Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian by Jerry Puryear

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Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West

  • Review
  • TAG : Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian: Early drafts and history.
  • There are multiple artists with this name. First, Blood Meridian, a Canadian group that started in a hotel room during a Black Halos tour (of which the singer, songwriter, and guitarist of Blood Meridian, Matt Camirand, was a part), took their name from the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name, and looked to mix punk, Americana, and rock influences together. Adding fellow Vancouver musicians Joshua Wells (Camirand's and bandmate) on drums, Kevin Grant on bass…

    Critics have compared Cormac McCarthy’s nightmarish yet beautifully written adventure masterpiece, Blood Meridian: Or The Evening Redness in the West, with the best works of Dante, Poe, De Sade, Melville, Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor and William Styron. The critic Harold Bloom, among others, has declared it one of the greatest novels of the Twentieth Century, and perhaps the greatest by a living American writer. Critics cite its magnificent language, its uncompromising representation of a crucial period of American history, and its unapologetic, bleak vision of the inevitability of suffering and violence.

  • The novel recounts the adventures of a young runaway, the kid, who stumbles into the company of the Glanton Gang, outlaws and scalp-hunters who cleared Indians from the Texas-Mexico borderlands during the late 1840’s under contract to territorial governors. Reinvisioning the ideology of manifest destiny upon which the American dream was founded, Blood Meridian depicts the borderland between knowledge and power, between progress and dehumanization, between history and myth and, most importantly, between physical violence and the violence of language.

    Tommy Lee Jones, who directed Melquiades Estrada, might actually be the perfect director. He’s best known as an actor, but he’s also excellent behind the camera. He has actually adapted McCarthy before, with The Sunset Limited in 2011. His newest movie, another neo-Western, The Homesman, premiered at Cannes this year and was well-reviewed. Jones is thinking about the neo-Western genre more than anyone else, and if anyone can put a good adaptation of Blood Meridian onscreen, it’s him. Maybe he can give James Franco a cameo.

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  • Guest More than 1 year ago
    I have known about this book for over 15 years and have looked for other resources related to this book to help deepen my appreciation for the genius of Cormac McCarthy. I recently stumbled across a new tool on John Sepich's website - a complete concordance of 'Blood Meridian'. The breakdown of McCarthy's word choices and variety will blow your mind. After spending some time on the site, I am going to go back and re-read this book. I am sure that it is going to be even more intriguing now than previous reads.

    Blood Meridian is not for the faint-hearted, requiring of its readers (as of its characters) an initiation to the grim but often funny business of desacralization, especially of sacred cows. McCarthy dismantles the politically correct myth of aboriginal victimization, so that victims and their antagonists become indistinguishable. In one celebrated scene, a column of mercenaries the kid has joined encounters a Comanche war party herding stolen horses and cattle across the desert. The kid barely escapes as the Indians, still vividly dressed like eldritch clowns in the garments they have stripped from their last white victims, annihilate his companions.

Harold Bloom on Blood Meridian · Interview · The A.V. Club

His earlier Blood Meridian (1985) was among Time Magazine's poll of 100 best English-language books published between 1925 and 2005 and he placed joint runner-up for a similar title in a poll taken in 2006 by The New York Times of the best American fiction published in the last 25 years. Literary critic Harold Bloom named him as one of the four major American novelists of his time, along with Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, and Philip Roth. He is frequently compared by modern reviewers to William Faulkner.