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Blood Meridian (1985)

por Cormac McCarthy

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
9,311234596 (4.17)418
Based on incidents that took place in the southwestern United States and Mexico around 1850, this novel chronicles the crimes of a band of desperados, with a particular focus on one, "the kid," a boy of fourteen.
  1. 140
    Moby Dick por Herman Melville (dmsteyn)
    dmsteyn: Judge Holden's character was based on the monomaniacal Captain Ahab of Melville's novel.
  2. 20
    Othello por William Shakespeare (Steve.Gourley)
    Steve.Gourley: Compare the philosophy of Judge Holden to Iago
  3. 10
    Death Comes for the Archbishop por Willa Cather (GCPLreader)
    GCPLreader: contrast Blood Meridian to Cather's moving, more gentle tale of honorable wanderings of priests in new mexico in 1850's
  4. 00
    All the Pretty Horses por Cormac McCarthy (sturlington)
  5. 22
    Under the Volcano por Malcolm Lowry (WSB7)
    WSB7: Strong perspectival imagery overhanging(pursuing?)a doomed hero.
  6. 00
    Far Bright Star por Robert Olmstead (TheRavenking)
  7. 01
    The Life and Times of Captain N. por Douglas J. Glover (Sethgsamuel)
    Sethgsamuel: Shamelessly violent, very poetic and beautiful western.
1980s (8)
To Read (147)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 234 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I feel that this book deserves a review/notations for I know I may want to check on my own thoughts about it some time from now, as it is a book that will stay with me, yet this punch on the stomach feeling I have right now, having just finished reading it, will eventually subside.

But what to say?

It reminded me of The Road. The endless perambulating through a nightmarish landscape. The sense that the characters are victims of the geographical and historical moment where they are encapsulated, which is bigger than themselves and even bigger than their humanity. And that this “historical moment” in the making does not allow for morality or compassion, therefore the characters – and us all - are all passive victims of determinism – maybe I will call it “historical landscape determinism”. (I am making any sense?)

Hum! I think I have had my “Aha Moment” about McCarthy. This is my 4th Cormac, the others being The Road, All the Pretty Horses and Suttree and I finally glimpse a common feel about all these books: in each one of these stories, the characters are embedded into a collective occurrence that is beyond their understand and capability to overcome. How could one – for instance – overcome or understand itself as part of biological evolution? So, how can an individual or character in Cormac’s books overcome the historical moment in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War, or an apocalypse as in The Road? One could argue that at least the character of Suttree does have a philosophical understanding of himself and the historical/social moment in which he is living. He is also the only main character that does not abandon himself in a trail of violence, and that at times shows a sense of humour. Yet, Suttree – the character – seems to abandon himself into what I have named “historical landscape”, as if fighting it would be impossible and needless. Biological evolution too will keep its course, making victims and casualties along the way, completely beyond any sense of morality, and so will the historical moment... then, there, now and into the apocalyptical future.

Now, that McCarthy is able to follow along his characters, endlessly describing the physical landscape around them with poetic and cinematographic sensitivity, and that as a reader I am/we are pulled along over violence so gruesome as to be inhumane, through an story so dry and plotless, where the characters’ inner thoughts are never revealed, and yet we don’t often falter and abandon him: this is Cormac McCarthy’s genius.

I don’t want to sound as if by this “Aha Moment” I pretend to explain all of McCarthy’s books (the ones I read anyway). Cormac is out of my league and I will leave the literary experts to do it. But my own personality requires that I analyze what I read, and this is the conclusion I arrived at. Feel free to let me know if you don’t agree, or if you do think I don’t make sense.

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... They rode one. They rode like men invested with a purposed whose origins were antecedent to them, like blood legatees of an order both imperative and remote. For although each man among them was discrete into himself, conjoined they made a thing that had not been before and in that communal soul were wastes hardly reckonable more than those whited regions on old maps where monsters do live and where there is nothing other of the known world save conjectural winds.

Minutes after I posted my thoughts on this book, I opened a page in it and literary serendipity made me read this passage on pg 152 of the 1992 Vintage Edition. I don’t know if anyone but myself will see a glimpse of what I just wrote and this passage, but I – in the literary high this book has left me – do see it. McCarthy, of course, is much more poetic than I ever will be. But I had tried to convey the sense that McCarthy leaves with me that his characters are incapable to escape something that is “antecedent to them”, and “imperative and remote” in its determination. Of course, it would be too simple to think that McCarthy gives us the key to understanding this book of his and others in one simple sentence, yet I want to think that it does somewhat.



( )
  RosanaDR | Apr 15, 2021 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
It is impossible--or at least was for me--to begin reading Blood Meridian without having heard anything about it. And what one hears generally surrounds a theme. "Blood Meridian is the most violent book I've ever read." That is the typical utterance. So naturally I began the book with some form of an expectation. Is it the most violent book I've ever read? Well, yes, it probably is. I've read other violent books, but this one seems to have more... purpose than those others. It seems to cut deeper, to scream louder. Death permeates these pages

Now, readiness for violence was not my sole expectation upon starting the book. One comes to expect greatness when it comes to McCarthy's prose, and he always delivers. His dialogue the same. I think he is undoubtedly one of the best authors I've ever read. He has that natural storyteller's mystique, presented in some outlandish form of dark poetry and long run-on sentences that somehow not only works but may approach genius. Truly I cannot say enough good things.

