The shadow of the axe

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Rick Wallach 2 years, 9 months ago.

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  • 04 Jan 2015 at 2:35 pm #6173

    Glass
    Member

    I’m wondering if the memorable line from The Sunset Limited “The shadow of the axe hangs over every joy” is an allusion to the story of “the Sword of Damocles.” It seems as if it might be.

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


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    05 Jan 2015 at 1:26 am #6177

    efscerbo
    Member

    Hiya Peter,

    First of all, Happy New Year!

    Second, that’s certainly how I have read that line. Especially since the Sword of Damocles is mentioned in Moby-Dick, so McCarthy certainly knows the reference.

    Ed


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    05 Jan 2015 at 6:25 am #6179

    Glass
    Member

    Ed,

    Same to you. I look forward to more great posts from you this year.

    That’s interesting about Moby Dick. When I was thinking about the possible allusion to Damocles I wondered where McCarthy might have run across it and if he brought it to the page in TSL from memory or from notes. Thanks for the reference as I definitely hadn’t made that connection.


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    05 Jan 2015 at 10:12 am #6182

    Rick Wallach
    Keymaster

    Not that is is significant of anything other than my own unwieldy freassociative reflexes, it also reminded me of Gawain and the Green Knight‘s aborted decapitation scene: “Yeah, but when you cut my head off, it doesn’t grow back.”


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