I applaud your guesswork.

    holy hell your posts are irritaitng bobby knoxville and I couldn’t for the life of me understand while reading this thread why anyone was taking them seriously and not just ignoring you. All you kept doing is repeating how there’s “no textual evidence,” I guess just ignoring everything efscerbo wrote because it was too many words for you? yet you yourself just keep pretending it’s a given that the kid is killed in the outhouse, when there is no more evidence for that, if anything even less evidence for that. What is your “textual evidence” at??

    the judge “gathered him in his arms” wow yeah, that’s an open and shut murder case if there ever was one lol. I don’t know how the book could be anymore clear that the judge is the personification of a concept, war, the desire in people to exert their will over others and destroy them. and I don’t know why your going on about their being time to find the girl, drag her to the outhouse etc like this is an episode of law and order. is it not possible the girl went to the outhouse after the death of her bear? Maybe to have a cry in private about it? The judge embracing the kid is the kid opening the outhouse door and seeing her and giving in to the judge. I mean the alternative is the judge is actually there and puts taking a shit on pause to physically hug him to death. And I don’t know why the judge would of been dancing and happily going on about living forever if he was just fresh off of being “defeated” by the kid (he seems disappointed at the kid trying to reject him earlier).

    The only things I see in favor of the kid being killed are that 1) the book begins with his birth, it seems like it should end with his death. Isn’t there also a meteor shower happening at the end? Though I guess it could be his spiritual death or death of his humanity etc, or he’s caught and hanged for his crime shortly after the end (though if it’s a spiritual death thing, why is this what damns him and not anything he did earlier with the gang? he got a pass for being young?). And the mention of the dying light of the west or whatever before he goes in the beehive, that fits with the middle of the book with them being recieved as heroes for killing indians being noon, or the “merdian,” and the beginning of the book being the dawn, etc.

    and 2) the judge destroys some of the things he copies to his notebook. But how many times did we actually see the judge personally physically destroy any person with violence? We don’t even see him scalp that indian kid, the guy leaves and comes back and it’s happened. Is that the judge himself physically scalping the kid as an individual, or is it just the judge’s presence and influence in the gang as a whole that does these things.

    Also the reflection of the kid in the bar at the end was discussed. Here’s some interesting quotes from this article about early drafts of the book:

    Glanton looked like a man on whom reflection did not sit well.

    We learn that what we know of the judge is that of a “false mirror” and that Glanton has a “corrected” view of the “great ponderous djinn.”

    Sounds like Glanton, being a nonstop scalping murder machine and all, was at some point “gathered in the judges arms” himself

    and when the kid is on the beach in san diego:

    Nowhere in the universe was there a surface that could given him back his visage. … Child of man … there is no reflection of your face.

    Also, I’ve seen so many interetations that the judge raped the kid. Killed is a possibility though it seems pointless. But why go the entire book without having the judge seem remotely sexual then end it like that? it’s not like mccarthy is a prude, he could of offered some suggestion of sexuality on the judges part at any point. I think people want to read too much of the chamberlain holden into the blood meridian holden.

    • This reply was modified 2 years ago by  oz.
    02 Feb 2016 at 11:29 am #8135


    Ease down their Oz. The textual evidence for the judge killing the kid (now the man) lies on three things. First the Judge’s two very thinly veiled threats.

    Drink up, he said. Drink up. This night thy soul may be required of thee. Pg. 327


    Here me, man, he said. There is room on the stage for one beast and one alone. All others are destined for a night that is eternal and without name. One by one they will step down into the darkness before the footlamps. Bears that dance, bears that don’t. Pg. 331

    In the latter the judge is very clearly speaking about the kid as a bear that doesn’t dance (anymore). The kid’s murder would also bring thing is about. As earlier the judge states:

    Id say they’re all gone under now saving me and thee.

    The kid then is relegated to the ‘all others’ who must step down into the darkness before the footlamps. This is also referenced on page 334 where the first man pissing on the boards is said to have: hitched himself and then ‘went up the walk towards the lights. A little bit of deduction clearly shows that the kid literally steps down into the darkness on his way to the jakes.

    Secondly the subchapter heading is Sie mussen schalfen aberIch muss Tanzen: You have to die but I have to dance.

    Considering that the last we see of the kid is in the jakes and the last we see of the judge is him dancing its pretty easily inferable who the ‘You’ is in heading.

    04 Feb 2016 at 7:44 pm #8136


    The murder of Elrod is a double of the murder of the Kid. It is no accident that this murder in ‘self-defense’ is juxtaposed to the Judge’s killing of the Man. It is as if the Kid/Man conjures up the Judge with this killing.

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