Blood Meridian is largely about a kid who joins up with a group of scalphunters (the Glanton gang) on contract along the Texas/Mexico border in the year 1849. This may set the scene for you on the kind of depravity and madness that lies herein. The observation of violence and villainy in these men is--while hard to stomach--an interesting one, and leaves you to wonder what it has to say about human nature in its most stripped down and bare manifestations. It's often shocking to witness, and so you must wonder, how could it be? Or, alternatively, how did it come to be? It is as if these men, each of them individually, took one wrong step on some path of darkness in their pasts and could never revert. One step in the wrong direction and now they find themselves sprinting down this road with no way to leave it. The nature of the violence itself is interesting too though because though there is no shortage from the very beginning, as you read it seems to increase in an almost calculable exponential curve--as if the book contains its own dark inertia. So much so that you can find yourself caught up in it, hoping for a reprieve. And what you come to realize is that in the minds of these lunatics it's just survival. It's survival. Anything else is death.

Now, I would be remiss if I did not here comment about the judge. Just as a reader of No Country for Old Men would be remiss to not mention Anton Chigurh. McCarthy is a master at writing these... I hesitate to use the world "villains". He writes these characters that are so larger than life as to be almost a force of nature, or a passing ghost, while somehow also being so tightly woven into the fabric of life as to never be removed. The judge is one such. And by the end of this story, due to this mastery I am referring to, I felt rather empty. Desolate might be a better word. I felt hollowed out and in awe of the dark mysteries of this world, of those beings so devoid of compassion as to be capable of the true horrors that lurk within the mind of man. If indeed a man the judge is. If he is not some bizarre necessity of nature, or prophet of destruction. A force of evil sitting in judgment and balancing out any shred of good that may still inhabit this harsh and unforgiving land. And frankly, anyone that can make me feel that way deserves five stars and more. ( )
  064 | Jan 19, 2021 |
McCarthy's style is frankly astonishing. At times I felt like the book just contained too much stuff, one brutal event after another after another. Maybe that's the point; it's probably a pretty good approximation of what life on the border was like 160 years ago. I began to feel a little fatigue after a couple of hundred pages of the same grind, though. I liked the book a lot but could have done perhaps with a little less of it (and I'm one who likes the thousand-page novel).

One thing that really strikes me about the book is that it made me play a movie in my head -- something I was able to do when reading as a child but that I rarely manage as an adult. McCarthy filled my head with landscapes and wounds and fighting, and this latter is all the more amazing because of the deliberate (almost slow) manner in which he tells the story.

The judge is an unforgettable, horribly unsettling character. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
1 stars for inspiring a pretty good Earth album.

I've had this book for quite a while, read about 150 pages when I was younger... well, I've finally read it through. ( )
  stravinsky | Jan 1, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 234 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This latest book is his most important, for it puts in perspective the Faulknerian language and unprovoked violence running through the previous works, which were often viewed as exercises in style or studies of evil. ''Blood Meridian'' makes it clear that all along Mr. McCarthy has asked us to witness evil not in order to understand it but to affirm its inexplicable reality; his elaborate language invents a world hinged between the real and surreal, jolting us out of complacency.
adicionada por eereed | editarNew York Times, Caryn James (Apr 28, 1985)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (34 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Cormac McCarthyautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Bloom, HaroldIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Montanari, RaulTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Pennington, MarkArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sivill, KaijamariTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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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.

-- Paul Valery
It is not to be thought that the life of darkness is sunk in misery and lost as if in sorrowing. There is no sorrowing. For sorrow is a thing that is swallowed up in death, and death and dying are the very life of the darkness.

-- Jacob Boehme
Clark, who led last year's expedition to the Afar region of northern Ethiopia, and UC Berkeley colleague Tim D. White, also said that a re-examination of a 300,000-year-old fossil skull found in the same region earlier shows evidence of having been scalped.

-- The Yuma Daily Sun, June 13, 1982
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The author wishes to thank the Lyndhurst Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. He also wishes to express his appreciation to Albert Erskine, his editor of twenty years.
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See the child.
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It was a lone tree burning on the desert. A heraldic tree that the passing storm had left afire. The solitary pilgrim drawn up before it had traveled far to be here and he knelt in the hot sand and held his numbed hands out while all about in that circle attended companies of lesser auxiliaries routed forth into the inordinate day, small owls that crouched silently and stood from foot to foot and tarantulas and solpugas and vinegarroons and the vicious mygale spiders and beaded lizards with mouths black as a chowdog’s, deadly to man, and the little desert basilisks that jet blood from their eyes and the small sandvipers like seemly gods, silent and the same, in Jeda, in Babylon. A constellation of ignited eyes that edged the ring of light all bound in a precarious truce before this torch whose brightness had set back the stars in their sockets.
The men as they rode turned black in the sun from the blood on their clothes and their faces and then paled slowly in the rising dust until they assumed once more the color of the land through which they passed.
A man's at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with. He can know his heart, but he dont want to. Rightly so. Best not to look in there. It aint the heart of a creature that is bound in the way that God has set for it. You can find meanness in the least of creatures, but when God made man the devil was at his elbow. A creature that can do anything. Make a machine. And a machine to make the machine. And evil that can run itself a thousand years, no need to tend it. You believe that?
Every man in the company claims to have encountered that sootysouled rascal in some other place.
But dont draw me, said Webster. For I dont want in your book.
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Based on incidents that took place in the southwestern United States and Mexico around 1850, this novel chronicles the crimes of a band of desperados, with a particular focus on one, "the kid," a boy of fourteen.

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